“Ashley, a name that stands for beauty and specialness” – Ashley A
The Ashleys were the original mean girls. Before pink Wednesdays there was purple day, where the same rule applied for the pre-pubescent girl gang as it did for the Plastics – break the rules and you can’t sit with us!
In Clueless-esque outfits: think knee-highs, pleated skirts and teeny-tiny backpacks, the Ashley’s super cute, school-girl style epitomises the sweet side of the 90s. But aside from the matchy-matchy outfits, glossy hair and polished finger tips, it’s important to note that the Ashleys were one of the first girl gangs of our generation, gracing our screens in Recess in 1997.
With the rise of fourth-wave feminism, girl gangs are once again becoming more prominent in our culture. From online girl gangs forming over the internet to fashion fan girls dressed pretty in pink, in a fur-trimmed, glitter drenched uniform – styles dreamt up by designers such as Ryan Lo and Sophia Webster.
We welcome back the return of the girl gang, as girls are doing it together, rather than going it alone. While cyber-space has become our clubhouse, we still wouldn’t say no to an Ashley-style pink-lined secret hideout, built from tyres, complete with a satin chez lounge and diamond chandelier. Scandalous!
Words by Billie Brand
Illustration by Hatti Rex