Toronto Fashion Week, Spring 2011: Fashion as art at Ashley Rowe
By Nancy Won, Photography by Jenna Marie Wakani I’m standing in a dark, moody warehouse space, sipping Vitamin Water, watching a trippy video installation of paint floating through water and I can’t help but feel more like I’m at a hipster art party in the Lower East Side than at a fashion presentation in Parkdale. But then again, this is Ashley Rowe: young, rogue designer and lover of paint splatters.
Instead of a traditional runway show, Rowe opted for an intimate “live art” installation. Models emerged in pairs and walked slowing around a grungy, dye-stained tub. Deepness. The collection featured oversized, unstructured pieces in 70’s-inspired psychedelic tie dyed silks and cottons. Bold, expressive and uninhibited, Rowe reminded us again that at its core, fashion is about creativity, not just high heels and leather leggings (which, by the way: also hot).