Rebel with a hat

“Strangers always asks me if I am rockabilly or a dominatrix,” answers Ashley when I ask to describe her style. “But I am neither. I guess I do borrow from those looks but I don’t really ‘own’ either of those styles fully. I would say that my personal style is a bit ‘future retro’: one part 50’s pin-up, one part space-age goth.” However you picture this, Ashley Ruprecht is a vision of sculpted perfection. She prowls the down town night scene as a hostess at Don Hill’s and Kenmare, coiffed, painted and fitted to a dramatic tee. With her jet-black hair, powdered skin and ruby red lips, she’s an intimidating but alluring presence at the door. Like a stone cold curator she casts and rotates the crowd “like the subjects of a constantly changing performance piece”.

Ashley looks like the svelte, bondage sister of Joanie in Mad Men. Not surprisingly the corseted pencil skirts and restricted undergarments of the Fifties are some of her staples. “Girdles, corsets, garter belts and thigh high cuban heel stockings,” she elaborates. “I love the Fifties because there is a dichotomy between glamour and rebellion in the fashion from that decade. I love the stylized pin-up look that was immortalized in Vargas’ drawings and Bettie Page photographs, as well as the rockabilly ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ looks. And then there was always a hat to complete the look!”

Named after her grandmother, Faeth Millinery is one of Ashley’s many professional ‘hats’. Besides her night job, and day job at the International Creative Council of MTV, she started designing and making a line of hats out of necessity for couture head wear that was either not available to her or out of her price range. She’s had no formal training in millinery but with a triple major in painting, drawing and photography from Cooper Union and a background in sculpting and modeling, it was not such a far stretch to try a hand at it. “I would most definitely call myself a novice at hat making, but I think this actually makes me a little more adventurous with my tools and techniques. I don’t actually know the rules I’m breaking.”

Much like her style icons Isabella Blow (“who I had the fortune of working with on a few Testino shoots before she passed”), Diane Pernet, Thierry Mugler’s muse Lariss and Dita Von Teese, Ashley’s grandmother has been the greatest influence on her fashion direction. “My grandmother and her sister were absolutely fabulous,” she looks back with a sense of gratitude. “They instilled a sense of style and grace in me from a young age. From teaching me how to paint my nails, set pins in my hair and cross my legs like a lady, these women will always be an inspiration!” Her grandmother is also responsible for a funny obsession with salt and pepper shakers. “It all started with a Humpty Dumpty set with rhinestone eyes….”

February 22, 2011

Leave a Comment

22 Responses to “Rebel with a hat”

  1. avatar

    I've been looking forward to your next post ever since i discovered your blog a few days ago 🙂 What a wonderfully talented woman; this complete with my first burlesque show last friday has really made me lust after a more fifties look…x

  2. avatar
    Absolutely Mrs. K - Reply

    she is a fashionable lady, that’s the least you can say. She is so good in black and so good with colors, love her exuberating and edgy style. I think you perfectly subscribed her style. There are so many influences in her clothing style, and yet she can combine them to a total look. and seeing Mugler, I haven’t seen one of this brands garments for years. My mother always loved the Mugler jackets.
    I think the vitra clock is one of the most interesting clocks alive.

  3. avatar

    What a gorgeous creature! Love the styling and the photos…another treat…thank you!

  4. avatar
    niko new new - Reply

    Probably one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the pleasure to set my eyes upon.

  5. avatar
    Christina - Reply

    Wow. I love the in-depth approach you take to creating style profiles. Most are just pictures of women and their piles of trendy clothes, but the stylish, intelligent, creative professionals I see here are so inspiring on every level.

    And I MUST figure out where to buy one of Ashley's hats!

    thank you…

  6. avatar

    Wow! She's gorgeous! And what a smile! Her hats and headpieces are exquisite!

  7. avatar

    she is a striking woman! a modern Renaissance gal apparently, thank you for sharing this!

  8. avatar

    Super gewoon, ik las je artikel in de Belgische Marie Claire en ben meteen komen kijken 🙂
    Volg je !

    Elise x

  9. avatar
    Fashion Forestry - Reply

    God this is such an amazing woman, her description of style is the truth!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. avatar
    Holly Springett - Reply

    Love her style – the third shot with the pop of orange umbrella against the snow is amazing!

  11. avatar
    LaArmoire - Reply

    I just am in love with your blog. Keep rocking this fashion world !

  12. avatar
    B the mermaid - Reply

    this is awesome. and i thought fashionista didn't like bloggers.

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