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Ashish: Fall in Love and Be More Tender

4 April 2023 to 10 September 2023 William Morris Gallery

Acclaimed in the world of fashion, Ashish Gupta presents an extensive survey exhibition at the William Morris Gallery - for free.

Known for his sequined shirts and original, hybridising style, Ashish Gupta (born 1973) has imbued the London art and fashion scene with excitement upon the news of his new exhibition, Fall in Love and Be More Tender, held at the William Morris Gallery. It is the first of its kind; while his work has been included in major exhibitions at major galleries like the V&A and the Met, Fall in Love offers a novel overview of his work, allowing long-time fans and newcomers to acquaint themselves with the intricacies of his broader artistic philosophies and craft. 

Born in Delhi, and studying fashion design at Central St. Martins, his work often hybridises disparate concepts, styles, and cultural fragments. His 2005 Dutch Wax Print Dress, a material that in many ways can be viewed as a microcosmic entity of colonial trade and exchange, and his Immigrant t-shirt that, in a 2017 collection was combined with a South Asian silk dress and veil, symbolise cultural hybridity and open up a post-colonial 'third space'; not quite British, not quite Indian, but a new thing entirely. 

Challenging notions of masculinity, his sequin hi-vis jacket from 2013 too creates a third space for gender discourse, too challenging colonial concepts of gender binarism. This theme is a current through his work; his 2016 Spring/Summer runway featured otherwise masculine male models in sequined crop-tops, high heels, and booty shorts, holding hands with a fem-coded model in a challenge toward gender norms. His iconic sequins are sewn on individually by hand by artisans in his native Delhi, rather than mass-produced as many expect. 

To say Fall in Love and Be More Tender is extensive would be an understatement. Over 60 designs will be on display, allowing for a hitherto unseen overview of his work that would be otherwise confined to runways and windows. A fantastically rare chance to experience in person the portfolio of an acclaimed designer whose works have been worn by Charli XCX, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Debbie Harry. 

The exhibition is free, but a donation of £5 or more is encouraged.