Genia Ashton has graduated from the Fashion Institute ESMOD in Dubai in 2020. Genia had always been interested in textiles, innovative pattern-making and sustainability in the industry. As a strong believer in sustainability and zero-waste, she created the collection where the major part of the garments were made out of recycled jeans, purchased in the various charity shops or donated by friends. As of recently she has been featured in the October issue of the Harper’s Bazaar UK. Read the full article to find out more!
When and how have you decided to become a fashion designer? Would you mind sharing some story behind it?
I was always the girl who lived in a dream. Since my childhood I loved dressing up the dolls and it was not in the ready-to-wear clothes but more like using the old scraps and wrapping them up in the different ways depending from my mood. Sometimes the cloth draping was ending up romantic, classy and airy, sometimes – dramatic, crazy, edgy and suicidal and I loved it. I loved how your vibes can make the same pieces of fabric and turn into the different garments. I also tried to experiment and later on (when I was a teenager and knew the basics of pattern-making) I tried to break those standard rules of pattern-making and since then the question ‘Why Not?’ is constantly living in my mind. It’s the same with people, where my main inspiration come from. I am curious person, I don’t have ‘black & white’, ‘right or wrong’. I am fascinated by any shades, which comes in between. Being fashion designer didn’t come as a thought at the time but exploring into the possibilities, breaking the rules, believing in the impossible and creating something which will be unique became the lifetime thirst.
Would you mind telling us what is your main reason for creating garments? What is the main story behind it?
Growing up in the country with little opportunities or choices, being different meant making garments to yourself by yourself. And I am very grateful for this now. I had also a lot of friends who faced the same dilemma. They ended up asking me to make their outfits because they felt that despite my luck of professional/topical education I can feel their individuality and could create something distinctive just for them. And I was very happy and honoured by their trust and faith in me to translate their individuality into the clothes. At the age of 12 being at school I won the competition and had my crazy collection on the podium. I didn’t realize at the time that it could be my destiny but now I feel that maybe my love for the people and for the world around me can make the difference. I took the risk. And later on in my life, with the encouragement of the close people, after my first degree which was engineering and pure science, I decided to develop the other side of me – the curious one, the crazy and unpredictable one, the one which follow the love for the world and people, the one which constantly wonders ‘Why Not’?
being different meant making garments to yourself by yourself
Your journey with fashion is very inspiring. Could you share with us a bit more of it? What is your attitude towards it and what are your main beliefs?
At the very early age I understood and felt my connection to the people, to the individuals, to their souls, to their moods, to their stories. I started experimenting trying to ‘put’ the mood into the garment. Life moved on, I grew up. I am not that little girl any longer. But I am still being inspired by people and I am still a dreamer. The main problem of our society at the moment to my view is the luck of soul. People are so busy that they find very little time to life conversations, for finding time to understand and appreciate each other, they forgot how to talk, how to make person comfortable, happy, understood. Therefore, it’s all about Loneliness, or ‘The journey of the lonely soul’. It always surprise and amaze me how different, unique and special we all are. There are never same individuals as it will never be the same garment. From other side the world around us is the other inspiration. And what we all are doing to it, is another story. I am a strong believer in sustainability, zero waste and general respect and care towards the environment and people who work in the fashion industry. Hence, I was inspired to create something which will not only benefit people but also be responsible to the world around us. It’s all about giving us another chance to the better future.
I am still being inspired by people and I am still a dreamer.
You have a big potential what can be seen within your designs. What is your dream project you wish to work on and why?
This is probably the wild thought but maybe some creative project in collaboration with some musicians, actors and art installation artists with the idea of finding the ways of using the second-hand materials and resources we‘ve got to re-use to showcase the possibilities to open ‘new in the old and forgotten’ to remind people about what is ‘old and forgotten’ in their human nature, breath in them new hope, new life and remind them that we are the ones who create the reality around us, we are not part of the World , we are the World, and we have to be responsible together with what we create.
Lastly, could you tell us what kind of material source have you used for your graduate collection and why have you used this colour palette?
My sources of inspiration always been music, movies, photography, sculpture and paintings, which had always been the ways of interpreting the vibes of people’s souls. At the same time damage we cause to the environment (particularly in fashion industry) is disturbingly alarming. The society at the same time moved to drowning themselves into the social networks and communications. There is very little space here left to live conversations, where people can give each other love and care. I did research into both subjects – environment and society. That brought me to the solution to use re-cycled denim as the main source of fabric, which in turn defined my colour palette. In the creative process in search of innovative pattern-making I discovered Subtraction-Cutting Method by Julian Roberts, it became the inspiration for my main volume piece. And, which is always important to me, - my constant source and material are my close friends who opened their souls and minds, shared their thoughts and also added lyrics and music to add the personal touch to the collection.
my constant source and material are my close friends who opened their souls and minds
Discover Eugenia Ashton full collection
Words by Katarzyna Korcz