Edited by Jose Morales
– CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR EDUCATION AS A FASHION DESIGNER IN SINGAPORE?
I am Max Tan, and I am a designer based in Singapore with my own eponymous brand, MAX.TAN. I graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2007 and began designing full time in 2010 and have been active in the fashion industry since.
– WHAT WAS THE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR YOUR LATEST COLLECTION (PICTURED HERE)?
The source of inspiration for this collection are uniforms of all sorts. Titled “Codes,” the garments are influenced by the kind of wardrobe staples in someone’s closet; the pieces that are so easy to wear that they are almost in a way “uniforms.” The collection includes breezy white shirt dresses, sling tent dresses, and billowy lantern jumpsuits. All modern, but at the same time suitable for equatorial dressing.
– WHAT DO YOU FEEL MAKES A DESIGNER SUCCESSFUL?
A successful designer, in my opinion, is one that is able to last and transcend past fleeting fashion trends. Having a strong opinion and brand story is part of the common formula.
However, as the world “grows smaller” (digitalization allowing people to easily access information at an unprecedented speed), the fashion world has seen fashion weeks, which are not part of the major four cities, showcase interesting collections with a strong point of view. It is exciting times to live in, and more important than ever, I feel designers need to reflect and have the ability to translate their culture into the garments that they design.
Being based in South East Asia, and sitting right on the equator to be specific, we are known for Tropical dressing – prints and an almost stereotypical resort wear “look.” I want to challenge that stereotype. The way a sarong wraps and folds around the wearer is just as beautiful as a kimono. In my collections, I try to include South East Asian elements and present them in a new light.
– TOUCHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND HOW THE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE COUNTLESS NUMBER OF TRENDS THAT CAN ENTER THE MARKET FROM WEEK TO WEEK?
I observe trends but do not follow them that closely. Instead, I look at the socio-political news and what is happening on the streets rather than the catwalk. To me, these are fresh and “original” materials to work off from, rather than run of the mill catwalk and trend pictures.
– CAN YOU SHARE WITH US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING A COLLECTION?
The development processes that I go through in the studio is extremely important to me. I rarely sketch during the development part of my collection. I collage, experiment with drapes, etc. I believe every designer should have different sets of development processes rather than sketching. We live in a digital world where we are constantly bombarded by visuals whether we like it or not. It is easy to sketch off memory, but that’s a dangerous path to tread!
– WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH AS A DESIGNER?
I think my greatest strength as a designer is my ability to encapsulate where I am from and present these ideas in a modern light. With my clothes, I want women to feel powerful and feminine, all at the same time. I think femininity is not just in showing the contours of a female form, but also how a woman moves. I love for my clothes to reflect that. – GM
MAKEUP / SHAWN GOH
HAIR / EUGENE ONG (URBANHAIR)
MODELS: LUTH S & MONIKA BURKOT
GUILD MAGAZINE - THE TRAVEL ISSUE