Drones and sirens and red flashing lights were the welcome to Ambush’s debut catwalk show in Milan. When another journalist said the atmosphere made her uncomfortable after the show, designer Yoon Ahn balked: “I think it’s beautiful,” she said. Fashion has struggled to keep prodding forward with its planned shows while war rages in Ukraine, but a show soundtracked by whirring helicopters is definitely not the right note to hit.
Nevertheless, Ambush’s catwalk debut strutted on with a collection that played to the diversity of Ahn’s strengths and interests. She loves a platform shoe in her own life, and this season hers were buckled up to the knee. Black leather played with fetish, a recurring obsession, while heart-shaped bags and cut-outs veered into cuteness. Big shearling outerwear was contrasted with small, cropped shearling parkas and skin was everywhere—including a skirt with a slit up the back so high it revealed a flash of derrière.
The most worthy pieces were the ones where Ahn had taken material development as her mission. Heavy dresses made from plastic beads felt the most fresh, whirring with each step. Ditto the leather vests made from interlacing laser-cut letter As; the motif repeated as A-A-A chainmail. These ideas felt born from Ahn’s jewelry practice and thus the most enticing and personal of the bunch. For her next runway, here’s hoping for more along this thread. And maybe a calmer, less aggressive vibe in the room.