Designs fit for royalty
Ashlee Kalantarian, the creative talent behind Mount Gambier based design business A’el.este Couture, is no stranger to her stunning accessories being showcased by celebrities but waking up last Tuesday morning to see her designs on the front page of the News Corp publications was a first.
The late Princess Diana’s nieces, Lady Eliza and Lady Amelia Spencer, were front and centre of the Herald Sun and The Advertiser cup coverage with both wearing headpieces from the A’el.este Couture range, with Lade Amelia also wearing one of Ashlee’s stunning hand painted capes.
The 31-year-old twin sisters, who are both models, were Victoria Racing Club ambassadors for the race that stops a nation – the Melbourne Cup.
Lady Eliza and Lady Amelia are the daughters of Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl of Spencer, and his former wife, model Victoria Lockwood. Charles was Princess Diana’s brother and delivered her eulogy on behalf of the family.
A’el.este Couture has been a popular designer of choice for celebrities at recent Spring Carnivals and in the past month Channel 7 racing expert Katelyn McDonald (Mallyon) showcased headwear from the Mount Gambier business.
When it comes to turning a hobby into a career, it doesn’t get much more dramatic than Ashlee’s story.
The mother of two boys, and former graphic designer and flight attendant, started designing brooch bouquets and head pieces as a hobby to fuel her creative appetite. Those head pieces have now graced the runways and streets of New York during Fashion Week and since 2016 a conga line of celebrities have showcased her unique pieces.
Rising Aussie acting talent Jess McNamee, of Packed to the Rafters fame, Yummy Mummy Melissa Watts, Michael Klim’s partner Desiree Deravi and My Kitchen Rules’ Zana Pali led a list of celebrities that have chosen the Mount Gambier designer for their race day headwear.
Aussie music sensations Emma and Amy Sheppard have also ensured A’el.este Couture has been on the national stage, as has racing doyen Francesca Cumani and Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne.