Philippines-born designer Kristabelle Ann Tan traveled the world before settling in Los Angeles. "LA has spoiled me, I don’t think I could ever live anywhere else," says Tan. "Plus, LA has that unmistakable easy, laid-back chic, which is such a cornerstone in my designs."
Launched in 2009, Tan's latest collection, Lanston (younger sibling to her first collection of ready-to-wear, Krisa) is nothing if not laid-back. Composed of perfectly-cut basics -- picture a T-shirt that could be worn three times a week or a tank layered beneath everything -- Lanston has become a one-stop-shop for what Tan calls "the first layers."
"I’m very particular when it comes to fit," Tan explains. "I drive my pattern-makers crazy. But I really think a great fit is something that is essential to every garment. It's something that will keep [the piece] in your closet forever. I try on all the garments myself and fit with our pattern-makers for production."
Feel is also an important emphasis of the Lanston brand, and Tan goes to great lengths to ensure each piece is its cozy best. "You’ll want to wear something all the time not only because it looks great but because it feels great as well," she says.
"We first started out with a loose knit jersey that was constructed like a sweater as one of our staples, but for spring I’ve worked with the mills to change the weave and construct it more as a tissue jersey to increase durability. Same luxurious buttery feel, but just more durable."
The success of Lanston and her first project, Krisa, is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Tan, who confesses to "feigning headaches all the time [to] skip school and go shopping."
"To this day, it's weird to think of myself as a fashion designer, it's hard for me to conceptualize," says Tan. "I’m always just having fun, doing what I love, then I realize: Oh yeah, this is my job. I am a fashion designer. It’s amazing!"