Zita Tan’s graduate collection, The Texture of Emotions, inspired by Doris Saceldo’s work and the pain and pressure felt by herself and others, is a response to the aestheticisation and mediatisation of pain. ‘I tried to capture the invisible emotions, to make them visible,’ Tan says.
Through artistic experimentation such as painting on canvas, and breaking or burning found objects, Tan worked to capture these fraught emotions through the media of colour, silhouette, print and texture. Capturing ashes with epoxy resin, manipulating metal mesh and sealed feathers, Tan has created ethereal, abstracted silhouettes which jut dramatically outwards from the body. Shapes reminiscent of early Balenciaga and Christian Dior permeate the line-up as references to Gustav Metzger’s auto-destructive art and Nazi uniforms bleed through. Paintings are reproduced and printed onto fabrics for dresses, and elsewhere reinforced feathers replace steel boning in a corset, denoting strength in vulnerability. Trousers were destroyed and deconstructed, the holes burned into them inspiring the collection’s toiling. ‘The key point of the collection is imperfect beauty,’ she explains.
Following the BA, the JNBY Scholar plans to launch her own label, as well as to continue working as a freelance stylist and illustrator between London and Shanghai.
Ellie June Goodman