Is a Louth-born graduate set to be the next UKs top fashion designer?

The dress that Ashley has designed will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.
The dress that Ashley has designed will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.

A fashion graduate brought up in Louth has designed and made a special gown that is set to be auctioned off to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.

Ashley Janney,25, was educated at Monks Dyke School and graduated from University for Creative Arts Rochester with honours in June last year.

Strood Community Project which is based just 10 minutes from Rochester approached Ashley and asked him to make a dress for them to auction off.

Inbetween his own fashion dream, Ashley is currently working in the industry at Vesper Dresses and hopes to continue working on his own Ready-to-wear collection.

He said: “I chose fashion as my career because I love being creative and love making stylish garments which make women feel great about themselves.”

It took Ashley four months to turn the dress from a design into a reality and is happy with the end results, but admits it was a battle.

He added: “When I was approached to make the dress, I only had a domestic sewing machine so it took a long time to make. It would have been easier if I was doing it now as I finally have an industrial sewing machine. I had been fitting the dress making around work and sewing bits on and off since November.”

Ashley also comments on the style for his own collection and which designers he is inspired by. “There are many designers I look up to for different things. I like Versace for their incredible print designs and bold styles, Ellie Saab is extremely elegant, I love Fendi and Victoria Beckham. The list goes on, Ashley said.

“My niche will be varied as I want to hit a wide range of customers. I will have my ready-to-wear line which will be garments I have designed and made myself. I will also have my made-to-measure line where people can come to me with ideas they want and I will make the design.

“I’m happy with the dress and so are the charity I made it for. There are a few bits I would of done differently, but I didn’t have the industrial sewing machine at the time.

“I am hoping it sells well and raises good money for the Royal British legion.”

The dress is being auctioned off on Ebay. The auction will end on April 2.

1 If you want more info on the dress or are looking to make a bid, visit: if you would like to see more of Ashley’s work, please visit his page via: