Ashley Wernher-Collins


BFA Alumni

Major: Textile & Fashion Design

Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement:

All individuals are impacted by the passage of time and human experience. There is no identical path of growth or change. Our position at any one moment is shaped by our emotions, relationships, and interactions. We have the choice to embrace or hide who we are. Our actions, coupled with garments, present us with a decision to represent ourselves in what can be a truly personal and meaningful way.

My inspirations evolve primarily from emotional and physical experiences throughout my adulthood. I am moved by moments that indicate the passage of time, transformation, reflection, and connection. Each garment’s custom silhouette, material, and construction articulate these realities. While I maintain an overall sensitivity to color, pattern, and texture, I intentionally incorporate design surprises in my work. I utilize sculptural materials, interrupted patterns, slits, folds, and gathers to move people on visual and tactile journeys. The discovery of small, intricate details in larger, more complex worlds is part of the joy of living.


Ashley Wernher-Collins is a fiber artist from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She studied Art History at Bowdoin College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1993. In her past and current career she has worked on product development with Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers and Cole-Haan and costume design with Portland Stage Company and Portland Ballet Company.

Ashley’s experience includes weaving, knitting, felting, printing, and pattern drafting. Through textile development and garment construction she explores relationships of pattern, color, texture, and form. Her inspiration comes from natural and architectural environments, materials, relationships of opposites, spirituality, and personal ways of being.

Her current work focuses on designing garments that are a response to an individual’s emotional and physical identity. Her goal is to help people define and present themselves through garments that are specifically designed for who they are. We all have the potential to live proudly as ourselves.