Singapore-based jewellery designer MARILYN TAN puts travel and colour at the heart of her latest work, The Ethiopian Collections
The ancient civilisation of Ethiopia is probably not high on many bucket lists, but it was certainly on the list of award-winning jewellery designer Marilyn Tan. Marilyn has always had an unquenchable thirst for unique travel and was curious as to why Ethiopia was the only country in Africa that has never been colonised.
Over the last five years, travel has taken a back seat as Marilyn has put all her energy into building her namesake jewellery business. Marilyn promised herself that 2017 was the year she would start adventure travel again, and her long-time travel companion knew this promise so booked an adventure.
In January 2017, Marilyn returned from her trip to Ethiopia with a head full of unforgettable experiences and a wealth of local knowledge. And of course a heart full of inspiration. The Ethiopian’s use of gold is what struck Marilyn. She was determined to use the colours of the sunsets and raw terrain in her future designs, and desperately wanted to experiment with the Ethiopian Opal from the Welo mine.
"A Marilyn Tan piece tells the story of a journey, of paths less travelled. It speaks to the pleasures of discovery, the joy in the unexpected — just because.” Marilyn Tan
Seeking inspiration in the architecture, animals, festivals, religion, food, coffee, and of course the lovely gentle, friendly people, what followed was a full night of work, and the ID Collection was born and completed, based on the brand ID marks she has seen in the National Museum of Ethiopia. The rest of the collection came in the following days. Like all Marilyn Tan collections, this one too tells “the story of a journey, of paths less travelled” and as she explains her creations “speak to the pleasures of discovery, the joy in the unexpected”.
Although the ID Collection may be considered a significant departure from Marilyn’s typical style and work, it still displays the bold, unconventional, adventurous, and edgy traits of her work, and is undeniably inspired by the raw and rugged nature and architecture of diverse and vibrant Ethiopia.
This collection is made up of six sub-collections making it suited to any woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and she who is confident in her way of life.
The Ethiopian Collections are available at TANGS and the Marilyn Tan showroom.