On the Runway: New Halifax Fashion Grad Ashley Reading

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We chatted with Ashley Reading from Windsor, Nova Scotia, one of our recent Fashion Design & Merchandising grads who just showcased her final collection at Phase; Emerging Designer Showcase.

Here’s an inside look at the conversation! (Watch this space – we’ll also be profiling the other 3 grads!)

CAT: Tell us about the weeks leading up to your final show. What were you feeling?
Ashley: It was an overwhelming mix of emotions. The combination of two long years coming to an end, and anxiously preparing for the show case gives you a lot to think about and reflect back on at the same time. But for the most part I felt excited to be done and to be moving forward with my life and my career.

CAT: Can you tell us about your final collection? What were your inspirations?
Ashley: My final collection was inspired by CMYK color printing. I’m very inspired by bright colors and graphic prints so my inspiration is a perfect fit with my design aesthetic. I’ve spent 9 long months in total, between designing, drafting, and sewing this collection; it’s been a great learning experience.

CAT: What was your biggest challenge in preparing for this show?
Ashley: I’ve found in preparing for the show that it’s hard to keep a calm level head and try to stay organized though all of the chaos.

CAT: And were you most excited about for the show?
Ashley: I’m really excited to showcase my collection to my family, friends, and industry contacts. It will be great to finally be able to show them what I’ve been working on for the past 9 months and hopefully they will enjoy the show.

CAT: What are your plans now?
Ashley: Finally take some time off and RELAX!!! It’s been hard to think about my immediate future with all the work that has to be done in preparation for the show. But I think after graduation I’m just going to take some time off to relax and also use the time to search for a job and hopefully get my career off to a good start.

CAT: Can you share with us some of your thoughts on the last few years in the program? Highlights? The biggest lesson you’ll take away from this program?
Ashley: My time at The Center for Arts and Technology has exceeded any expectation I had going into the school and the program. I was apprehensive and constantly second-guessing my decision to take the Fashion Design and Merchandising program prior to my first day. But I’ve learned more than I thought was even possible in the short time frame of 2 years. My biggest highlights have turned out to be the people that I have met along the way. I’m thankful that I’ve met so many industry people along the way. But meeting my wonderful instructor, Michelle Kulyk, and my three amazing classmates has been by far what has made the past few years so incredible.

CAT: Anything else you’d like to add? And how can people follow your collections?
Ashley: I can’t believe that two long years are coming to an end. It has been by far the hardest, yet the most rewarding experience of my life. I’m very happy and excited to see what the future has to bring not only for me but for the rest of my classmates. If you want to keep up with me, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter!

CAT: Well, thanks for chatting with us Ashley! We can’t wait to follow your career journey as a fashion designer!

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