Monday, 14 July 2014

rookie designer's charming power

Ashley Miella's graduate collection took my breath
away at first glance: I saw in my mind's eye three
hooded Wiccan witches who don't fly on broomsticks
but walk at leisure pace through the woods on posh
high-heeled shoes sprucing up their charming powers
through long flowing silk layered gowns, stunning
jackets with leather inserts and gorgeous neck pieces.
Yet Miella's 'Crusade collection' has nothing to do with
witchery; it's all about movement and energy.

Ashley graduated last year from AUT University, in
Auckland, New Zealand, with a BDes in fashion
showcasing her 'Crusade collection' at the AUT
Rookie, the University's end-of-year graduate show,
a display of future talents from New Zealand, an
event able to fire up the career of the most gifted
ones: Miella has been actually selected for a
scholarship for a master course in fashion design
at IED, Istituto Europeo di Design, in Milano through
the 'Design for a Better World' contest and her work
can be voted or reviewed in the Creative Diary
website. Let me introduce her collection 
literally using her own words.

”From the beginning my goal was to have a theatrical
collection, so performance, momentum and drama
were important for me. Inspiration for 'Crusade' draws
from other-worldly warriors on a quest which focuses
more on the role of protector than on the violence of
battle, and the resulting victory or defeat. (...) The
collection responds to an idealistic interpretation of
the journey to individuality, freedom and liberation.
The energy and momentum associated with Crusade
is brought to life through the silks used in the wrap
skirts and pants. I also explored ways of adding
volume using pleats to create these pieces” 
she declared.

”I experimented with laser-cutting leather which
I have used in Crusade's intricate neck pieces.
I used a lot of leather in my collection, including
a hair on hide for one of the jackets. I looked at
creating organic, sculptural shapes for the jackets
and the use of leather helped me achieve this.
The hats in my collection reference warrior-like
headwear, and again the use of leather helps
reinforce the structured silhouette”
Ashley states
but because of its theatricality and dynamism,
Crusade ”needs to be seen in motion with the
flowing silhouettes of the silks contrasting with
the structured leather pieces (...) Crusade
conveys a sense of purpose and explores an
idealistic internal journey of self-discovery.”

> all images © by Frances Carter <

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