I recently spoke with Iris and Mara of Melbourne-based label Thursday Sunday about their inspirations, approach to design and their new collection for summer 2012-2013. The brand is one of my favourites, their ethos in line with all that I love.
Tell me about your inspiration, references and catalysts for creating.
Our design philosophy has always been quite simple “design firstly what is important to us”. We are socially conscious with a focus on classic and minimalistic lines and modern ideals of womenswear.
We have always been very appreciative of incorporating only natural fibers in our collection because it simply feels better on the skin and is made to last. Our pieces can be described as the classic staple that can easily be incorporated into your current wardrobe.
Although we share the same ideals, we bring so many different ideas together. Being mentored by a dressmaker and also coming from completely different backgrounds really puts our design aesthetic into perspective. We are so lucky to have a great little team which is a combination of creative, technical and business minded.
As simple as it is, we are inspired by each other. Our collection can stem from mood boards, sketches, yarn and fabric swatches and from there we are able to openly discuss (most of the time over many cups of tea and coffee!) ideas and the direction we would like to go. We are also very hands on, and spend a lot of time toiling and sampling in house.
Sourcing fabric is also one of our challenges that in the past have worked in our favour. As we only use natural fibres, our fabric choices will usually drive our upcoming collection. We have used more traditional fabrics such as Cotton, Wool, Silk, Linen but have recently been able to utilise Jute, Bamboo, Hemp and Yak Hair.
Thursday Sunday’s Spring Summer 2012/2013 Collection draws inspiration from reflection.
In designing this collection we really got a chance to look back at how far we have come in the time we have launched our label and have really reinforced our philosophy of minimalism designs and natural fibers.
We initially stumbled across a Flora and Fauna Patterned Cotton that we were immediately drawn to. The fern patterned palette in turquoise, shades of blue, mint and pale pink was appealing as it was fresh yet soft – something that was a stark contrast to our crisp and structural designs. Combining this with a white provided a more modern appeal in our classic pieces. This is the first time we have incorporated print into our designs and symbolizes are milestone for us.
White and Shades of White were prominently used in our collection. The muted tone of White is timeless and represents purity, happiness and balance – something which is very important to us.
In combination with Natural Fibers of Cotton, Linen, Hemp/Yak Hair in shades of Teal, Grey Marle, Sand and Burnt Orange we have created a collection which reinforces are classical sensibilities and provides a stepping stone for us to look into the future.
Which films, books, magazines and albums are your favourites?
Film: My Neighbour Totoro
Series: Mad Men
Album: A Tribe called Quest - Midnight Marauders and N.E.R.D – In Search Of
Magazines: Russh and The Gentlewomen
Books: Prada – Michael Rock, Sung Joong Kim, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli
The Happiest Refuge – Anh Do
Tell me about the space you work in.
We recently moved from working from home to a studio in South Melbourne. This was a huge milestone for us! Looking back from where we started, we have become very appreciative and humbled by what we have learnt and achieved. It’s funny because when we first started, working from our own space was only a dream!
Our studio, albeit small, is the perfect working space for us. It is situated at the front of the first floor of an Old Victorian Terrace house. We have three huge windows that overlook the street and provide beautiful natural light. It now has become our home away from home as we eat, drink, laugh, sketch, sample, cut, knit and sew here. We recently also shot our SS13 Look book in our studio.
Our simplistic approach is definitely reflected in our space, we have a lot of plants and actually all our furniture are bits and pieces from home or given to us from family or friends. A close friend of ours – Ari Prasetya – creates furniture from recycled wood and gave us one of his creations to keep in our studio. It is an abstract wooden stool fashioned together with small pieces of recycled wood – put simply an incredible piece of traditional craftsmanship. This inspires us, especially in our Knitwear. Each piece is hand knitted and can take up to three days to complete, but it is all worth it as each piece is never the same as another and the finished product cannot be matched to that done on a machine.
What do you love about Melbourne (a park, a bar, a restaurant, a cafe)...
Great Coffee and Food! … and most definitely not the weather (mind you it can work in our favour as Mara loves Summer and Iris loves winter!)
You don’t even need to be in the City to find great cafes. Our favourites:
1) The Little Ox: 452 New Street Brighton. A small café in a quiet residential area with friendly staff, great coffee and a great breaky menu. It is always busy, but worth the wait!
2) Servery and Spoon: 137 Waverley Road, Malvern East. Alittle hard to find on a main strip in Malvern East but this quirky Café (and food store) has great coffee and an all day breaky menu. Definitely recommend the Mixed Bag Breaky!
What do you like to wear?
Mara & I have known each other since Grade Four (16 years) and although we are known for our similar personalities our dress sense is very different.
Mara wears a lot of trousers and Iris wears dresses (Thursday Sunday of course!) Either way, we both dress very simply as we grew up with the less is more approach. We pretty much live in practical shoes – boots and brogues.
Despite this we both love wearing knits all year around! We wear our hand knitted pieces to death and we just love how they add a little something to your outfit without being too loud.
Tell us about your beauty regime and healthy habits.
Mara: I’m not really a makeup girl but I use a lot of Aesop Products and Dior Mascara.
I ate pretty healthily (most of the time!) and am very fortunate to have a mum who is an amazing cook who is obsessed with fresh ingredients and cooking at home. My favourite food would be Bruscetta with red onion and Kalamata olives. I love going for walks to exercise and clear my mind, not really a gym person.
Iris: I guess I’m the opposite, I wear make up most days but not much. I love Young Blood Primer, Nude by Nature BB Cream for a little coverage and NARS Illuminator. For skin I use Skinstitut cleanser and moisturizer and at night a little Rosehip oil. I go to the gym most days in the morning to start the day. I love Spin and Pump class otherwise I get really bored just walking on the treadmill.
Since we moved to the studio in South Melbourne, we are so lucky because everything we need is walking distance. When we are at the studio we make a habit of walking everywhere and only jumping in the car when we go home. It’s great because we are so close to cafes, supermarkets and not to mention the Market!
What makes Thursday Sunday unique?
We create simple timeless pieces that are not driven by trends. Our approach is minimalist lines that are made of beautiful fabrics that speak for themselves rather then complicated/ busy designs.
We utilize only Natural Fibres and Design and Manufacture in Australia. We are very hands on so ensure our designs reflect our aesthetic. We have a strong sense of localism with our pattern maker and manufacturer all in Melbourne. We have built great relationships with our current team, which is so important as we can work closely together to share ideas and expertise.
Hand Knitted Pieces are also incorporated into each collection. Our knitwear is hand knitted by our Mentor (and Mara’s mum) Gabriella. There is so much versatility in knitwear alone, which cannot be achieved using fabric or a machine. Our knitwear is hand knitted in limited runs (1 of 20).