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Ambush SS22 campaign
Photography Harley Weir, Styling Carlos Nazario

AMBUSH is beaming itself off the face of the earth

Lensed by Harley Weir, Yoon Ahn’s SS22 collection crash lands among cosmic volcanos, black-slicked beaches, and acidic lakes

As society emerges from the drudgery of coronavirus with all the might of a wetted match, the runway has made a clarion call for glamour, skin, and silliness. The spring season practically huffed with desire as Miu Miu slung belts across bare chests, Schiaparelli adorned jackets with rock-hard golden nipples, and Rick Owens whipped sheer, hooded slips around the naked body. AMBUSH, meanwhile, proposed transparent, flamenco-flounced dresses, barely-there crocheted bralettes, and skimpy, suggestively-slit miniskirts. 

It’s fitting, then, that AMBUSH’s accompanying campaign should reenact that very siren call for sexuality, with Sora Choi dragging herself out of the sea and clambering to (almost) lock lips with fellow model Taemin Park. Lensed by Harley Weir and styled by Carlos Nazario, Choi and Park journey from space-age, clifftop lookouts, down craggy mountain sides, and onto black-slicked beaches. Backdropped by the moody vistas of Tenerife, an island thrown up by Volcanic eruption, the imagery feels otherworldly, extraterrestrial even. It’s a sensation bolstered by William Farr’s sculptures, which see aleinoid flowers bloom between the scraps of a mechanical wreckage.

The whole thing is based on the notion of “retro-future romance”, a phrase which speaks to Yoon Ahn’s time-bending approach to fashion, marrying nostalgia with futurism and innocence with innovation. The designer’s ideology has been translated across the collection by way of hybrid, mash-up tailoring. Think loose-cut blazers with wrap-around, knitted belts, minimal white shirts spliced with rows of crocheted ribbons, and rubberised, perforated car coats. Outerwear in general is a real calling card for the brand, which had been inspired this season by the time Ahn spent in the Tokyo countryside over lockdown. This experience birthed some of the collection’s most covetable pieces, among them a wipe-clean, turquoise trench and technically-rendered windbreakers.

As for womenswear, tactility and texture reigned supreme. Between the chunky tendrils that sprouted from Ahn’s shrunken bodices, the loose threads that trailed from floral-knitted dresses, and the crunchy sequins on a wildflower gown, this season begged for touch. That feeling was reproduced by slicing into skirts, bolshy fur-trimmed leather coats, and kaleidoscopic snakeskin mules. Where the AMBUSH man has been a familiar face on the fashion circuit, noted for his casual streetwear breeze, this season marked the beginning of a more confident womenswear proposal – pitting her as an equal more than an accomplice. 

Beyond her own catwalk, it’s well known that Ahn’s output includes creating the jewellery for Kim Jones at Dior. And here, jewellery reflects all the twisted ecology of the AMBUSH world, with sunflower rings rendered in fluid shapes and clunking earrings fashioned from bits of cosmic stone and glass. Elsewhere, delicate butterflies and heart-shaped gems are repeated across childlike chokers, while pendulous hoops set up a direct line to international It-girls. AMBUSH may have taken a step into the cosmos this season, but its appeal is rooted here on earth.