Meet Alesha Johnson, the creator behind Alesha Beth. This will be her fourth season on the Omaha Fashion Week runway and we expect to be dazzled by her line of luxury women and children’s apparel. Take a behind-the-scenes look at her process and read about what inspires her work.
How did you get into fashion? Tell me a little about your background.
I have always been creating and I have always wanted to be an artist. I see fashion design as an extension of that. I started sewing in middle school, altering my clothing to make them unique. I started making my dresses for dances, and started working in alterations.
Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey. What category does your brand fall under?
Alesha Beth is a line of luxury women and children's apparel, focused on high quality materials and finishing to provide a long lasting product. I use many classic, feminine silhouettes with exquisite detailing and functional surprises.
What are your goals for your brand?
I would love to see Alesha Beth grow to one day have a storefront and continue to provide a locally produced, quality, and timeless product that will last for generations.
Describe a favorite project that you have worked on.
I really enjoyed making the SAC money dress for fall 2016, but I think this current collection is my favorite. I also enjoyed working with the talented Alison Cloet on our collaborative collection, Flor and Thace, for the spring 2016 season.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired daily by the natural world. I am especially drawn to organic shapes and gentle colors, and often look at things like shadows and the way light plays off of various objects. I enjoy juxtaposing different ideas and objects, such as with this season’s use of gentle, light colors and hard rock accents.
Describe some of the specific inspiration for your new collection.
For this collection I took inspiration from agate and geode rocks. I’m drawing from the streaks and swirls seen when a rock is cut open and polished. I’m also playing off the way light interacts with rock, both glimmering off crystals hidden inside and shining through transparent streaks when a slice of agate is held up to the light.
What kind of materials do you use and why?
This season I’m working with a mix of silk charmeuse, silk crepe de chine, felted alpaca wool, lana wool, frosted vinyl, and an assortment of satin. It has been a challenge to find easily washed fabric for the children's side and maintain high-end fabrics for the women's garments. I am also incorporating velvet, because I love the way it plays with light.
What kind of special processes will you be using in your designs?
I am dying my silk this season to create a cloudy, soft effect for the women's blouses and dresses. I am painting vinyl to imitate the way polished agate looks and incorporating some hand embroidery and wool felting. During construction, it is also important to me that I include pockets in as many dresses as I can.
To learn more about Alesha check out her website and follow along on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date as she developsher collection for the OFW runway this August. In addition to her apparel, she also creates custom fashion illustrations that capture the joy of special moments. If you would like a specialized work of art to celebrate your next occasion visit her shop.