A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Grace Tan in Habitus

Curious, candy-coloured and complex are some of the ways you could describe the works of designer, Grace Tan.

Grace Tan in Habitus


March 31st, 2009

Born in Malaysia with Taiwanese heritage and now based in Singapore, Grace Tan’s influences are as diverse as her background. An interest in Tadao Ando’s geometric expressions of abstract philosophy is married with a fascination for Japanese confectionary in her highly structured, yet, floating pieces that live somewhere in the nexus between fashion, jewellery and art.

This article appears in Issue 03 of Habitus, on sale now. Photography by Derek Swalwell and Darren Soh.

She is originally from Malaysia, but these days Grace Tan calls Singapore home. It is here that she is pushing the limits of fashion design. Darlene Smyth asked her about her work and about what inspires her in her new home town.

With her refreshing approach to fashion design, Grace Tan tests the limits of the fashion industry in Singapore as she stitches up her version of ‘anti-fashion’. By using abstract notions such as the mathematics of the patterning and stitching, methodology and cross- disciplinary influences as the starting points for her work, Grace rejects traditional forms of tailoring and creates fashion that is visually and conceptually unique.

This young, intellectual designer moved to Singapore when she was 13 years old. With her mixed heritage of Taiwanese and Malaysian, Grace laughingly describes herself as ‘rojak’ –- a Malay term that refers to a haphazard mix of vegetables in a peanut-based sauce.  Far from being haphazard, Grace’s work displays a creativity achieved through a highly disciplined and focused concentration of the methodology in her work. 

Grace received her Diploma in Apparel Design and Merchandising from Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore where she became fascinated by books on architecture and how to express herself using other disciplines.

To find out what inspires Grace Tan pick up your copy of Habitus issue 03 from your nearest stockist, or subscribe to future issues here.





grace tan habitus 03 2



grace tan habitus 03 3



grace tan habitus 03 4



grace tan habitus 03 5



grace tan habitus 03 6



grace tan habitus 03 7



grace tan habitus 03 8



grace tan habitus 03 9


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed