The ornate collection is irrefutably playful and yet sophisticated
In a city known for its avant-garde fashion and creative expression, 15-year-old fashion designer and accidental activist, Ashlyn So, took center stage once again, capturing the hearts of New York’s fashion elite. Her latest showcase at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) defied convention and expectations, leaving a lasting impression on attendees. Ashlyn So’s journey into the world of fashion and activism is nothing short of remarkable. As one of the youngest fashion designers ever to grace the NYFW stage, she brought a unique perspective to the runway. Her SS24 collection, titled ‘Unseen,’ was a testament to her personal mental health healing journey and a call to break the silence on mental health stigma within the Asian community. A sensory experience against the backdrop of a live cellist, Ashlyn So’s collection told a powerful story. “Let’s create a world where no one feels invisible… I want to encourage everyone to break the silence on mental health stigma within the Asian community. Many of us go unnoticed and unheard, but together, we can change that narrative,” – Ashlyn So
The show began with an ethereal display of sheer garments, creating an illusion of disappearance into the surrounding environment. Suuvi played the cello, with music by Paul Leonard-Morgan, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Pedro Osuna added an extra layer of drama and depth to the show. The garments symbolized feelings of loss and isolation, a sentiment that Ashlyn had experienced personally. However, as the show progressed, the garments grew stronger, bolder, and more resilient, mirroring the designer’s own journey to rise above her darkness. What set this collection apart was the fusion of formal pieces with sneakers, giving each outfit a youthful and fresh feel. For the final piece, the model wore a giant puffer vest that symbolized a phoenix rising above the ashes of its former self. The crowd took it all in processing the moment as it unfolded.
In the world of fashion, Ashlyn So is a reminder that clothing can be more than just fabric and thread; it can be a canvas for emotions, a vessel for creativity, and a vehicle for change. Her clothing, like her words, embodied a duality – a blend of joy and sharpness, much like the chrome and glossy textures that graced her collection.
You can find more of Ashlyn’s work on her website at ashlynso.com
“I thought Cowboys, Poodles, Outer Space and went mad with it. It’s like Dolly Parton but more like Dolly on molly” proclaimed Jeremy Scott backstage post show.