My Style: Ashley Rowe

My Style: Ashley Rowe

Ashley Rowe graduated from George Brown’s fashion management program just three years ago, yet the 26-year-old designer already has her signature bustier dresses hanging at TNT and will be a designer-in-residence at the Gladstone next month. We visited Rowe’s soon-to-be-vacated studio at the Toronto Fashion Incubator to find out what shapes her look.

(Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani) 

WARDROBE STAPLES
I’m a jeans and T-shirt girl. I wear a lot of basic white tees from American Apparel with jeans. I like acid wash J-Brand Thrashers paired with a blazer and the quilted Chanel purse my mom gave me.

SHOPPING DESTINATIONS
A lot of my wardrobe basics are by The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s line, like black and cream silk tank tops and a black skirt that looks like something Herve Leger would do. I bought them at Holts when I was the assistant to the Dolce and Gabbana specialist. I go to The Gap whenever they do collaborations with designers—I’m dying for the khaki Alexander Wang motorcycle jacket that’s there now.

BUDGET FASHION
I’m saving money, so I won’t buy many summer clothes. Instead, I design them myself—I’m thinking of hand-dyeing fabric in pastels.

BEAUTY INDULGENCES
I go to the Ten Spot on Queen Street for manicures and pedicures—it’s very luxurious. I see Ayla at Sudis in Hazelton Lanes for facials and waxing. I love her.

STYLE INFLUENCES
My mom has an old black wool coat that inspired my fall collection last year. She’s always very put-together. But when I was in seventh grade, she wore a pink leather outfit to go shopping and I was so embarrassed I didn’t want to leave the house with her. Now I appreciate that she stood up for her own style.

The soon-to-be-vacated studio at Toronto Fashion Incubator (Photo by Karon Liu) 

FAVOURITE DESIGNER
I love, love, love Rick Owens. I have a coat from his winter collection, which was inspired by bugs but translated really well into his work. I read that he only has one pair of jeans and pants that he wears to everything. I’d love to just have one rack of clothes for a season and then change it up the next season.

The beginnings of bustier frocks (Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani) 

COMING UP
I have a Viktor and Rolf tux from H&M, and I wanted to do my own version in black lamé that’s extra-long in the back. Expect to see pops of bold colour—like reds and bits of neon—in my next collection. I’m making a bustier bodysuit in bright yellow-green leather.