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Max.Tan “AGAINST” Autumn Winter 2010 Campaign by Test Shoot Gallery

July 19th, 2010 Comments off








 
 
 
The Team
Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Creative & Fashion Direction / Ashburn Eng
Fashion Designer / Max.Tan by Max Tan
Make-up / Mav Chang
Hair / Annie Tay
Model & Text / Luth Seah Zhiqiang
Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew

 

 

The Interview

Max Tan has returned in new collaboration with Test Shoot Gallery for his Autumn/Winter 2010 collection titled “Against”. This collection follows the success of the first ad campaign for his Spring/Summer S2010 “Pressed” collection, also with Test Shoot Gallery.  Featuring a darker colour palette and a looser draping silhouette, the emerging designer challenges us with the question of what’s right (or wrong) in fashion. Hear about the designer’s opinion on conventional society, the “austere” emotion in his pieces, as well as all the must-knows about the designer behind this ever-growing eponymous label in our second exclusive Test Shoot Gallery interview. By Luth Seah Zhiqiang

 

 

 

 

 

TSG: The most of the world we live in has nothing to do with fashion nor finds interest in it. Whom do you work for and target? What does your work reflect?

I work purely for my own vision and by asking rhetorical questions. Through this rhetoric, I challenge how I can answer with my collection in a different manner. In that way, I hope to change the stereotypical image that the mainstream relates to the fashion industry, and I hope through that, it engages people to relate more to fashion, that there is more than what is presented to them on a commercial platform.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us a bit about the starting point of the A/W collection? Technically, what are the differences between this season compared to your past collection?

The starting point of each max.tan collection is always either a question, or a challenge. It challenges the way we perceive objects, subjects or sometimes just purely a notion. S/S 2010 Pressed challenged the different ways I could re-imagine a white shirt. A/W 2010-11 challenges the right and wrong ways of traditional drafting. What is deemed right or wrong? Can the wrong be made to look right? If so, is the end result still regarded as a mistake?

 

 

TSG: In provoking the notion of “traditional methods of pattern making”, did you come across any interesting or unexpected interpretations of your collection by different people?

It is definitely an interesting collection to work on. Some have looked at my garments and have had difficulties in identifying the conflicting  elements used. For instance a particular piece from the collection is a jumpsuit which can be worn as a dress- it seems right when worn as a jumpsuit, what they do not realise is that the dress can be created off the jumpsuit from a different perspective. Worn as a dress, the jumpsuit hangs off it when looked at straight on.  Which is right then? Ultimately, this collection serves to send a message that we no longer have to care about what is right or wrong. Would you rather be right, or free?
 

 

TSG: Your collection seems to lean strongly towards the austere? Why do you think austerity is often dark and surreal with the suggestion of tragedy and death?

In death, everything that one acquires during his lifetime is proven to be transient. Everything is once again, blank. Austerity is simple, blank and stripped of details. That is also the reason why the collection vaguely alludes to funeral clothing.
 

 

TSG: What materials have you worked with in this collection to create such textural and protective shapes?

I worked with a crepe for this particular collection. It was a popular fabric for power suits during the ’80s. Camouflaged by the sharp lines of the suits, we have truly neglected how beautiful it is when the fabric is allowed to fall freely.

 

 

TSG: You mostly use dark and monochrome colours – is that why you don’t believe in seasons? What was the inspiration behind the colours?

A main area of interest in my creations are silhouettes. I believe monochromatic colours do not distract one’s eye from how differently or interesting my silhouettes are.

 

 

TSG: What are your opinions about life in conventional society?

At times, I do feel quite alone. It is hard to find someone whom I can relate to, even harder to have someone give constructive comments because there is hardly anyone I know that can understand what I am doing.  Then again, I am thankful for the few who understand and constantly critique my works so that I can improve.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us a bit about your environment while growing up?

I grew up in a typically Singaporean environment. As a boy, I was not expected to do fashion despite the influence of my seamstress mother. Everyone seemed too caught up in the pursuit of the correct path that I was to
take on. It came to a point that I realised I needed to start living my own life and make my own choices. My teenage years were confusing with regards to my sexual orientation and career. I was considered unorthodox in the grownups’ eyes. It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable growing up experience, but it has contributed to who I have become.

 

 

TSG: If not for fashion, what would you be doing now and why?

I would have been a musician. Like fashion, it provides an escape from this endless pursuit of normality.

 

 

TSG: What is the worst question you have ever been asked?

