From London, we meet the hand-made clothing label LaneFortyfive. With this brand, the creator Tan seeks to strengthen the relationship between the garment and the wearer, while drawing inspiration from the world around him.
The beginning idea for LaneFortyfive started in 2012. Tan’s personal need for honest, modest and natural clothing could not be fulfilled by already existing brands, as the clothing would be amiss or the brand image would not be in agreement. The only way that was left was to create a label based on his own aesthetic.
For a few years, Tan built the brand, considering its image, feel, colours and ethos. Coming from a childhood in India where tailored clothing was the most affordable option, Tan realized how these visits to the tailor could become very useful in his creative process. Having created enough material to work with, Tan sewed a few navy corduroy shirts and brought them to a flea market in London. They sold out within 10 minutes, which sparked the further work into finding fabrics, colours, buttons, threads and the name and logo. Soon after, the website and the very first photoshoot had been set up.
The name LaneFortyfive has a special origin. The lane itself is an image that has been lying in the mind of its creator. 3-4 men/women standing in the corner of a cobbled lane, passing time and enjoying each other’s company. One person looking at the camera combined with the greyscale of the surroundings reminds the onlooker that they are alone, which further sets the mood of the image. The numbers come from a personal experience that reminds Tan to believe in the positive future of things. A back injury forced Tan to be bed-ridden for two months, and it was there that he worked on the initial groundwork for the label. The two lumbar discs inserted into his back in Lumbar 4 and Lumbar 5, created the abbreviations L4 and L5. As the ‘lane’ had already been manifested, the label name naturally came about.
The debut collection ‘Throwing’ was created in July 2016. The name derives from the act of throwing, the first stage of pottery where the first form is given to the clay. It is the precursor of any final piece and the symbol of the mind becoming physical in any given shape. Style both inside and outside of the body and is represented by the medium we choose to use. While many companies specialize in certain mediums, Tan seeks to unite them and bring different working forms to the cutting table. The collection is inspired by the devotion to manual labour, industrial history, work culture and the stories and memories tied to them. They reflect how clothing is a piece of art no different than an abstract painting.
The future for LaneFortyfive is currently unknown. The second collection Anton & Olivia is out on the website, and Tan is already working on a third collection to be out in May 2017. For many years, Tan felt that his creativity got sidelined as he was forced to walk down the same beaten path. Saying goodbye to the expectations and norms set before him, Tan intends to make the most of the love for his work manifesting in the form of LaneFortyfive.