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From Australia, we would like to introduce to you designer Theresa Jackson working out of her Sydney retail outlet and design studio entitled Sark. Originally from London, Theresa was trained as a sculptor at the prestigious Maidstone Art College before deciding to move to Australia and pursue a career in clothing.

During the 1980's she enjoyed a successful period and was widely recognised as one of the top designers in the country. Later, upon the arrival of children she spent a mere ten years making costumes for film and television before returning to design when she founded Sark as a label and studio in February 2009. Sark is an ancient word for rough linen work shirt. Something that is at the core of their aesthetic: clothes that can withstand the test of time originating from a land where nature dictates the way of life.

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Behind Sark lies a philosophy largely influenced by slow thinking driven by the urge to represent an individual and timeless practice. As Australia is very limited in textile production facilities, Theresa sources her fabric from mills in Italy or Japan, but the manufacturing is done locally in Sydney. She selects mainly natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and wool and regularly experiments in ways to achieve zero waste when designing to overcome the throw-away tendencies of today's fashion industry.

Instead of adhering to the traditional vicious circle of exhausting deadlines, Theresa suggests creating a constant flow of smaller offerings as she prefers the creative freedom rather than being in season. There are no seasons only stories based on textile manipulations and sculptural concepts. Consequently, she wishes to be labelled a clothing designer rather than a fashion designer. Because what Theresa crafts is not fashion. What she crafts is practical, well-made garments with a tremendous sense of individuality.

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The clothes of Sark Studio are handmade, locally in Sydney by a team of expert artisans. One garment is usually sewn exclusively by a single craftsperson. At the studio, the team work on design, toiles and hand treatments distinguishing Sark Studio from the mainstream of fashion. For instance, hand pieced patchwork/embellishments, hand washing, dying and painting to achieve a much recognisable patina and a sense of place.

Sark Studio aims to produce a limited run of new creations that all cohere with past designs for their costumers to build a library of clothes that easily fit together. Sark Studio serves as a delightful story of a brand proving our point of designers needing to offer a continuous aesthetic representation rather than re-inventing themselves every other season.

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All pictures by Ian Iveson

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