A tale of two cities.
Hello Friends, my name is Anneliese, the founder & designer of Asher + Archer. I am excited to share with you a little about where we have come from and the ideas behind the first collection.
One’s home and sense of place has seemed more prominent lately finding ourselves in and out of lockdown for the last 12 months. This time has led me to reflect and be more conscious of my surroundings. I would like to share some experiences that inspired A+A and how the influence of 2 cities, Paris and Melbourne have been integral to the design development of our first collection.
Early in my career as a new fashion graduate, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work and live in Paris, France. Through months of working away at my graduate collection and planning my next steps, I was offered an internship working with Australian born designer Martin Grant assisting in preparing for his Automne-Hiver 08-09 show.
A month after graduating (both afraid and excited!) I left the country and my family home to travel and live solo. Travelling for the first time on my own, isolated through not knowing a soul and little of the native language, the months were in a way a deep form of meditation. Forced for the first time to have one focus, and to live in a style of solace for a number of months, it felt like the world stood still. The pace was so different to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and my life there.
Early in my studies I had immersed myself in the world of fashion icons of the 20th century; Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy to name a few. It was quite overwhelming to think I would be walking the same cobbled streets of these Fashion masters.
Having loved Melbourne as a city all my life, and with it becoming my muse for my graduate collection inspired by Melbourne architecture, it seemed quite fitting to be working under a designer whose design ethos seemed to fuse the style of two cities.
During my time in Paris, I grew creatively and mentally. For the first time, I had the chance and the space to listen to myself and hear the voice of the person I was becoming. I knew I loved design, and was enchanted (and petrified) by the experience of living and breathing fashion every day amongst the iconic landscape of this incredible European city.
I returned from Paris completely affirmed that I wanted to become a fashion designer. A different girl came back to Melbourne, a more self-aware person, so grateful and humbled by her experience and ready for the next chapter.
My love of couture & craftsmanship cemented during this trip soon became the forefront of my design ethos, through execution rather than adornment.
A number of my roles were designing bridal dresses. Where you strip away the colour (designing mostly in white) the design has a greater focus on cut, form and texture. This way of working continued through my fashion collections. The designs had an emphasis on form and construction, rather than shade.
While I loved what I was doing so passionately, the days were getting longer, and my spare time was more sparse. It was not until 13 years later, when Melbourne went into lock down early in 2020, where that quietness and that space that I had in Paris was able to return once more.
When I did stop and spent a few weeks at home I felt this yearning for stillness, slowness, a return to a time where things were thoughtfully created with purpose and care. It was a nostalgic time of remembrance of what I had done over the years and a return to what I loved about design. It was in this was the moment where I started to create the collection.
I designed A muted palette and strong graphic lines, which could fit seamlessly into any woman's wardrobe, but something that she will feel special when she is wearing it.
It has been an amazing six months, and wonderful to work directly with women who are wearing our pieces; hear their feedback and what they love about the garments.
I hope you like what I have created so far. I can't wait to show you more.
Click here to see the Melbourne Icons series.