Why I make clothes that do not fit. I see my creations as a cocoon, a safe armor that shields one from the stereotypical world. I disagree that my clothes are oversized, but in certain areas, it is made to fit and sit well on the wearer. I think creating this space between the wearer’s body and the garment is far more challenging than making clothes that just pieces together like a flat jigsaw puzzle. I prefer it to look at clothes in a 3D way, like a sculpture, rather than a painting.

 

 

TSG: How do you pick your materials, and what goes into your decisions when putting them together?

With an idea of the silhouette that I have in mind for the collection, I proceed to choosing the right fabrics which will in turn give me the desired results. It does take some experimentation with sample yardages for certain complex designs. I have do have a preference towards either fabrics in which are easy to sculpt, or fabrics with enough weight to fall nicely. The wearer’s comfort is also another important deciding factor. Although I
like the relation between fashion and art, fashion is however not entirely art.

 

 

TSG: How did fashion appeal to you to become a designer?

Garments allow one to take on an identity; changing our identities when we put on a different outfit. I think I am particularly drawn to fashion because, to a certain extent, I am an escapist. Clothes serve as an escape from who I need to become or who I am.

 

 

TSG: What does the term ‘beauty’ mean to you?

Beauty to me is fragile and transient but a non-stop chase to the end of the rainbow.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us about your design process?

I start each collection with a challenge. I start draping and sketching at the same time. As I work with readily available monochromatic colours, I source only when I have finalised my designs. However during the design process, the properties of the ideal fabric are taken into consideration when developing the collection.

 

 

TSG: Best compliment ever?

It would have to be ranked together with the big players (Prada, Alexander Mcqueen, Valentino etc) in the summary of Spring/Summer 2010 women’s wear campaigns on the trend forecasting and reporting website, Stylesight.com. It was an extremely captivating campaign envisioned by Test Shoot Gallery and it proved so successful that it caught the eyes of the analysts behind a trend forecasting service.

Link

 

Interview with Singapore fashion designer Sabrina Goh

June 28th, 2010 Comments off

 

  

   

The Interview

Let us face it, women can be vicious. Executed as a self-defense “tool”, or just out of fulfillment for their dark side, they are the species not to be underestimated. Maybe that is why designer Sabrina Goh feels the need to excavate the sinister in the woman in our society, an inspiration that ignited her fourth collection for label ELOHIM.  Named “Poison Ivy”, the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection for ELOHIM showcases a spectrum of colour, material, construction and proportion to express the properties of the character. 

Tripping us with more her illustrated exoticism, Sabrina Goh shares the inspirations to the construction behind the latest collection from ELOHIM, as well as all things trivia of the force behind the label in our exclusive interview. By Luth Seah Zhiqiang
 

   

   

TSG: What was the starting point for your Autumn/Winter 2010 collection?
 

Autumn/Winter 2010 expresses my feeling, inspired by the some incidents that happened. Whenever I feel weak or discouraged, I translate these sensations into drawings/designs. This helps me to stay positive and courageous despite bumps in life. These experiences force anyone to build up an outer layer of new self and conceal past memories subconsciously. Though they might have made progression in life, they don’t make incredible leaps to their lives. I hope that through my work, people will feel encouraged to change in their ideals about themselves, hold on to positivity and step up the values in their lives. 

   

   

TSG: How do you start working on this new collection, and how do you go about designing the pieces?
 

ELOHIM’s Fall Winter 2010 collection is inspired by the concept metaphor of POISON IVY: A lover, a fighter and a femme fatale. A poisonous plant, a Marvel comic character from the Batman series, a metaphor for the modern woman, alluring powering and able to defend herself. POISON IVY is a walking contradiction and mysterious creature. She is a woman who inspires delicate romance and deadly reaction. 

   

   

TSG: What other artists do you admire in your own field of work?
 

The late Alexander McQueen, Grace Coddington, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Ricardo Tisci, Steven Klein and Sazeli Jalal.

  

   

TSG: Before achieving such tremendous amount of success on the local fashion scene, how did you first know that you wanted to become an artist, or your first encounter in designing?

 

Fashion had always been the dream job since young. I remembered my father asking me if I was interested in becoming a fashion designer, perhaps he could see it was a gift in me. I was not artistically brought up as a child, but my father who was an architect draughtsman inspired me, and I always helped him to watercolour. After my “O” Levels, I continued my passion and studied at LASALLE SIA College of the Arts, majoring in Fashion Design. I participated in Singapore Young Designer ‘06 and ‘07 and was a finalist for both competitions. It was a great way to showcase my creativity in public, and I could not be who I am now without the great experiences to mould me. 

 

 

TSG: What is your idea of Elohim in a woman? 

 

ELOHIM’s stark silhouettes portray the image of strength and vulnerability, having confidence on the outside and internally.

 

 

TSG: Why did you move to Singapore, and how do you compare it to Malaysia? 

