Designer watch: Tze Goh Backstage and Interview

sleek paid a visit to London-based designer Tze Goh only one day before his show at the London fashion week. In his Holborn studio, the Singapore born emerging designer is unusually calm, which he explains has to do with the fact that the collection is already complete and hanging on the rails, impatiently awaiting its big outing.

Since presenting his graduate collection of foam moulded T-shirt abstractions in all shades of white last year, he was fortunate enough to bear up under the critical eyes of sated fashion editors and remained one to watch. Like a sculptor, Tze forms slick shapes with almost invisible seams, creating the illusion of pieces that are moulded rather than sewn. The architecture inspired strong silhouettes differ in subtle details, such as folds and twisting lapels, as well as restraint variations of color.

sleek: Would you consider your Singaporean background as an influence on your approach to design?
Tze Goh:
All of my international experiences have been filtered into a singular design aesthetic and my background in Singapore represents a part of that international adventure. I left Singapore after a short stint in the army to study at Parsons at both New York and Paris, before finishing my education in Central St. Martins in London.

sleek: Which designer influenced you most?
Tze Goh: I am influenced by designs both inside and outside of fashion, but am especially inspired by the modern architecture of Zaha Hadid.

sleek: Did you ever consider working for another designer instead of starting your own label?

Tze Goh:
I have always dreamed of owning my own label and London was a great place to launch it.

Sleek: What was the main inspiration for the current collection?
Tze Goh: Inspirations for AW11 include geometric Japanese designs, the topography of mountains and the hyper-modern designs of German automobiles.

sleek: Your signature is the foam casts. Can you imagine moving away from these shapes?
Tze Goh: I will continue to develop my label, designing a collection for Spring/Summer 2012, experimenting with different fabrics, singularly or in combination. Nothing is ruled out in the future.

For his Fall 2011 collection, presented within the framework of Vauxhall Fashion Week on Friday, Tze reapplied his signature foam, translated this time into much more wearable looks. The enhanced collection features more basic elements like high-waist trousers and pristine miniskirts, making his clothes more approachable while maintaining his minimalist vision.
Interview by Lilli Heinemann, photos by Ben Benoliel