Style File: Amber Gardner from Shjark

Style File Amber Gardner from Shjark

Designer Amber Gardner from Shjark. Image supplied.

Amber Gardner launched contemporary womenswear label Shjark in 2016 and recently opened her first flagship boutique in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Amber spent over a decade working for menswear label Murray Crane and Workshop before taking the plunge with her own label. Shjark has rapidly gained loyal followers for its clean, elegant aesthetic and each collection is comprised of the perfect pieces to build a modern woman’s wardrobe.

We caught up with Amber to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing.

Tell us about your latest collection?
My new season collection is a rich medley of lust-worthy textures and colours, and its the combinations of these that Shjark is gaining a following for.

Chocolate is the new black, and it’s pairing with deep scarlet reds, neutral tans and golds reveal some of my influences this season. A mixture of ’70s cool with a splash of western; because the Shjark spirit is never far from the desert. Which is where my reference always begins for the tobacco, ochre tones I love, cooled off this season with Arctic Blue for a breath of fresh air.

The A/W 18 collection features unique seaming details and silhouettes in of-the-moment, but oh so classic wardrobe staples. Strong on coats as always, the tailoring is soft but evident; a reflection of the times, designed for strong busy women, needing clothes to ‘get-shit-done-in’.

What made you become a designer?
It was always on the cards for me. I have creative parents, and as a child I wanted to be an architect – a passion I still hold today. However, in my teen years my mother really opened up my eyes to the all the exciting things happening in NZ fashion at the time, we always had the latest local fashion magazines in our home and my heart was set on being a designer since then.

What inspires you?
I think as a designer you just naturally absorb everything around you and it’s that amalgamation that comes together subconsciously to form the direction of a collection. However, if I’m ever a bit stuck it’s often due to our modern problem of information overload. That’s when I turn to quiet time in nature to cleanse and revitalise the creative flow.

Style File Amber Gardner from Shjark

Looks from Shjark’s A/W18 collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Having previously worked for other brands and starting my career in menswear, I’ve always designed with the client in mind. With my own brand, naturally, its a reflection of my own style and I’m pleased the so many women really connect with it. I favour clean lines, beautiful tailoring and natural fabrics. Wearable yet desirable. I think its time everyone moved on from black so I try to offer women a unique colour palette for a modern modular wardrobe.

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
My Tonkinese cat Cash! He makes us laugh every day. Retail related, I love a good shoe and can’t get enough of my APC sandals, although it’s almost too cold for them now – booo.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
This season, invest in a coat and some great fitting jeans – I can help you out in that department.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
No rules as such, except that if you look and feel good before you leave the house your guaranteed to have a better day.

Style File Amber Gardner from Shjark

Looks from Shjark’s A/W18 collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
A few weeks ago I opened my first store for Shjark. It’s an open studio style space, and an absolute pleasure to work from everyday.

What can’t you live without?
The ocean – my happy place.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Never say never in Fashion.

Images supplied.

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