only one ashley
i’m an ordinary girl with a love for fashion which has always been an obsession and a source of delight for me, for as long as I can remember. as a child, I would chop and remake outfits for my Barbie dolls and create my own paper cut outs for cardboard mannequins as I never thought their clothes were quite good enough. it must have been inevitable that I would grow up wanting to offer my own creations to the real world.
my desire to become a fashion designer hit a bump in the road, when I had my terminally ill daughter at the age of 14, as a result of an assault.
my dreams never disappeared but my focus had to shift to simply completing my education and caring for my baby girl.
as my daughter was born with a very serious brain condition, I spent the early years of her life living in the Mother & Baby Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, while finishing off my schooling on evenings. my dreams could wait because my number one priority was just to keep my daughter alive and happy.
the reason I tell this story is that, because of my background and the path my life had taken I never got to pursue any formal qualification in fashion. what my story shows, however, is my determination and focus.
watching the TV broadcasts from The Birdcage at Flemington, every Melbourne Cup Carnival, is one of my earliest memories of wanting to pursue real world fashion design - I wanted to dress those people in my creations. as I got older it became one of my ‘Bucket List Items’ just to get in to The Birdcage and sample that life, that vibrancy and that love for fashion in person, to see if that is where I wanted to be.
I had prepared to enter the WA State Final for Fashions on the Field, in 2009 but sadly that was the year I lost my beloved Ashley and my world fell apart. suddenly, fashion just didn’t matter anymore.
it took time to recapture any passion and focus to pursue my dreams but my first entry to Fashions on the Field came in 2013. after all the years I’d missed or wasted I made it my sole belief to win the competition and I did. the events, set in motion on this journey, ignited a new passion and belief in myself and I knew I could create amazing garments for people.
my label is created from love. love for beautiful fabrics and exquisite design. love for a sensation you only have when you wear an outfit that feels amazing. love for the legacy of what my daughter brought to my life. only one ashley was created to honour her and to delight you.