Believe it or not, but Jamie Ashkar is not just a pretty face. From Project Runway to this years Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, it's safe to assume Mr Ashkar has things down pat with his namesake label. Ashkar's SS13/14 collection at MBFWA was a surefire standout for me, ticking all the right androgynous and sport-luxe boxes, all the while keeping it sexy and demure, classic yet fresh. I caught up with Jamie to talk about his design background, his MBFWA experience and more...
B&B: How and when did you decide to jump ship from interior design to fashion design?
JA: I made the transition to fashion about 3 years ago. I have always had a big interest in fashion design but it was only after studying and working in interior design that I knew it was time to make the switch.
B&B: Has any of your interior design background been useful when it comes to designing womenswear?
JA: Yes! Most definitely has. In design, no matter what it is, they are all related - colour, shape, detail and the list goes on. I believe that my aesthetic has transitioned from interior design into fashion design.
B&B: Tell us about Fashion Week. How were you feeling in the lead up to it and how do you feel now?
JA: Fashion week was such an exciting time! The lead up was nothing short of crazy-busy. Because this was my first selling season, there was added pressure as the collection needed to be ready for showings and buyers' appointments, and that became my main priority. I only had about 2 and a half weeks to focus on the “runway” pieces! But overall it was such a great experience and I cannot wait for the next show.
B&B: I noticed the sport-luxe vibe and boxy, athletic cuts quite a bit throughout collections at MBFWA (your collection was no exception). Do you ever look to other designers for inspiration or is that a no-no?
JA: Sport-luxe was of definitely a key trend this season. I believe it’s very important to take notice of what is happening around you in the fashion world but I would say that taking inspiration from other designers is a no-no.
B&B: What are your strengths as a designer?
JA: I have a great understanding of the female form, interesting tailoring, cuts and fit.
B&B: What area do you feel you need improvement in?
JA: I believe as a designer we should constantly improve what we do, we should grow with every collection. That’s what makes a great designer.
B&B: Who or what things have been a current source of inspiration lately?
JA: There’s not “one” thing that inspires me, I believe the creative mind gets inspiration from anything, anywhere. There is one thing, though, that I like to reference in my work and that is interior design and architecture, as its my roots of design and plays a huge part of my aesthetic.
B&B: Guilty pleasure?
B&B: Style icon(s)?
JA: Carine Roitfeld. Always polished, unapologetically sexy and has not changed her style for anyone.
B&B: Best bit of advice you’ve received?
JA: “There is always a rainbow at the end of a storm”. As hard as things can get in life, stick to what you love and you can achieve anything.
B&B: What can we expect to see from JAMIE ASHKAR in the coming months? Anything you can spill on the AW14 collection?
JA: I can let you in on AW14 with only one word: Texture.
Melikey! JAMIE ASHKAR's SS13/14 collection is now available for pre-order in selected boutiques nation wide and at jamieashkar.com.au