Born and raised in Singapore, fashion designer Tze Goh is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design as well as Central Saint Martins, which puts him amongst the ranks of other notable alumni from Alexander Wang to Phoebe Philo. Now based in London, his latest collection for Spring/Summer 2012, which launched during London Fashion Week in September, further accentuates his penchant for modern, precise and minimalist styles with a strict emphasis on formality, while maintaining a sense of serenity and femininity. His pieces are almost sculptural or architectural in nature, but do not negate the natural curves and body of the wearer—something that is hard to manage. In this interview, ActuallyMAG asks him a few questions about his work process and his latest designs.
When did you first start taking an interest in design?
I was more into illustration when I was younger, and it was not until enrolling in Parson’s school of design that I became more aware of what design was. I think what got me interested was the fact that it is more material, in a sense that the products created have a direct impact on everyday lives, as opposed to an image which is either only escapist or instructive in nature.
Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming a designer.
New York – There is a sense of energy in the city, of people working hard and making the most with their lives. I think that this comes through in the urban designs of my garments.
London – The MA course is Central St. Martins really pushed my creative envelope by making me focus on designs which I like – which tends to be pure and sculptural
Paris – The city really brings out the feeling of sobriety in the face of all the glamour. I guess you can say that I really understood what black and neutrals really meant in this city.
Tell us a little more about your latest collection.
This season’s collection draws upon the classic wardrobe of men to produce a sharp collection in black, white and khaki. Traditional tailoring is mixed with malleable 3D knit to curve the silhouette while adding a lightness to the garments.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
I was influenced by the classic wardrobe of menswear, the aerodynamics of airplanes and the precise lines of Scandinavian glassware. But the combination of these factors help create something that lives firmly in the moment.
What do you think is the most enjoyable aspect of fashion design? The hardest?
The most enjoyable part of it is making the garments, as I like to work with my hands. The hardest part is figuring out the business aspect of it, especially as the economy is getting worse.
Which article of clothing do you think is the most malleable, in terms of design?
I think that it would have to be a T-shirt, as it is such a ubiquitous and generic design that all cultures throughout history have a version of it. The classic “T” shape is thus most malleable in terms of interpreting it.
Are there any distinct fashion trends that have caught your eye lately?
I am aware of trends, but don’t follow it as the consumers who want my garments are looking for something more classic and long-lasting, and not something trendy.
Who are some of your favourite designers, or which designers would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Jonathan Ive who designs all the Apple products, to come up with an iPad 3!
What are your plans for the future?
I would definitely like to work with adding accessories in my collection so as to give women a complete look.
- Tze Goh