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The Ritual Collection by Ashton Michael || LA Fashion Week

by Brooke Butler

After Ashton Hirota’s show, “Ashton Michael: The Ritual Collection” tonight we all want to join his coven. Pillar candles lined the stark white runway creating an eerie sense of peace amongst the buzzing crowd preparing for a runway show, but what we received was far from simple fashion.

When the lights dimmed a rhythmic, African tam-tam drum began banging, a man in all black swung a gold pentagram engulfed in flames, and the ritual began. Model’s strutted in a monochromatic black theme with gold accents, often accompanied by leather motorcycle gloves embellished with gold skeleton bones. Leather high-waisted hot pants, black combat boots, baggy overalls, long velvet skirts, and even a leather gaucho pant bewitched the runway.

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Hirota’s use of gold grommets and his seamless infusion of black leather and velvet were majestic. Keeping with one of his signatures, many outfits included leather harness straps a la S&M.

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Then the show took an unexpected twist when it lost all music, lights, and power. But having had witches bless every candle along the runway for “clarity and enlightenment” before his show Ashton knew an “energy bigger than him was at work, and that he had so much power that it shut the place down.”

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Mesmerized by the small dose they had already received the audience began stomping their feet, hollering, and then, like magic, the entire runway was lit by attendees phone flashlights.

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The ritual then continued. Even more energized than before the quirky yet edgy models strutted with black lipstick, slicked back hair, and more often than not tattoo covered bodies that added to the exclusivity of this secret circle. A man marched in the all black theme with a giant gold pentagram across his chest, and the crowd nearly jumped out of their seats when a flowing, long A-line gown floated across the runway finished with gold crystal encrusted fingertip rings by H.Crowne Jewelry.

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When the show finished Hirota walked out and immediately fell to his knees with his hands in prayer. His models, or possibly coven, then surrounded him jumping with joy. After the show the backstage was alive with energy. Hirota’s smile was permanent while leis were placed around his neck, significant to him since his father is from Hawaii. He described how his models were friends from all over the world including Paris, Milan, and London.

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He called them his “tattooed boys” and his family. Hirota stated that when the power first went out he “lost his mind, but then realized there was so much love and support in the room that it all worked out.” We agree! When asked what he would be for Halloween Hirota kept it simple stating “himself.”

He finished by expressing proudly that he recently reconnected with the energy of rituals and his witch friends, but that it has created a lifestyle in which “life happens, and you remind yourself you are more powerful than the things surrounding you.”

Images I.O.T PHOTOGRAPHER IDAN-OZERI-TAL