With a new designer at the brand’s helm, all eyes were on the runway
It’s a major moment of transition for Mark Kenly Domino Tan; just a couple months ago, it was announced that Tan would be leaving his namesake brand for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. But the show must go on and this season, taking the bow will be new creative director Caroline Engelgaar. “Staying true to the MKDT Studio aesthetic, the autumn/winter 2023 collection has built a contemporary yet timeless wardrobe that goes beyond seasons and rewrites our heritage pieces with a high focus on tactility and sophisticated fabrics,” explains Engelgaar, adding that throughout the collection “traditional Oriental details” converge with “conventional Western shapes”.
But more than simply a doubling down on the codes of the brand, this season is a love letter to the woman who wears it. “The collection embraces the women who chose eminent fabrics and design, the women that are drawn to bold shapes and the women who desire simplicity and precision,” explains the creative director. Think crisp button-down shirts (and shirt dresses) rounded collars and relaxed tailoring; an easy timelessness, rendered in warm shades of grey and brown. “An ongoing focus for us is the blurred lines across gender and how we can borrow pieces from menswear wardrobes to womenswear,” she says. Punctuating the smart tailoring is a padded soft tech in dark olive – a contemporary and practical option for winterising your favourite suit, a concept borrowed from today’s businessman.
Though don’t let the precise minimalism fool you; these garments aren’t easy to execute. Take, for instance, the introduction of wool twill mélange in the form of trousers and smart coats. “Due to its raw, yet incredibly porous edges, the fabric can be quite tricky to work with and can be challenging to turn into a finished tailored product,” says Engelgaar. “Wool is not the easiest material to deal with, but we're extremely delighted with the final result.”
These are the sort of clothes that emphasise style over fashion and beg to be reworn. As Engelgaar puts it, the collection “embraces a wide range of individuals who can interpret the pieces in a variety of ways. It allows many different styling options and expressions.”