#DIGITALDIARY: Tanya Steven

A new breed of functional fashion. By Aisyah Yusof

Tanya Steven

The brains and beauty behind London-based label AHNDE, Tanya Steven’s bohemian aesthetic and cultural inspirations revolve around “the perfect balance of art and science”. Taking a whole new spin on functional fashion, Tanya has proven that she’s not just a pretty face but a force to be reckoned with, as this designer graduated with a master’s degree in biochemical engineering. Get to know Tanya Steven as this millennial muse goes through her inspiration in all forms, from fashion to culture and beauty.

ON FASHION

Philosophy

Fashion is a conduit for identity and expression. Have fun and cultivate your sense of humour. Most essentially, enjoy the versatility! It is transformative at its best.

AHNDE in collaboration with Harshini Sukumaran (left) of The Temple of Fine Arts. Harshini wears an AHNDE Guipure Lace Stole with Ostrich Feathers.

Style

Interesting silhouettes, contrasts, and lots of texture. For the day, I would combine an AHNDE cotton pique shirt with antique gold hoop earrings and a tapered cotton velvet trouser. In the evening, I might wear an embroidered silk satin jumpsuit paired with raffia accessories and jewelled flats.

White shirt, AHNDE

Canfora sandals

Key pieces

Antique chiffon shift with Silver Badla embroidery from Uttar Pradesh AHNDE ostrich feather shawls.

Ostrich feather shawl, AHNDE

Designers

Paul Poiret for his modernity, imagination, and illustrious Orientalist outfits, Mariano Fortuny for his hand-pleated masterpieces, and the rebellious and surrealistic work of Elsa Schiaparelli.

Elsa Schiaparelli

Accessories

Hand woven macramé bags from an initiative that supports marginalised communities in Bangladesh, velvet gondolier slippers in every colour for everyday use, sea shell clutches from Antiparos, a charming little Greek island.

Velvet gondolier slippers

Jewellery

Mementos from cherished ones and Sri Lankan gem.

Signature Fashion Item

A 1920s antique feather cape from Les Puces Clignancourt in Paris.

Style Icon

María Félix.

Faux Pas

No such thing. Have a jolly time and dress for the occasion.


ON CULTURE

Film

Luchino Visconti’s Il Gattopardo and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart.

Il Gattopardo

 

Wild at Heart

Read

Charles Bukowski and Benoit B. Mandelbrot.

Escape

Galicia in Spain, Tangier in Morocco, and any Greek Island.

Tangier, Morocco

Art

Venus figurines of the Paleolithic era and Cycladic marble sculptures that celebrate the physical form. For contemporary work, Peter Doig’s dreamscapes at Michael Werner Gallery in London and Pierre Huygh at Hauser & Wirth for his mind bending organic systems. Fondazione Prada is a winner for intelligent curation.

TS - Art - Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Willendorf statue

TS - Art - Peter Doig

Peter Doig painting

TS - Art - Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada

Hotel

Punta Tragara in Capri, Italy.

Hotel Punta Tragara


ON BEAUTY

Beauty Regime

First, a deep cleanse with raw extra virgin coconut oil to remove any make-up, followed by a light facial cleanse with a Japanese facial brush and a pea-sized amount of Susanne Kaufmann’s cleansing gel. A splash of Moroccan orange blossom water to tone, followed by Buly Pommade Virginale to moisturise.

For maintenance, a white kaolin clay mask once a week for clarification as well as Maracuja passion fruit oil for strong and healthy hair.

Susanne Kaufmann Reinigungsgel Cleansing Gel

Beauty hero

Jamu, a traditional Indonesian tonic of fresh organic turmeric, wild honey, pepper, salt, and coconut water, which should be consumed early in the morning for overall vigor and vitality.

Face

I don’t wear any foundation on my skin but for a bit of a glow, I sometimes use a dab of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on my cheekbones.

Eyes

Lakmé Absolute Köhl as a liner and a flick of L’Oreal’s Telescopic mascara to condition the lashes.

Nails

Tom Ford’s Smoke/Carnal Red.

Scent

A distillation of Indian tuberose, wild jasmine and orange blossom leaves from a traditional perfumer in Udaipur, India.

 

Check out AHNDE’s website and @AHNDE on Instagram to get to know more about Tanya and her inspiring work.

(Photos: Tanya Stevens)

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