TSG: Can you tell us how you created your Young&Restless label?
After a successful ad campaign collaboration, Ashburn Eng and Max Tan formed a friendship that lead both the fashion stylist and fashion designer respectively to more creative partnerships. Often, the pair would find themselves nodding their heads in agreement with each other’s opinions and comments on most topics; fashion related or not. Hence, with no surprises, aesthetically, the pair are very much in-sync. Therefore, “Young&Restless” is launched.
TSG: Where does the label’s name originate from?
Not to be taken literally to refer to hyperactive youth, “Young&Restless” simply caters to women who view themselves as carefree, and not bounded by the “reservations” that comes with age. It is for the free-spirited, for the confident, and for the unpretentious. They are not bothered about the numbers of age, they are forever young. They will not be tied down; they are always on the move.
TSG: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I like things to be instinctive, random and pure. I like the idea of juxtaposing masculine tailoring with the softness that I put in the fabric so there is a duality between sensuality and strength. I am not particularly frilly and I like to avoid things that are too embellished. Definitely appreciate a certain hardness and drama. A firm believer in non-traditional pattern-making and I avoid superfluous seaming and construction in my apparels; seams should follow a woman’s body and thereby accentuate it. Not merely using the amount of fabric and cut it the easiest and most cost effective way like in a mass market factory.
TSG: What kind of person wears your designs?
A modern woman who is sophisticated yet bold enough to be day tripper and desires to be different.
TSG: What made you decide to get into fashion design? Have you always been interested in it?
I always have great interest in design, photography and fashion. The accumulative years of styling and consultation experiences working with magazine, commercial clients, design graduates and fashion designers have shaped the way I understand how publications, fashion and retail businesses work. Therefore I feel it is a natural progression for me to craft something on my own.
TSG: Your debut collection has a somewhat occult theme behind it. What’s the inspiration?
I wanted to work with the popular subject of the occult. A past exhibition that I came across entitled “Worship the light, Worship the dark”, instigate an explicit relationship between spiritual forces and something potentially sinister. The idea of worshipping the light has been perverted into something more evil. Certain more hedonistic experiences occur in the dark as well. It is a free space to experiment with little conscious morale restraint. For me, it is not the gothic that intrigues but the darker side of imagination, rather the culture of fear and self limitation that exists in some urban contexts today.
TSG: Have you ever experienced the supernatural?
I had a very scary experience once, that even till today I am still confused about what actually happened. My friend and I were walking in around in Chinatown early one morning after a late supper. In the corner of my eye, I saw this old man with slivery hair and shabby torned clothes. I first thought he was a hobo, but then I realised that his eyes were hollowed out.
I did not feel that something was amiss as I presumed the dim lighting was playing tricks on my eyes. But I turned to my friend and asked if he saw the same thing. He nodded in agreement. We both turn back for a second look of the old man but he had disappeared. At that point, we walked as fast as our legs could carry us.
TSG: What is the quality that brings your clothing line to life?
I create my clothes as an expression of my daydreams and use the clothes to evoke emotions from my clients. Sometimes, I would describe my job as selling a dream to my clients. I also enjoy bringing in the influence of the occult, fetishes and fantasies into my clothes, to deliver a different state of mind. I hope to impart this to the young&restless’s wearer.
MAX.TAN at Parco Marina Bay - 9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, Parco next NEXT section, Level 2