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Local designer Max Tan: Fashion should be ‘undesigned’

Max Tan wants to ‘undesign’ fashion, by bringing back clothes that focus on form and purpose


Max Tan endeavours to bring his designs back to a simple philosophy — ‘undesign’

Homegrown designer Max Tan launched his eponymous label in 2010 and since then, his clothes have dressed countless celebrities as well as graced international runways.

We chatted with the young and ambitious designer to find out more about his Spring/Summer 2016 collection.

Tell us the inspiration behind the collection you showcased at the Digital Fashion Week.

The inspiration for Spring/Summer 2016 is a simple and straightforward one — ‘undesign’. We feel that with the fast pace of fashion, clothes are becoming over finished, over designed and over embellished.

Clothes should be just clothes. They should be focused on form and purpose, how they make the wearer look and feel, as well as allow room for creativity.

We revisited some familiar silhouettes and popular styles from our previous collections and reimagined them in new fabrications, different techniques and movement.

Describe your label in three words.

Tailoring, drapery, Asian.

What can we expect to see from your label, after Digital Fashion Week?

We are currently working on our FW16-17 collection at the studio and my plan is to raise more awareness for our first store in Capitol Piazza. We welcome existing and new fans to experience the store and the garments.

Max Tan’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection showcases drape detailing

Max Tan is stocked at boutiques around the world, where do you see yourself expanding to next?

For short term plans, I am really excited about introducing my Chinese New Year capsule store which will be launched in the last week of December.

I’ve prepared a capsule of separates and dresses for the season, so come and see how we apply our DNA on traditional Asian inspired garment types.

Your designs have been described as androgynous and minimalist. How has your label’s aesthetics evolved through the years?

I guess we are still androgynous and minimalist. It is surprising that critics refer to Max.Tan as a brand that is rooted in tailoring. While we appreciate the art of tailoring, the skill itself does not make a brand and we do not aspire to be tailors.

There are some elements, or hints of them, being introduced to the brand over the years alongside other factors which make up our DNA — Asian Drapery, Geometry, Deconstruction and Reconstruction.

by Samantha Francis