Last Friday night at Senopati Suites, guests filed for TANGAN’s spring show into a dimly lit space, giving off the effect of entering a nightclub. Since establishing the label in 2015, the designer duo, Zico Halim and Margaretha Novianty have swiftly established a recognisable code for the label: unfinished look with unravelling hems that appear to be crudely slashed.
For this outing, both Zico and Margaretha are keen to shake things up a little bit. Hems are still unfinished and the looks still appear undone as if they were sent out straight from the workroom after being told by Tim Gunn from Project Runway that time is up. But they have allowed some playful streaks in. The patchwork pieces stood out the most because for the past collections of TANGAN, which are often in monochrome palettes, they came across as cold and even clinical.
But it’s not only limited to the patchwork. A sheer tunic, in what seemed to be a checkered pattern, resembles a playful raincoat. Red cuts across the raglan sleeves sweater. This time around, the duo also introduced footwear in the form of fur-lined mules and bags in the shape of a halter-top, done in collaboration with Byo. Although the idea of using the “halter bag” as an actual top is stretching it a tad too far, Zico and Margaretha are right to expand on their collection to cover accessories as well.
Still, what could have been a solid show was brought down entirely by the lighting. It literally felt like watching a show in a nightclub minus the stench of vomit and questionably greasy chairs. The point of sending out their most playful collection to date in a dark room is up to anyone’s guess.
Furthermore, in their press release, they cited Andy Warhol’s “Self-Portrait in Drag, 1981” as an inspiration, and that just added an unnecessary context for the show. There’s a lot to unpack if Zico and Margaretha are interested in exploring the idea of construction and manipulation of identities. It’s not something that can easily be achieved with only 20 looks under a poorly lit room. Ultimately, it felt like an afterthought.
You wish they could just call it as it is: a continuation of TANGAN’s narrative.