To Mae Tan, Alexander McQueen represents “a sort of mystical rebellion”. She says: “One of my first few fashion memories was watching Alexander McQueen shows from the late 1990s and early 2000s on the Internet and being entirely inspired by them. They were beautifully dark, from the theatrics to the designs—breathtaking.” This sparked her love for the brand, which has a special place in her heart.
Citing a diverse range of fashion inspirations, from Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama to film-makers Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, as well as musicians Rihanna, Erykah Badu, Cher, Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne, it’s no wonder that Tan’s inimitable style is bold, eclectic and bursting with personality.
She divulges that out of all her looks in the shoot, the suit is the one that is closest to her personal style. “It’s effortless, structured and edgy,” she quips. She adds that the item she can see herself incorporating into her everyday dressing is the chunky bracelet. “During the shoot, we transformed the bracelet into a unique necklace. One item, two ways!”
Often sartorial dichotomies in and of themselves, the concept of duality has been integral to Sarah Burton’s vision during her tenure as creative director of Alexander McQueen—marrying fragility and functionality, creating looks that are futuristic yet infused with history, and striking a balance between prim and punk.
When asked how she would interpret the notion of strength versus fragility, Tan explains: “I love mixing masculine and feminine silhouettes and fabrics together, such as a dress with boots or pants with heels. Even latex with lace or strong hair with light make-up. It is always about balance and the idea of wabi-sabi.”
Augmented reality experience
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Photography Zantz Han
Styling Desmond Lim
Hair Junz Loke using Anti Collective
Make-up Dollei Seah/Makeup Entourage, using Charlotte Tilbury
Photographer’s assistant Hizuan
Fashion assistant Joey Tan
Make-up assistant Mandy Yeo/Makeup Entourage
Set designer Angela Zhang
Talent Mae Tan