108B_AStrout_PMcMullan_PMcMag_050111

Who Am I ?

ASHLEY STROUT

May 2011

1: Who am I?

Ashley Strout, emerging textile designer.

2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a project with designer Courtney Gamble, who is the head designer of MessQueen New York, an emerging leggings designer. I’m designing prints for her new line. She is a long time friend from fashion school. I’m also looking to freelance prints for designers, to create custom fabric prints for their line. I plan to open up my version of a fabric store. It will be like walking into a dive bar, but instead of grabbing a cocktail, you will be buying yards of custom fabric. I want the vibe of the store to be abstract and edgy–not like the typical fabric stores you walk into. I tend to view the world on a darker level, but I feel I’m able to find the positives within topics that most people may find dark or depressing. My prints are filled with dead roses, dark laces, and illustrations with a touch of dark humor.

3: Where are you from and where are you going?

I was born in Long Beach, California. I wanted to live in New York my whole life, though I spent majority of my upbringing in cookie-cutter Orange County, California. Thanks to my diverse upbringing, I was exposed to a different, non-judgmental lifestyle. My childhood was split between Los Angeles and Orange County. Los Angeles always gave me inspiration to do my art and be creative. According to my mom, when we were leaving L.A. and crossing back into Orange County, I would say, “We’re going back to Huntington Beach, not the real world.” I believe not being attracted to the norm gave me motivation to gain experience and travel. I moved to New York at age twenty-two to go to fashion school. I got my AA in Fashion Design and Merchandising. While studying in New York, I took a textile course. That’s when I realized my real passion was fabric design. It was perfect for me because I love fine art, and fashion and fabric design gave me the ability to combine both. I applied to Central Saint Martins in London in 2009, and was accepted into the textile BA program. I spent a year and a half studying abroad, and focused in wovens and prints. Now residing in New York, I’m pushing to become an avant-garde textile designer, bringing a dark-side and handcrafted element to fabric design. My work is like a marriage between Shel Silverstein and David Lynch.

4: Who is your biggest hero?

My father and Salvador Dali.

5: What book is your bible?

Vogue Magazine and James and the Giant Peach.

6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?

I love lace, dark features, the socially awkward, silent films, roses, jazz, tree houses, city life. I hate flaky people, insincerity, and uneducated judgments.

7: What is your raison d’être?

To keep the sincere quality of handcrafted design.

8: What is your favorite color?

Black.

9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

Does Lydia from beetle Juice count?

10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?

The picture archives at the New York Public Library.

11: What turns you on?

Being yourself, and anyone who practices their passion.

12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?

Q: Would you rather watch a film with or without sound?

A: I think the less you have to say the more beautiful something is. Keeping a simplicity to life. It’s about embracing the visual and letting the rest of your senses flow naturally.

Ashley Strout, a 27-year-old textile designer, is shy and visually inclined. She is now working on her own textile business.

LINKS:

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Overseen by Jillian Mercado

Questions by PMc Magazine

Edited by Meaghan Coffey

Photography by Marne Lucas Photography

Design by Jillian Mercado

Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”

Captions:

Ashley Strout, 2011, Photography by Marne Lucas Photography

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