Once Nestled in the little Cape Cod town of Orleans is the studio apartment of Ashley Rose Mersky. From there, Mersky ran Ashley Rose Custom Designs, turning out one of a kind custom corsets, dresses and hair accessories.
Ashely Rose Mersky made her first corset in a college class where the point was to use grommets and boning. “It was love at first stitch,” says Mersky. This first corset inspired Mersky so much that she has been designing and sewing collections of them ever since.
After college, Mersky apprenticed with Michelle Fairbanks in Osterville, MA. It was only this past March that Mersky decided to push forward as an independent designer. She began by applying for fashion shows and was picked for the Spring Thing Fashion Show @ AS220 March 19. For the show, Mersky created a 7-piece corset collection and has been inspired to power forward ever since.
A week after the Spring Thing Fashion Show, Mersky was chosen to be in the “World Fashion Contest” at Bally’s Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. “Twenty-two years old and in an international fashion show… still makes me smile just thinking about,” says Mersky.
There is much we can expect from Ashley Rose Custom Designs in the near future. In her corsets are being modeled for Bella Morte Magazine. Then in August, She headed back down to New Jersey to participate as a designer in a Burlesque fashion show. In October, she collaborated with Modern Shades of Grey for Trisha Kelley’s fashion show at the Warwick Museum of Art.
“I have a lot of show offers I’m trying to fit into my schedule and budget. Everything I do is DIY, so I’m doing as much as I can independently,” says Mersky.
Mersky’s old apartment was filled with piles of fabric, reams of ribbon and jars of accessories. The corsets hanging on her racks all vary in color, pattern and style. Some are edgy, others are feminine, but there is definitely one to fit every style. “Corsets fit all personalities and styles. They are for the girly girl to the alternative girl,” say Mersky.
Each corset and dress is completely original. Every fabric is unique and the final piece is adorned with different accessories, lace additions and bows. One of Mersky’s inspirations, undoubtedly, is Betsey Johnson. “I’ve been buying her jewelry, bags and dresses since high school.” Both Johnson and Mersky have the same passion for using floral patterns, edgy cuts, and vintage accessories to create their creative pieces. ”I think we’d be great friends—she seems like so much fun. She is definitely my inspiration.”
Photography: Girlish Writings/ X_GM