Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staff Spotlight: Lindsey Trueman

We are lucky to have a staff of talented and creative sewists, all with their own focus and style. Lindsey Trueman joined the Stonemountain Team in 2015, while she worked to earn her MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Lindsey recently completed her degree and was awarded the opportunity to show her thesis collection at New York Fashion Week. This is an honor bestowed to only thirteen of their graduating class. Everyone at Stonemountain was so proud and excited for Lindsey, as we knew how hard she had worked on her collection outside of her time in the shop.

We had the chance to speak with Lindsey about her experience in the world of fabric and sewing.

StMD: When/How did you start sewing?
LT: My mom taught me how to sew when I was very young - she sewed a lot of our clothing growing up and had been sewing her own clothing since she was young. Both of my grandmas sew as well, so I was surrounded by it! I don't really remember a time when I didn't know how to sew, it was such a common part of my childhood for my mom to be making things. 

StMD: Tell us about your first trip or earliest memory of visiting a fabric store.
LT: I don't distinctly remember one specific time visiting a fabric store, but I do remember taking trips to get fabric frequently. I was always excited to see what my mom would choose, and it was such a great experience to be surrounded by beautiful fabrics and so many possibilities!

StMD: What is your favorite fabric to work with?
LT: This is a tough choice - I am completely in love with wool, especially coating. I love how you can mold it and create such beautiful tailoring with it. I have also grown to love linen, being completely surrounded by it over the last year working on my senior collection - it has a mind of it's own and does what it wants. “Just listen to the material. What is it going to say? Just wait. Probably the material will tell you something.” - Yohji Yamamoto; I've heard often is that fabric will tell you what it wants to do - this was the case with linen for me. I hadn't worked with linen much before starting my collection; it taught me so much, how to release control and how to listen to what the fabric wants to become - in the end this was much more beautiful than it would have been had I forced it to do something it didn't really want to do. I also adore using all types of repurposed fabric, especially leather. Taking apart a second hand garment or textile connects me to it's life and story, this connection to an item inspires me to honor its history by giving it a new life and new story where it will continue to be valued and appreciated.

StMD: What have you learned about fabric through your experience at Stonemountain?
LT: I have learned so much from working at Stonemountain! Probably one of my favorite (and geekiest) things is how to do a burn test to determine the content of fabric. I have also learned a ton about all of the kinds of fabric that exist - so many varieties of wool, silk, cotton, interfacing! I feel sometimes like I've learned through osmosis, just being around all the fabric and helping customers choose the right materials for their projects teaches me so much!

StMD: What is your favorite area of the store?
LT: This is definitely a toss up between the fashion room and upstairs - there are so many incredible silks, wools and linens in the fashion room but there is almost no better feeling than the treasure hunt upstairs when a new shipment of designer samples arrives! SO many amazing gems to be found for so cheap!

A peek at Lindsey's inspiration board.

More images and notes on her process can be found on Lindsey's website, along with this explanation:

The inspiration for my thesis collection began with a photograph I recently found of my great-great-grandmother, Mary Esther Brereton-Ingram, when she was in her early 20s. She passed away in 1920 when she was just 27 years old only two weeks after her last of six children was born. She was so close to my age when she died, but had such a different life - I am deeply haunted and inspired by this photograph and her story. She was so young but had so much fierceness, dignity, wisdom and grace in her eyes. Inspiration also came from my indigenous heritage as well as from Christopher Nemeth’s repurposing of old postal sacks.

Lindsey's collection on the runway at New York Fashion Week

Runway photos by Getty Images
In order to be as sustainable as possible, the fabrics used are repurposed antique textiles (linens and grain sacks), designer end cuts (brocade, wool, cotton) and linen, a naturally eco-friendly fabric. Antique grain sacks bearing original graphics, initials and embroidery were repurposed to create tailored silhouettes with a rough edge, juxtaposed with linen and cotton gauze to add softness. Melody Hesaraky, M.F.A. textile design, created the burnout brocade print for Look 5. Garments appear to have already had their own life and story, giving a sense of their history and the people who used them. I want to honor that history and simultaneously modernize it -- in the same way that I want to honor my own heritage, draw strength from it and build a legacy for the future.

See more of Lindsey's work at and follow her on Instagram @lindsey.gail.