Labor of love

Former Stillwater resident debuts fashion line

Submitted photo
Ashley Ostrowski, right, with her mother, Kathy, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Kathy is Ashley’s inspiration to start her Dolli´a Fashion line of clothing.

It’s been two years of planning, preparation and organizing, but fashion designer and former Stillwater resident Ashley Ostrowski is set to launch her fashion line, Dolliá Fashion, in memory of her mom on Oct. 13.

A 2007 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout fashion design program, Ostrowski studied in Europe and interned in New York with designer Anna Sui and David Rodriguez before landing a corporate job at Target designing the retailer’s boy’s clothes line.

Ostrowski lives in Woodbury, and is about to make a splash with her very first spring/summer 2013 fashion show at Stillwater’s VFW with encouragement from her number one fans: her boyfriend, father and other supporters four years after her mother passed away from breast cancer.

“(They) told me after my mom passed away that life is too short and I should start small and follow my dreams, so that’s what I did.” said Ostrowski. “This fashion show is bigger than what I expected it to be.”

The show coincides with breast cancer awareness month and show proceeds go toward the University of Minnesota’s breast cancer research center.

Ostrowski’s line is inspired from the vintage glamour of the 1940s and 1950s. She loves embellishments: bows, curls, feathers, lace and whimsical cutouts that are unexpected. She says her clothes have a romantic feel to them. The featured fashions at the show include high-waist pants, flowing cocktail dresses and vintage-looking swimwear.

“I personally don’t like some of the stuff that fashion has become with how it objectifies women and focuses on a specific body type,” Ostrowski says. “When I look at people like Marilyn, and Audrey I feel like we’ve lost touch with what glamour and fashion is all about.”

The show features 29 outfits, a full stage and runway and Danni Starr from B96 will host. Auctions of embellished bras (donated by other designers) and fashions modeled on the runway will take place during the event, while raffles and other small items will be available for purchase.

Though the planning and stress have taken their toll on Ostrowski she said putting it together has been worth it.

“It’s 200 percent worth it. I’m about to do what I never expected. It has taken a toll on me to keep me focused on other areas of my life and this. But this is for my mom,” Ostrowski said. “I want to help people. I want there to be more research available for other people’s moms, friends and family members so that people don’t have to go through what I had to with losing my mom.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or online at VIP tickets cost $30 and include runway-side seats with wine and appetizers from Luna Rossa, and treats from Angelina’s Kitchen in Woodbury and Dorothy Ann’s Bakery. General admission tickets cost $15. Tickets must be paid for in cash, but credit cards can be used for the garment and bra auction. The show takes place at Stillwater VFW (5880 Omaha Avenue N. Stillwater). Cocktail hour begins at 5:45 p.m. and the runway show begins at 7:30 p.m.