 

Singapore is the closest country to home and is a well-known safe place to study. The move to Singapore was a natural decision after many years of influenced by Singaporean TV shows, radio and magazines. Back then, I was inspired by K.MI Huang, a senior at Lasalle College of the Arts, also the designer behind WOMB won the Singapore Fashion Designer Contest 2001. I hoped to be as successful as her by enrolling myself in the same school that she studied at.

 

 

TSG: Your advertising campaign photos are often quite dark and haunting, is there any particular inspiration? 

 
My campaigns are emotionally influenced and reflect the concept behind the collection. I like the fact that the photographs are not taken in perfect overly happy manner but in a social realistic way. My campaigns have their hidden messages to encourage people to stay strong in life, hence the tougher strong styling.

 

 

TSG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


“When you have faith to see your dreams come to past, you are halfway there to your goal.”

 

 

TSG: What was the most excited project/ work you had been involved and why?

 

Mango Fashion Awards El Boton 3rd Edition and shortlisted as one of Top 46 Finalists worldwide. I feel it is always good to get involved in local or overseas competitions because I am constantly kept on my toes and there always will be a thirst for improvement. 

 

 

TSG: Who would be the ideal public ambassador for the brand? 

Kate Lanphear. 

 

 

TSG: How do fashion and photography coexist for you or ELOHIM? 

Photography is important especially in fashion, as they are fronts to portray and translate a brand/collection’s image, concept and sensation.

 

 

TSG: What do you think of luxury designers collaborating with and having their work mass-produced for stores like Uniqlo? Do you think, in the long run, it will affect the artistic integrity of the fashion industry as a whole?


Designers take pride in the works they produce; creativity will not be compromised for something even that basic. Mass produced brands like Uniqlo had been successful in selling their concepts and products even as it outreaches to the masses. I do not think it will affect the artistic integrity of the fashion industry because it is targeted to different market. 

 

 

TSG: Lastly, any advice you will offer to aspiring designers?

 
My advice will be to set your goals and head forth to achieve them. Do not be afraid to dream, as you will never know how sharp your pencil is until you sharpen it. As they always say “Work without dream is treacherous. Dream without work will always be a dream”.

Link

Elohim

Interview with the trio behind the fashion label “Reckless Ericka”

June 22nd, 2010 Comments off

  


 

The Interview

The trio behind the label “Reckless Ericka”, Afton Chen, Ruth Marbun, and Louis Koh, have proven that they are showing no signs of slowing things down. From launching a new line “Odds by Reckless Ericka”, to the opening of their first boutique “The Reckless Shop” at the Stamford house recently, it is almost safe to say that they are nothing less than being ambitious. Telling us more about the label and the philosophy of their new line, the different tastes of music that they prefer, the trio-force behind Reckless Ericka reveals it all in our exclusive interview.  By Luth Seah Zhiqiang 

  

TSG: How would you describe your design aesthetic? 
  

Balancing classic tailoring with the edgy use of silhouettes and colours, and constructing avant-garde silhouettes with classic details. Infusing edginess and quirkiness into our brand’s identity and core.
 
  

TSG: What is the philosophy behind the new line “Odds by Reckless Ericka”? 

‘Odds by Reckless Ericka’ is a chic, casual and street styled womenswear. Odds features drapes on jerseys that stresses on the basic silhouette, yet enhances the femininity of a woman. In this, we hope it will capture the youthfulness and energy of women. It is priced to reach out to the general masses. 

 

 

TSG: Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and where you’re from, your environment while growing up?

Afton: I am Singaporean. Part of my childhood was spent in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) where I had some of my best memories. The school that I had attended (Kaohsiung American School) had nurtured the creative side in me with various projects and skits. I enjoyed designing my own costumes for the skits and that was when I discovered the fun in designing and clothes making. My parents have been amazingly supportive of me to pursue my dreams to allow me to continue my work and I am thankful for their love. 

  

  

TSG: Was becoming a fashion designer what you always wanted to do in your life?
 

Afton & Ruth: Yes, it’s what we’ve always wanted to do.

 

 

TSG: Your designs have won you a sort of celebrity fan base that includes Adam Lambert, Sara Nuru, Rebecca Tan and Nadya Hutagalung. How do you feel about it?

We’re really glad to have the wonderful opportunity to be able to work with talented artistes like them. It was definitely a great experience.

 

 

TSG: Who has been the greatest influence on your career and who are your favourite designers?

