Girls wear skirts, boys wear pants. A long-standing division of fashion being broken in the 21st century by brands like TalaMade. The luxurious athleisure brand aims for a genderless approach, “holding its roots within androgyny, anti-fashion and a world that emphasises individual expression as a way to break down social barriers.”
Adorning all black, TalaMade encompasses utilitarian gothic in all their clothing, an ode to our society. With a clever mission and well-made clothes, this brand will take the high fashion world by storm.
TalaMade was founded in 2018 by Tala Surace. Tala felt the need to highlight the diversity of the youth culture and fill the need for gothic fashion that speaks to not just individuality but raw creativity. The TalaMade label exists to provide a narrative that encapsulates the social, subcultural and intellectual factors that shape an individual’s own signature style. She expressed that she started designing at a young age, and while her personal style felt belittled in high school she decided to do something about it.
“From the very moment I started university I knew I wanted to create something tangible of my own that I could put my own process and framework towards, a dream of a label that would express my own sense of style despite how ‘over the top’ it may be that at times…I knew I wanted to carry through not only from the perspective of my own personal style but through the perspective of making other people see the value in their own creative difference even if this is super out of societies social expectations. “
I was so excited to try Tala’s brand, they arrived in an aesthetic TalaMade box, adorned with their signature colour, black. While trying on the cargo pants, and draped long sleeve the material was the first point of notice. You could instantly tell that they were well made just with the feel of the material, which was the first pleasant surprise. The clothes are made with contrasting fabrications (cotton drill, bamboo, linen, acetate, mesh and wool) are combined to create a mix of both tailored and relaxed, oversized athleisure forms, and to create truly unique pieces of clothing, even down to the material.
With the rejection of gender in their clothing, the sizing is hard to get right. Although meant to be oversized and genderless, you’ll want to size down if your usual medium has got some room. “All products are created in line with menswear sizing and functionality, however, are intended for all genders and identities. Oversized silhouettes, relaxed fabrications and versatility are core factors that inform our aesthetic.”
Tala’s genderless approach was something I hadn’t yet seen come into mainstream fashion. Although it has been on the high fashion radar for quite a while now. Tala has diversified this, even more, making athleisure, combining the genderless high fashion with our daily outfits. What inspired such a collaborative idea? “my love for menswear clothing as I discovered that I could make the garments ‘fit’ to my own shape if I wanted to or simply leave them to create an incongruence that would make an onlooker really question what they were looking at…creating a ‘genderless’ approach to TalaMade clothing was imperative in my message of encouragement go creativity for all and at all lengths to truly come across.”
Her approach to genderless fashion is inspiring and hopefully will catch on to other young designers across Australia, making fashion diverse and understanding for all body types and styles as Tala has done with her brand.
I wondered about why every piece was made with just different shades of monochromatic, a choice of aesthetic, or something deeper? According to her website TalaMade, specifically her debut collection, 100K Zone, “combines a uniquely gothic aesthetic adorned with industrial hardware; an abode to societies adoration with utilitarianism.” And while they are an ode to a utilitarian society, her clothing couldn’t be more unique. Tala goes on to say about her designing choices of this brand “TalaMade practices the idea of ‘flat’ uniformity through the presentation of a single shade across our garments. However, the binary stands true that we use a universal concept as a tool for encouraging individuals to manipulate their uniformity to suit their own needs and shape their own values and ideologies accordingly through clothing.”
A hidden message certainly came through the monochromatic palate that hadn’t been expected. On the contrary to other designers, Tala truly wants her brand to be personal to her wearers, layering with their style choice, and re-creating her designs to make them their own. While most designers want their clothes to stand out, Tala wants just the opposite, creating her clothes to be layered and covered, truly making her brand unique.
The 100K Zone features 16 pieces designed and made in Sydney, Australia with a uniquely gothic aesthetic – black elongated silhouettes adorned with industrial hardware. And while there is a focus on gothic appeal, the pieces look fantastic for any occasion and certainly make an impression.
On her collection, she mentions “The choice of ‘gothic streetwear’ as a whole stands as a practical example of allowing creativity to reach all lengths and STILL abide by something that is considered ‘on trend’…The 100K ZONE philosophises the components of a dystopia or a deconstructed version of a planned landscape..the zone that explore(s) creative freedom as an act of liberation from societies narrow-minded perceptions.”
Tala is influenced by the works of Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, and Off-White, the inspiration for the collection stems from Tala’s idea of creating a dystopic world (the 100K ZONE) where people are trying to ‘fit in’ among people who do not fit in. The people she has in mind to wear her clothes is not any of the Kardashians, as normal designers want, but her goal “I strive to create clothing that is diverse yet simple enough that it appeals to the likes of creatives to alter, change and modify it to suit their own purpose.” Celebrities of the likes of Billie Eilish, Halsey and the list goes on for her “it’s an array of individuals from various genres who can all easily wear TalaMade due to its diversity.”
TalaMade is an exciting new brand heading to disrupt the high fashion scene with her dystopian layers made for everyone. While her new capsule has only just come out, we can’t wait to see what this designer does next.