Ashnita Mehjabeen is no stranger to the runways of the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival. Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, this Saskatoon-based designer will be sharing her evening-wear inspired looks with the city once again on the opening night of the festival on October 20. We sat down to talk with Ashnita about her inspiration, what it’s like designing in Saskatoon and the lessons she learned from last year’s festival.
Q: Could you tell me a little about your designs?
AM: My designs are mostly evening wear and for cocktail parties. The other side would be designs you could wear at work but would also work for hanging out or going shopping. Like a day into night look.
Q: How long have you been designing for?
AM: I have been designing since 2015 and I achieved my diploma in fashion design from the Academy of Fashion Design in Saskatoon
Q: You actually moved from Dhaka, Bangladesh after high school to pursue that diploma, is that right?
Q: Was there anything particular about Saskatoon that drew you to study fashion here?
AM: There is nothing specific about Saskatoon, I just liked the weather here and I like having chosen to be in Canada. Why I'm in Saskatoon? It's because it's not highly popular and there's a small fashion community so I can connect to everyone and easily — it's good for business.
Q: What sort of reaction have you gotten from Saskatoon about your designs?
AM: So far, I have had positive reactions from everyone [at] whatever show I've done. They like my designs and I like selling to them. People are also placing orders for bridesmaids' dresses and even wedding dresses. So, I'm pretty happy about that.
Q: Your designs use a lot of silks and lace. Is there any particular reason you're drawn to those fabrics?
AM: I find them to be fancier. They give an elegant look that’s not too fancy and it's not really mild. I just like the satin, sequins and the looser knits. These are my priority when I choose fabrics.
Q: What was it like presenting at SFDF last year?
AM: Last year, my designs were colour-themed using white and gold. There wasn't really a specific reason behind that, but the thing is that I get inspired from everywhere. This idea came from a wedding decoration which was gold and white and I really liked the combination and it gives a really good vibe. It's not seasonal. You wouldn't say that white is the colour of fall or a summery colour. It was a party theme.
Q: Do you have a theme going on for this year's presentation?
AM: For the coming show I have chosen colours of flowers, which are like bright hues such as orange, red, hot pink, and yellow. The inspiration came from a flower bouquet and flowers of all colours.
Q: What sort of pieces can we expect to see on the runway this year?
AM: I'm trying to showcase some more long gowns and short cocktail dresses.
Q: What did you learn from presenting in last year's event that you're applying to the runway this year?
AM: There was the Market and I didn't have a lot of dresses over there. I kept it very limited and this time I'm hoping to stock a lot. As for the runway, it was all good and will just follow whatever I did last year.
Q: Did you feel like there was a strong reaction to your show last year?
AM: Yes, there was really. There were crowds right after my show, people [were] coming to me and talking about my dresses, which I like and really appreciate.
Ashnita’s eveningwear designs had us dreaming of fabulous footwear that could take you all about town. Luckily Midtown has shoe stores for every occasion.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR FALL 2018
(Delta Bessborough Hotel)
SFDF Marketplace October 20 and 21 @12pm FREE!
SFDF Reception October 20 and 21 @6pm
SFDF Runway October 20 and 21 @7:30pm
SFDF Conference and Workshops October 20 and 21 @1pm
Experience SFDF and purchase your tickets at www.saskfashion.com