A New Life with RE-TANGAN

by Hilda Nathalia Raina
28th June 2021
Kicking off with a month-long pop-up exhibition in Ashta District 8, TANGAN’S latest seasonless collection, RE-TANGAN, invites customers to take part in the dialogue of collaborative sustainability as it sets to introduce new life to old and forgotten garments.

Although the process of upcycling is no novelty in fashion, RE-TANGAN, the latest seasonless collection under duo Zico Halim and Margaretha Novianty’s TANGAN explores this process in a refreshing and intimate manner. Launched through a month-long pop-up exhibition in Ashta District 8, the collection presents the label’s compelling body of explorative pieces where a clothing’s lifecycle is reimagined, all grounded by the intention to give ‘new life’ to old and forgotten garments. 

Drawing inspiration from silhouettes of traditional ensembles to things we encounter day-to-day, seven showcased prototypes from the collection demonstrate the theme of exploring possibilities through familiar shapes and techniques, as evidenced through silhouettes like Kebaya, Sarung, Bodo, and Nebeng Jeans, all accented with patchwork and hand stitched details true to TANGAN’s craft. 

Exhibited next to the pieces are monochromatic flat-lay images of the garments, scribbled on and taped to the wall, tracing back its design process where two or three used garments are uniquely reassembled into a one-of-a-kind, personalised piece. 

Take the Pol-o for example; pairing a good old polo with a short-sleeved shirt, the front side bears the polo: with puffed sleeves and a drawstring to the waist, while the shirt is smocked and joined to the back as a detachable panel to be worn two ways. Not exclusive to this one, most of the looks call for multiple ways of styling, with a variety of detachable panels and buttoning options. Indeed, versatility remains one of TANGAN’s forté, and they’re not shy to show it. 

For now, purchases can only be made in-person at the pop-up, where visitors are given the option to customise their silhouette of choice with their own used garments or select from the options of fabric at the ready. Should you choose the first option, further instructions and requirements (including cut, size, and any other extra details) will be shared with you, much like a consultation process. In addition, customers will also receive a ‘journal’ along with their personalised piece — a documentation of the evolution from old to new.

Long slices of white fabric are hung down a metal structure close to the entrance. Inside, a non-conventionally shaped mannequin stands tall with a crate of collected scrap fabrics to the side. Visitors are encouraged to pick one up to drape and pin onto the mannequin before leaving, thus completing the narrative of the exhibition to inject ‘new life’ to fabrics considered old and used. 

The whole experience serves as an invitation for a wider audience to take part in a collaborative and intimate method of sustainability, with a fresh focus to nurture “the spirit to start their small steps towards sustainable fashion together,” as the text exhibition reads. Taking place on the ground floor of the shopping centre, RE-TANGAN pop-up runs until the 21st of July and is available by appointment only.