Ashley Angresano


Editor's note: For the next two weeks, Fashionably Cleveland is paying homage to up-and-coming local designers. Each story subject is a graduating senior at Kent State University, and each story is written by another KSU student. Keep an eye out for these emerging fashion designers - you'll surely be hearing more about them in the future.

Simple, elegant, luxurious – a small combination of elements that, when applied properly in a design, can steal your breath away. For many women, it is precisely that combination that they seek out when searching for the most important dress that they will ever wear: their wedding gown. By designing a collection of wedding gowns that impeccably execute this combination of elements, Ashley Angresano, has accomplished her final task as a track II technical fashion design major at Kent State University. 

Originally from Cranberry Township, Penn., a suburb just outside of Pittsburgh, Ashley has had a lifelong interest in pursuing a career in fashion design. She received her first sewing machine at thirteen and has been infatuated with browsing through fabrics and creating her own unique designs ever since. In high school, her art and sewing classes further fueled her passion and lead her to Kent State’s renowned Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.

In her freshman year, Ashley’s exceptional talent landed her an invitation to the Teen Vogue Fashion University event, where she spent the weekend in New York City assisting Roxy’s head women’s wear designer in creating a new swimsuit for the popular lifestyle brand. Additionally, while at Kent, Ashley has contributed her designs to numerous fashion shows, which served as a platform for Ashley to express her creativity as a designer. She was even rewarded for her outstanding ability at the school’s “Pure Blue” fashion show, which cultivated awareness for the clean water crisis, by winning the award for “Best Design.” It was an event that marked one of her proudest and most memorable moments as a designer.

When she has the opportunity, Ashley enjoys scouring the streets of NYC to find one-of-a-kind textiles to work with in her designs. To spark her creativity, she looks to nature and her surrounding environment for inspiration. 

She states that, “as a designer, I am constantly inspired by things I see everyday, from a beautiful color I see in a flower to a construction pattern I see on a bridge.” 

Keeping in mind the importance of timeliness within the industry, the construction time that is put into one of Ashley’s pieces depends predominately in its deadline. She has created dresses that have taken just twenty hours to complete and others, like the gowns in her senior collection, that have taken over one hundred.

By recently completing an internship for The Laura Lynn Collection in Cleveland, Ashley has developed an excellent working knowledge of the bridal industry. Her hard work and experience in completing alterations, developing patterns and creating custom gowns, has set the stage for her senior collection. 

According to Ashley, “the best part about designing is making your dreams turn into reality, or making someone else’s dream come true, such as creating a wedding gown for a woman who has been dreaming it up her whole life.” 

Using 100% silk charmeuse, chiffon and duchess satin shipped from California, Ashley has interpreted her inspiration of ocean coral into her gowns by meticulously recreating its organic, soft, and flowing appearance, making her collection an ideal choice for a young bride with her heart set on a destination wedding. 

She elaborates, “My collection was designed with a trendy bride who is getting married on a beach in mind, but it is for any bride who wants a unique and modern wedding gown that is simpler than a huge ball gown, but is still elegant and makes a statement.”

After graduation, Ashley aspires to begin her career by working under a major design label where she can further employ her talent and skill as a designer. Her shining creativity, skill, and vision to create designs that make women feel beautiful, confident, and trendsetting are assured to benefit any company that is lucky enough to gain Ashley as a designer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010