Asphyxia is Alexandra De Francesco, a fashion designer and textile artist. A graduate of OCAD with a Bachelor of Design degree, Alex creates spectacular wearable art couture, which also incorporates her flair for floral design. From time to time she also creates limited edition screen printed work for every day wear.
Asphyxia’s work has been called “bad-ass feminity,” “dark and daring,” “pin-up dominatrix chic,” “punk goth power,” “bordello in hell,” and “sultry Downton Abbey vibe.” Her most recent collection was GOSSAMER, a stormy, passionate and decidedly non-traditional bridal collection. It was presented at [FAT] 2015.
An edgy innovator, Alex immerses herself in inspiration and is always pioneering new heights in dark, one of a kind wearable art employing unconventional materials with exceptional and dynamic results. Reverence for classical lines and shapes is reinterpreted through the exploration of a virtual Pandora's box of references, including nature, feminism, philosophy, sustainability, history, the occult, body modification, ritual customs, death, mourning and decay. Alex defines wearable art as anything you can imagine to wear on the body; anything that is meant to put the body on display. It can modify, bring a fantasy to life, or simply be an art form. Referencing Victorian mourning customs, Alex enjoys breathing new life into a variety of organic and salvaged materials such as disintegrating lace and beadwork, ancient silks, recycled fur and leathers alongside hand-spun water soluble threads, hand-dyed and silkscreened fabrics. Look for creative use of live flowers, foliage and plumage, incredible textures, distressed fabrics, intricate and delicate beadwork and tiny remembrances worn close to the heart, brought together with new meaning in pieces that strengthen and empower.
Asphyxia has exhibited at the Textile Museum of Canada, The Gladstone Hotel and Gallery X, her work has been featured in Auxiliary Magazine, and she has been a featured designer in Dakvanity and OCAD's Tour De Force among other shows. Asphyxia presents collections yearly at [FAT], where attendees know her not just for her fashion, but also for her magnificent performance art runway shows. Her first show at [FAT] was in 2008 in the duo collection RESURRECTION with Magdelina Designs. She returned to [FAT] 2009 with the trio collection SALVATION, with Magdelina Designs and Empire Jewellery. In 2010 she presented WRATH, her first solo collection. She had the crowd gasping with excitement and intrigue over her spectacular collection MONUMENT and its heart-stopping aerial finale at [FAT] 2011, and stole the show at |FAT| 2012 by having a dress cut off a model onstage to reveal the final floral jewel in her collection BLOOM. In 2013, her collection BLUSH & ALABASTER was a spectacular tribute to Marie Antoinette and her Milliner-Dressmaker. Her 2014 collection BEAUTIFUL & DAMNED spotlighted scarlet sirens, dazzling dames and hedonistic headdresses, featuring new heights of glamour and grit combined.
Following are a few of Alex’s favourite quotes about her work. You will find many more on the Press page.
“Punk, goth, power … dress being cut live onstage!” - Hannah Yakobi, Fajo Magazine
"Edgy and modern attitude… designs offset by the classic lines and materials that are very reminiscent of a 1920′s flapper … while everybody left the show alive it’s safe to say that Alexandra De Francesco’s collection entitled Bloom took our breath away… Last year she wowed the crowd with her aerial performance, this year she gave us a fleeting garden and unique view at an alteration leaving a lasting impression on the audience.” – Style Empire
“Asphyxia's finale? 9.2 on the awesomeness scale!” – tweet from audience member
photo by Chris Blanchenot: http://www.blanchenot.com/