Exclusive: Mark Kenly Domino Tan, the Chinese-Danish Designer Making Waves at Copenhagen Fashion Week
In the midst of all the floral, prairie dresses at Copenhagen Fashion Week, there is a designer making clean, tailored clothes, informed by his time at the likes of Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, and his name is Mark Kenly Domino Tan.
At his spring/summer 2022 show, presented at a gilded city hall, models wore voluminous trenches and impeccably tailored shirt-dresses, all with a refined, slouchiness that were birthed from his time in lockdown. Tan, who is half Chinese, half Danish, shares his inspirations and aspirations with Tatler Asia.
How much do both sides of your heritage filter into your work?
I would say that it definitely does, I have it with me all the time. In my opinion you can’t put your heritage down, or fully shove it to the side—it is part of you, your approach to things, and in my case, my aesthetics.
What are distinctive elements of both sides of your heritage that you bring to your collections?
I have this chrysanthemum flower that keeps reappearing in my design. This is a flower from my grandmothers wedding dress, a Chinese symbol of vitality that is close to my heart. My Danish heritage has a more of an overall influence on my aesthetics. It’s about a humble approach, full of simplicity and functionality that to me is very typically Danish.
What was this collection inspired by?
My first thoughts were around the longing for travel and everything revolving that: the sun, desert, the salt of the ocean. I stepped into the feeling of this postcard from faraway places, the cultures, the smells, new tastes, burnt colours. I wanted to create pieces that were easily combined, that were light, easy to layer, made with good materials that work well together, independent of the daily temperature.
What is new about this collection that you would like audiences to know?
In the SS22 collection, aside from the slightly stronger colour palette, I would just like to introduce the wearer to the next chapter of this wardrobe story. The continuous development of welcoming new function and exquisite materials, with layering and workwear as central elements.
What is your dream or next goal?
Simply just be able to keep doing what I do each day. It’s truly a privilege. My goal is to be able to have healthy growth in my company, yet still have a close presence in the collections and to the craft. I don’t have a need to become a huge fashion house. And, I would definitely love to explore China more one day. That is absolutely on my list!