Student Feature: Ashlyn Farenden


Ashlyn FarendenRMIT Student Ashlyn Farenden is currently in her fourth and final year of fashion design (honours). I met Ashlyn back when we both studied Fashion Textile Merchandising at Kangan, from there she went on to RMIT. Ashlyn has always been very determined to make her way in the industry, continuously passionate and motivated. I interviewed her to see where’s she at now! As well check out her video of her latest collection

[vimeo 119724519 w=500 h=281]

Tell us about your time at RMIT. What you’ve learnt and experienced during your studies?

I have enjoyed my time in the course so far and I am about to enter my fourth and final year (honours), which is going to be a lot of work. As well I will be applying to have my collection shown at Fashion Week.

From the course I have gained a few industry-based internships. Such as working for Myer and Nixi Killick. Feedback from these companies was that I was chosen due to my experience and study. They appreciated that I had completed the Fashion Textile Merchandising course (and it also gave me an advantage). The kangan course was more business based. But now i am developing a design background with the BA design (Fashion) at RMIT


You’ve just completed your latest collection. Tell us about your theme? Do you eventually want to create a brand?

In relation to designing a brand in the future. I feel that I see myself within a different place in the fashion industry. Although I love design and have really taken to it since starting the course I feel that a more business based career with design elements such as Product development or Buying would be more what I am aiming towards.

My most recent collection is Cerebral Camouflage. Was created around the idea of dual reality. The way in which we see ourselves is not the way others perceive us to be.

I created layered garments so that you could see each piece being worn. Resembling layers of her personality.

What inspired you to create this collection?

We were given a platform to work off by the designers Boudicca (UK-based) and the statements. I chose to research and look further into was 'Fragmented Souls' and 'Neo geographic'

 I then developed these two statements together instead of researching them individually and progressed to the 'cerebral camouflage' and 'dual reality' concept.


Does your personal style reflect on your designs?

My style when designing is different to how I am as a person. I personally enjoy black, white or grey and usually a simple tailored silhouette.

 However when I am designing (my most recent collection not included) I am usually very sport wear based. You can always see hints of sports wear in my collections, whether it is the fabric choice or the silhouette.I think that is because I enjoy casual dressing and how something can be put together effortlessly.

Your dream job in the fashion industry?

Something I am still deciding upon as I answer this question, but I think it would have to be something within buying or product development. I would ideally like to work for myself; I have a few ideas in the pipeline for that. But I think to gain experience and a handle on the industry I would begin working for someone else.


Your favourite internship since studying?

Favourite internship? I don’t think I could just pick one. Purely because they have all been different and given me different tools that I could apply to my work with and taught me different things along the way.

What fashion designers do you look up to?

Designers I look up to and work I admire would have to be people like Alexander McQueen. I saw his designs at the MET exhibition in New York - 2011, titled ‘Savage Beauty’.

 He definitely designs in a different way to the way in which I design; however I enjoy how he was always telling a story with each collection. He likes to narrate with his work, which is something I also do, especially when doing my folio.

Advice to future students?

It’s hard work but if you're dedicated and you really want it then at the end of the day it’s going to be worth it. It’s always nice to see all those endless nights and hard work pays off in such a visual way.

 Special thanks to Ashlyn xx Good luck with your final year!