Words Latoya P Henry


Becoming completely bare doesn’t only exemplify rawness, being nude is to expose a concealed element that defines an inner beauty. Ideally, the fundamentals of design begin with a raw palette and the ability to transition traditional elements into contemporary concepts, strategically discovering perfection from what most would consider imperfections. In such a way, designer or better yet said garment engineer, MAX.TAN reshapes the views of individualism for womens-wear design, by distinguishing his ability to explore rare cuts and expanding uncomplicated ideas, which represents the identity of the brand. 


Composing a series of collections solely focused on exaggerated shapes, volume, detailed tailoring and draping. Combined collectively with feminine and masculine aesthetics. For “Thou Shalt Not”, the designer advances his vision by investigating the potential conclusion, straying away from the confinements of artificial rules. Rising above restrictions, by reconstructing and deconstructing intricate silhouettes. Collection “Thou Shalt Not” is contemporized from primitive foundations fused with modern capabilities, suited for the elevated woman who possess a rooted understanding of the characteristics featured in statement pieces versus trend. She seeks individuality, timeless style and effortless tailored garments. 


Thus MAX.TAN awareness for the human form is clearly and relevantly detailed in his most recent collection. Highlighting juxtaposition contoured skirts and shirts, overlapped with pleated detailing and sheared paneling. Peculiar asymmetrical cuts with minimally printed graphics, which remain true to the designer’s aesthetic. Overall stating, “Thou Shalt Not” collection as “Being inherently flawed, perfection is impossible to attain; yet we do not cease our endeavor to achieve this. As a result, perfection becomes a destruction of experimental outcomes. And despite this, we live by these rules of perfection in our flawed way”. Through experimentation Tan evidently has a clear understanding of the modern woman and in terms of design identity, MAX.TAN mentioned in a previous interview that, “I think it’s very important for a designer to have a strong unique identity. From a brands perspective, I try to manifest my identity not just through designs, but also visual communication campaigns and lookbooks, collaterals, collaborations etc.


With all these elements in place, I think it’s easier to relate to this particular lifestyle/brand than just trying to convey my identity through my garments. In the area of garment design, I hope to distinguish myself with my cuts, minimal, draping and a new way of interpreting westerns dressing norms. Being geographically located in Singapore and growing up in a myriad of cultures, one can clearly tell that MAX.TAN is from Asia. But its hard to pin point where or which part of Asia he’s from.” Nevertheless it’s apparent MAX.TAN’s ability to build from raw physics into coherent design goes beyond something pretty, he etches a fine line for tailoring craftsmanship to be considered artistically classic and timeless.


Images Courtesy of Max Tan.

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