Thursday, 5 December 2013

Still Alive...

   So three months into degree fashion and I am exhausted. These past few months there has barely been time for a Skype call or a 20 minute + dinner, let alone a blogpost. But four deadlines out of the way and I can finally share some work!
  These are pieces from probably my favourite project so far - illustration. Without any force or inflicted drawing style, I feel that my drawing has matured and developed but still retains my identity. It was definitely a result of weeks and weeks or working and reworking but I loved receiving honest and constructive criticism of my drawings, which is something I had never really had in copious amounts. are my six final illustrations for a magazine story on the theme 'MONOCHROME' for the AW13 designer collections.

Friday, 6 September 2013



Photo taken at London Fashion Week A/W 13 Collections

   I've always been interested in fashion but I think this might be one of the first Fashion Weeks that I've truly appreciated. It is so easy to dismiss from the outside world as all the socialites and bloggers come together to take selfies and pose endlessly, as Vogue and Elle start documenting 'The New Trends' and as the word PRETENTIOUS shines out like a beacon to the rest of the world. However I think we forget that these weeks are a celebration of months of hard work from the world's top creatives and they form an important platform to exhibit their designs. Studying Fashion Design, I understand that the industry is not a glamorous and simple place to float through. These people have sacrificed their entire lives, worked night and day and fought their way to the top in order to showcase their talents. They (hopefully) have a concept or a message that they are trying to publicise through their collections, but often we never get to hear about those because the headlines are geared more to the audience in the front row and the model who tripped on her 7 inch heel.

   I sometimes find it hard to justify my chosen career path to my non-fashionista friends and family. Their preconceptions are based on the media representation of pretentious, vapid, fad fashion with no purpose, celebrity parties where the D-List fall out ready for their next 15 minutes and the unrealistic runway looks which they cannot relate to in the slightest. I know that the industry is not as essential to the world, as say medical research or food production, but it is sometimes forgotten that it holds the talents of incredible artists who have honed their craft and have the power to dictate the next century of fashion. We wear clothes. We wear them every single day. Therefore everyone is involved in the garment industry whether they realise it or not. We can appreciate the incredible gowns of the 18th century and the talented makers and designers who helped realise those creations but the majority of us have forgotten to recognise these talents in modern day society. These collections are works of art and they show a passion and a desire to create beautiful wearable pieces. I often say that fashion is one of the most accessible art-forms in the world because we have the ability to wear and experience its outcomes.

   This Autumn, instead of looking at which celebrity sat where and trawling through the endless 'Street Style Spotting' posts (there will be a little of that too), I am going to try and focus on the work itself and the messages they are trying to convey. I am going to appreciate the technical skill and meticulous details that are so easy to forget in a sea of Instagram posts #nyfw #lfw #pfw #mfw. You get the picture. This time can we all appreciate the content rather than what we see at face value, which I have found to be a swarm of people in sunglasses wearing the most outlandish outfits they can possibly find in order to grab everyone's attention. Whether it is for the right or very wrong reasons.

Or maybe that is what people have been doing all this time and I am just fashionably late to the party?


Long Time No Blog!

So once again I have managed to leave this place dormant for months! It can be hard to juggle the things you have to do in order to make time for the things you want to do. But I do want to keep this up! Was that too many italics? Probably.

   Until I have some new content to post, let me leave you with my latest project entitled 'Mental Oppression'. I know, heavy stuff. Within the six weeks I worked on this project, I researched into mental illness and the idea of having a battle with your own mind. I was particularly interested in body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
   My final capsule collection (consisting of 3 pieces... Oh time how I underestimate you) was made up of two pairs of trousers highlighting restriction and suggesting the idea of what is there and what isn't. I also tried to fight back against the 'thigh gap' phenomenon by showing the total opposite in all its glory. I wanted to show that all shapes can be beautiful and by using a soft black sheep napa suggest the idea of excess skin but in a fashion related and luxurious context. My third piece was a top also showing the difference between what the sufferer thought he/she looked like and their silhouette in reality. I wanted it to disturb my audience and show them just how powerful the mind can be; despite the body having senses such as sight and touch which should be able to determine the true size of someone, the mind has the capability to warp that initial data.

   If you are interested in reading more about the project I have the entire process documented on another blog. It starts from research right through to fabric selection, design development and outcome.

Here are the final images from the project!

All pieces designed and made by me, Emily Tan. Garments modelled by Ellie Carless.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Doodles and Offcuts

So for a good few years now I've kept a little personal sketchbook where I keep anything that has nowhere else to go but I can't get rid of. I am a serial hoarder but that's besides the point. For the most part each page is a result of a doodling, leftover scraps or a moment of temporary insanity (see attacked cotton circles on black paper) but I like to think of them as potential fabrics or little artworks in themselves.


Monday, 25 February 2013

Unexpected Pleasures @ The Design Museum

A few weekends ago I went and visited the jewellery exhibition at the Design Museum. It is set into themed areas which explore ideas from narrative to controversial modern issues: 'WORN OUT', 'A FINE LINE' and 'LINKING LINKS'.
   The pieces were absolutely incredible and a lot of them really made you question what jewellery is and what it can be. I loved Christoph Zellweger's prosthetic pieces which looked at the idea of jewellery becoming a permanent fixture on the body. His ideas behind prosthetics are fascinating and his piece 'Foreign Bodies' is worth a read. A quote from it states 'So what will people find in tomorrow's graves?...burial sites with metal implants, hip replacements, stents' and battery driven pacemakers? Will they find traces of silicon and botox too?'

There were also many pieces which wouldn't obviously scream jewellery; they were worn in unconventional places on the body and distorted the overall silhouette. Of course I love kooky stuff like that so I've been trying to see how I can incorporate this distortion into my own design work.

   I would definitely recommend a visit if you're looking to fill a weekend. You are sure to find something fun, controversial or just outright weird that tickles your fancy. The exhibition runs till the 3rd March. 

More info:


Thursday, 31 January 2013

50 More Illustrations

So as part of my application to one of the fashion design degree courses I had to create '50 ideas for Fashion'. Thought I'd share them here..