As part of our role as the Official Hair Sponsor for Face Fashion, recently held in Melbourne, we had the opportunity to work with some amazing emerging Australian designers.
One of the many inspiring designers who showcased, was Sheridan Joyce; owner and designer of Skylark the label. Progressing from the concept of ‘sustainable design’ Skylark is a brand producing pieces that combine the consideration of Zero-Waste pattern design with Slow Fashion developed textiles.
Sheridan is an extremely talented lady, who we had the pleasure of sitting down with to talk all things fashion.
At what age did you know that fashion was the career path you wanted to follow?
I first started designing in my early teens because I have always had a love for art and drawing. It wasn’t until later in my teenage years that I took my designs further than just fashion illustrations. It was not until the end of my my high school education I that decided to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts (Majoring in Fashion Design) at Curtin University to formally start designing and enter the fashion industry.
Who are your key influences, that you pull inspiration from?
Currently I am pulling inspiration from Norway, both in regards to land and culture. During my honours research in 2015 the culture I chose to explore was Norwegian because of my own family heritage, my great-grand mother was from Bergen, Norway. The rich tradition and mindfulness of nature that are typical characteristics of Norwegian design that have inspired aspects of each of SKYLARK’s collections; ~forelsket~, .REFLEKTERE. and the upcoming .KOSMOS., as well as the brand as a whole. In terms of designers I am hugely inspired by Japanese designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto and of course Issey Miyake. I am always amazed and in awe of how they balance simple and complex design elements and try to push innovation. They hold a special reverence towards traditional craftsmanship but through their practice rework and adapt it to a modern context.
Your garment production, made-to-measurement, is like nothing we have seen before, can you tell us a bit about it?
I have two forms of production, ready-to-wear and custom design- both are made to order. In terms of the ready-to-wear this is designed using zero-waste design practices in order to reduce textile waste produced.
In regards to custom design projects, which is the product of a collaboration between SKYLARK and KIYAKAYA (@kiyakaya_ or www.kiyakaya.com), A client is invited into the studio where they attend a consult to develop a design and undergo a body scan. This data is used to grade the design to the client’s sizing to prototype on a digital mannequin of the client’s measurements. This allows for the client to see exactly how the design will fall on their body without fabric waste or the extra expense of physical fittings. Through alterations (completed digitally) the design can be made as close to the desired design as possible. Once the client is happy with the projected design the pattern is printed, fabric is cut and sewn at the studio, located in Perth, Western Australia.
What makes your designs different?
By using traditional design techniques such and zero-waste design (to develop patterns) and slow fashion principles (to develop textiles) and combining them with technology, I am attempting to make these sustainable design practices more accessible to a wider audience.
What is your favourite fabric to work with?
It’s hard to narrow it down to a specific fabric but my favourite fibre to work with would definitely be silk. Most people would think of a flowy satin-like fabric when thinking of silk, however the fibre can range from a coarse, structured raw silk textile to a fine ethereal silk chiffon- with a range of weights and textures between. It’s a beautiful fabric to exist in, it has an air of ‘preciousness’ about it.
Tell us a bit about your Zero-Waste Design practices?
Zero-Waste Pattern Design is the process of designing a garment with the aim of minimising or eliminating any textile waste from a given piece of fabric.
The typical way in which a non-Zero-Waste garment is designed is by a design being developed through research and illustration on a model and from that a pattern is derived to create the finalised illustrated design. This causes the design to produce waste because the fabric used is cut specifically to recreate the design. In this situation the garment design is very linear: Step 1. Design, Step 2. Pattern, Step 3. Cut and Sew, etc.
Zero-Waste Pattern Design is slightly different as to ensure the pattern uses most or all of the fabric therefore the designing of the garment occurs simultaneously with the designing of the pattern.
During my Honours research in 2015 I was attempting to highlight the commercial feasibility of Zero-Waste Pattern Design. This research was done through manual drafting so while the outcome resulted in Zero-Waste garments there was waste as a result of the prototyping and project development
Tell us something about yourself, that your customers wouldn’t know about you?
My fascination with Norwegian culture started during my honours because I wanted to frame my research within a cultural heritage link. My great-grand mother was from Bergen, Norway so thus allowed me to use my research to learn about part of my family heritage. Due to how mindful Norwegian culture is towards sustainability in design it was a fluid connection.
Tell us a bit more about your collection?
The collection on show at the Face Fashion Event was .REFLEKTERE. a follow on from my Honours collection ~forelsket~ (which was inspired by Norwegian Spring/Summer, traditional folk art and natural flora). .REFLEKTERE. was a more refined follow on from ~forelsket~, taking inspiration from Norwegian landscapes reflecting in the fjord waters like mirror images. In terms of the forms I was attempting to make the collection more accessible and commercial following the original theme of displaying the commercial merit of Zero-Waste Pattern Design.
Tell us a little about the outfits you wore to Face Fashion?
During the events I wore two outfits which are a preview of the next collection .KOSMOS. a collection inspired by the Northern Lights and Norwegian winter. This collection will still include Zero-Zero-Waste Design practices combined with some embroidery elements but will also use hand painting to develop original textiles. This collection will be scheduled to debut at Eco Fashion Week Australia later this year.
Sheridan is an extremely talented designer, we wish her the utmost success for her brand and look forward to being a part of her fashion journey!
You can find her designs at www.skylarkthelabel.com
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