Contemporary Antique

Within the creative minds of Nam Tsang and Pauline Yuen is a world replete with beauty: great literature, fine fabrics, global culture and Chinese aesthetic history all meld into their shared design eye.

Born from this intellectual union of fashion, freedom and high artistry is their label, A Tentative Atelier. For Fall/ Winter 2023 the duo dove down the rabbit hole into the storied realm of Lewis Carrol, and spun their own tale of romance, curiosity and old world elegance… with just a hint of refined wildness.

The collection centers on a selection of coats and jackets, some of which nod to 18th century English riding wear and others to the fine suiting details of New York in the Roaring 20s. The designs are simultaneously high taste and a touch Victorian.

Of note is the duo’s use of textile as a sculptural medium – silken knots, shredded fabric florals and intricate jacquards all sing from within their designs. Within their collection find a tactile wonderland of tufted virgin wool, hand-smocked linen and vegetable silk. Their cashmere, sourced from the famed Loro Piana mill in Italy, is particularly exquisite and buttery against the skin.

A reversal of expectations – Pauline and Nam’s favorite creative mode – forms the foundation of their works. A patch pocket knit may read as just that from the front, but a peek on the backside reveals a row of mother of pearl buttons in a cardigan closure. In details such as this, they celebrate the art of garment – surprising, exciting, inventive (and just a little bit mad!) all at once.

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