Ashleigh has always enjoyed working in a fast-paced and hands-on environment. Since her youth, she’s had a love for creation and design, developing her sewing skills in high school and going on to compete in multiple Skills Canada competitions. These experiences have led her to continue creating her own garments, both for herself as well as for her friends and family. Through post-secondary electives at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Ashleigh has expanded her creative skill set by exploring the world of print design. Through various surface design projects and classes, she determined that this was a creative outlet that she wants to pursue as a career one day. She is happy to be graduating from the Wilson School of Design with her Bachelor’s degree in Design, Fashion and Technology and is excited for the future.

A few years ago, Ashleigh had a friend who had MTF (male to female) reassignment surgery, in order to confirm their gender identity. Since then, Ashleigh knows this friend has been less comfortable shopping, and often unable to find suitable clothing. Kensho is Ashleigh’s answer to this problem. While transgender people have existed in the world for millennia, they have been distinctly underrepresented in fashion. For MTF trans individuals interested in high intensity workouts, there is a struggle to find athletic clothing that fits, sculpts, and functions appropriately. Ashleigh has done extensive research on the trans experience, with a focus on MTF transition and researching the best fit for athletic garments. She hopes her work causes others to question the gender binary and the traditional way we view fashion and gender. While Ashleigh does not plan to continue her work on Kensho post grad, she values her experiences in learning to fit on different bodies, as well as fortifying the high stress points present with high performance athletic wear.

Prototype photoshoot

Final garments

3D drape of leggings using Clo

Block print using handmade block printed on 100% cotton that was dyed in procion mx dye and bound. Fabric pigment was used to create the final print. The goal of the project was to create a successful repeat print.

Final mountain print

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