The Making of a Dress Designer

catching up with Linyage to talk heirlooms, brides, and trends

Justine Childs

Lindsay Ulness grew up in Eau Claire and loved drawing since she could remember. In fifth grade her class sewed teddy bears and she fell in love. She asked for a sewing machine for her 12th birthday and started creating her own skirts and bags. “While everyone else was fighting to be Kate Moss, I was declaring myself Coco Chanel and took on the role of dressing everyone,” she said.

She received proper seamstress training at age 16 when she was hired at Vintage Hearts. Lindsay graduated from Memorial High in 2006, attended UW-Madison and did her final year in New York City. One of the dresses from her senior collection was seen by the right person and she ended up designing a handful of custom bridesmaid dresses along with a reception dress that were featured in a publication.

“My path was realized.” Lindsay recalled fondly. But a series of events led her to move back home to Eau Claire. “I felt relief and re-inspired and decided to give up my apartment in NYC and grow where I was planted. It felt so right.” A visit with girlfriends inspired talk about starting a dressmaking business and over waffles, Linyage was born.

Where do you find inspiration?

Lindsay Ulness: “I’m most at home in an antique or thrift store. I am inspired by the lace and fabric I use; I let the fabric create the design. I don’t compare myself to other designers in my industry. My designs are really unique in the bridal world right now. I pull from aesthetic rather than product; milk glass, chandeliers, vintage mirrors, and books to name a few.”

Who is the bride wearing Linyage?

“We have a lot of non traditional, barefoot brides with outdoor or barn weddings, destination weddings, and boho girls.”

How have you evolved from your first dress to your most current?

“Our first dresses were designed from photos or ideas provided by brides who had fallen in love with a dress outside their price range and wanted us to knock it off. That wasn’t our intention. We offer a collection of various skirt styles that can be mixed and matched with our lace tops and bodysuits. Every one of our tops and bodysuits are made from vintage lace that is pulled from my collection.”

What do you love about designing for brides?

“I get to create an experience beyond the dress, each project is a new challenge and I am enchanted by the idea of creating an heirloom.”

What are your trend predictions for bridal fashions?

“I’m really pulling for separates since that’s the direction we are headed! I think we will see more brides wearing color but white weddings are an age-old tradition and will remain the same.”

What can we expect to see from Linyage in the future?

“Expansion! We have a few plans up our sleeves in other avenues of the bridal and wedding industry, so stay tuned ...”

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