Homewood High School and Mississippi State alum Ashley Lewis feels fashion design is “something she was called to do.” Lewis is currently studying at the Academy of Art, a small private college based in San Francisco. She is presenting her very first show at Fashion Week Alabama -Huntsville.
How long have you been designing? Oh my gosh. I’ve worked for a few architectural companies, [Lewis has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design] but as far as fashion design I’ve always been making my own clothes, and it’s always been a passion of mine.
Do you sew your own garments? I do. I sew every single piece. I actually learned a little from my grandmother and that’s how I started making my own clothes. [Later] I developed techniques to make [the process] go faster after taking classes at the Academy.
How did you get involved with FWAH? I was one of the volunteers for Birmingham Fashion Week and I think a friend emailed me that Huntsville was having a fashion week. I emailed Le Jeune [the founder]; she let me apply and I was accepted. I’ve volunteered and I modeled at BFW last year, but this is my first time showing. I’m nervous and excited about it.
What will you show? The dress that I wore in Miss AL USA pageant in November is one of the main pieces in the collection and the other pieces are based off it. I’m showing – since this one is a small collection – a few daytime pieces with shorts, suits, skirts and tops, the gown, and an avant garde piece that is very detailed. I used a lot of shantung, and very lightweight breathable fabrics that flow but give you definition. I used a lot of satins and chiffons also. This collection is basically one you can mix and match with, and you can dress it up or dress it down.
Can you describe the individual who wears your designs? She’s young, she’s very fashion forward, she wants to be in the know. Her daily job would be something where she’s always moving. It could be anything from being a curator in a museum to an architect, but she loves the city life and absorbing things. My dream client would be Sandra Bullock. [With] her body type and the way she carries herself, she can wear anything. And she’s so elegant.
After receiving a master of arts, Ashley would like to move to New York, work for DVF [Diane Von Furstenberg], and eventually have her own fashion line. For now, she takes private orders and plans to have a website up soon. Catch her at Fashion Week Alabama Huntsville this week!
Image via Ashley Lewis