Afton: Aitor Throup. I admire his fascinating work that pays huge attention to the anatomy of the human body, and his illustrations are really intriguing. My other favourite designers would be Ann Demeulemeester, Paul Poiret, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen, Elsa Schiaparelli and Mihara Yasuhiro.
Ruth: My parents are my greatest influence for my career. It may sound cliché but it’s them that made me who I am today. To name one of my favourite designers would be Vivienne Westwood. I admire her madness and passion in everything she believes in. 

 

 

TSG: How did You, Ruth and Louis meet?

Afton: 3 of us met in school!

 

TSG: Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure who has guided or influenced you?

We are truly grateful to Nic Wong and Daniel Boey. 

 

 

TSG: How different is working on your own, compared to working with others?

When working on your own, you have to be conscientious in managing your time as the line blurs between your personal life and work. A lot of overtime work involved, but we love our brand!
 

 

TSG: Do you think the best creative work is developed in private without too much outside influence?

Afton: Creative work is best when there’re more heads involved in the thinking process because the design will turn out to be a melting pot of styles, cultures and artistic viewpoints.I don’t have a fixed, single object of influence or inspiration, because inspiration is the strangest thing! It comes from everywhere, in any form and best of all, it springs up when you least expected.
Ruth: I think the best creative works are always the ones that come sincerely from the heart with all the passion. 

 

 

TSG: Who would be the ideal public ambassador for the brand? And why?

Afton: Patti Smith.
Ruth: Karen Elson will be great. Simply because I love her. With Jefferson Hack. That will be awesome.
Louis: Johnny Depp, he is quirky!
 

 

TSG: How do you find your materials, and what goes into your decisions when putting them together?

We make bi-annual trips overseas for fabric hunting. We wouldn’t want to limit ourselves so we keep an open mind while looking. We love the challenge of piecing the materials together and set the mind ticking and decide when we have everything in front of us. 

 

 

TSG: In no more than five words, what does beauty represent to you?

Afton: Confidence. 

 

 

TSG: What is your choice of music?

Afton: Swing big band arranger Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, and British rock from the 60s and 70s (The Beatles, The Kinks, Joy Division, The Who, Queen, Siouxsie and the Banshees). Music has always been one of the sources of inspiration for me. There’s always something about the musical arrangements, vocal harmonies, and lyrics that intrigues me in a way that I can’t simply put it to words.
Ruth: I’m more a band person though I listen to many kinds of music. I’m into the oldies, a bit stuck in the nineties, and love to surprise my self with new ones. To name a few: Bob Dylan, The Smiths, The Kinks, Jamie T, Two Door Cinema Club. And I love to sing and dance to music!
Louis: Pop rock, because it keeps me happy. The Killers :)
 

 

TSG: If you could live in any time period, what period would you choose and why?

Afton: I love it now but if I had to choose, it would be the Roaring Twenties. I am fascinated with the sudden dynamic changes in the social, arts, music and fashion scenes that are so different from the Victorian lifestyle. This was also when modern fashion was created and I would love to attend Marchesa Casati’s masquerade balls.
 

 

TSG: What’s the best and worst thing about being a young designer in Singapore?

Best: The Singapore retail industry today is definitely opening up to young local designers and labels and there has been great support from organisations like SPRING Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and Design Singapore backing our industry. Worst: We yearn for more acceptance and better education about local designers to the consumers.

 

 

TSG: What has the industry taught you?

Afton: To have hope, as it is a positive expectation of good!
Ruth: Many things. How to be tough on decisions and compromise at the same time.
Louis: Taught me to be truthful to the brand and it never hurts to go the extra mile. 

 

 

TSG: In your opinion, what’s a designer’s role in the current economic climate?

It’s easy to lament and blame the effects of recession, but instead of doing so, a designer should look into re-branding or restructuring to appeal and stay above the crowd.

 

 

 

 

Stockist / Link  

Reckless Ericka
The Reckless Shop                                     Stamford House, #01-03 Tel: +65 6338 8246

We’re featured in Stylesight.com (TOP 10 Spring/Summer 2010 Fashion Advertising Campaigns)

April 27th, 2010 Comments off

 

From established fashion houses to up-and-coming labels, online premier trend reporting, forecasting & analysis website – Stylesight.com has selected Max.Tan’s Spring/Summer “Pressed” 2010 advertising campaign as one of the TOP 10 advertising campaigns for Women’s Spring/Summer 2010.

We are extremely thrilled and honoured to be listed alongside international advertising campaigns like Prada, Alexander Mcqueen, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Valentino!


 

  

Eyes On Me

September 18th, 2009 Comments off

Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Beauty Direction / Ashburn Eng
Model / Sabrina Ruiz (Upfront Models)
Make-up / Larry Yeo using M.A.C cosmetics
Hair /
Chris Ruth
Fashion and Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew

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