Sunday, 3 April 2011

Tze Goh - Intricate Simplicity

So, a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to have a quick chat with up and coming designer Tze Goh.

I have to say I was extremely nervous about interviewing him, I hate speaking to people over the phone, somehow it's even worse than having to meet face to face (I alsways get super paranoid about the sound of my own voice), but luckily Tze Goh was quite lovely and didn't seem to find me too annoying.

Keep reading below for the full profile that I created about him - and feel free to let me know what you think.

Tze Goh - Intricate Simplicity

Juxtaposing minimal lines with complex design techniques, up and coming designer Tze Goh demonstrates how inspiration and success can appear in many forms.

With his final bow consisting of nothing more than a humble head nod, Tze Goh proves that sheer talent and creative ingénue is all that is required to create a lasting impression.

As the eponymous designer witnessed the final model disappear behind a stark white backdrop, he felt a “sense of all consuming pride”. The end of his premiere showcase at London Fashion Week was the culmination of six months tireless work, and a glittering education that led to him being named as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones to Watch’.

A Singapore native, Tze Goh has become something of a fashion butterfly. He studied in both Paris and New York, before heading to London, where he would eventually graduate from the prestigious Central St Martins School of design.  The competitive fashion hothouse challenged Goh to live up to the standards of their impressive alumni, a challenge in which he succeeded, as his 2010 graduate collection garnered extensive praise. In pristine white, the clothes focused extensively on the ways in which a simple T-shirt could be developed into outerwear; with angular armholes and twisted collars the statuesque series of nine looks displayed a likeness to seminal designers Martin Margiela and Jil Sander. “When I start a collection it is on nothing more than a feeling”, says the designer in a heavy mandarin accent. “It’s only during the designing phase that a concept is actually created.”

In many ways, Goh’s designs are a perfect reflection of the man himself.  Understated yet ingenious, austere yet modern, “(my clothes) are pure, minimal and statuesque”, he states coolly, blurring the lines between the man and his creations even further. Two seasons after his debut, Goh continues to stick to his aforementioned ethos. Accompanied by a haunting string instrumental, model after model strode, with an air of quiet confidence down the runway of his autumn/winter 11 collection. All intricate pleating and carefully folded curves, the garments in lagoon blue, and asphalt grey were executed with technical perfection. “I was inspired by geometric Japanese designs, and the clean lines of automobile interiors...especially German made automobiles.” Says Goh, explaining the reason behind the fastidious amount of workmanship in a single sentence.

Once his education was complete, Goh decided to stay in London insisting, “it is the right place to develop my label…London is a combination of old and new, with an eye constantly to the future”. “I do miss the weather back home though”, Goh adds hurriedly, his pitch audibly changing for the first time. “It’s so cold here.”

The weather here may be cool, but his reception on unveiling his own label, has been anything but. Snapped up by concept boutique LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Café), owner and former Harrods buyer John Skelton, Goh’s designs can be found nestled between those of Rick Owens, and Martin Margiela, in the new East London store, that prides itself on promoting ‘forward thinking’ brands.

“It is important to continually push the boundaries of convention when designing; it’s the best way to keep challenging yourself,” says Goh on his future plans. “Although I am currently only focusing on womenswear, anything is possible in the future.” Indeed, maybe next season his final bow will captivate his audience more than his exquisite designs. Just maybe. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: Another Legend Lost

On discovering the terrible news regarding Elizabeth Taylor's passing in the early hours of this morning, I couldn't help but feel deeply saddened.

A great actress, and an even greater star, her passing signals the end of an era, as one of the final links to Hollywoods Golden Age is lost.

Commanding attention from an early age, Elizabeth Taylor literally grew up in the limelight. From her movie role in One Born Every Minute at the age of just 10, she went on to become one of the most revered actresses the world has ever, and most likely will ever know. From her Oscar winning turns as Gloria Wondrous in Butterfield 8, and the cult classic Cleopatra, the only thing that could upstage Taylor's talent, was her extraordinary beauty and tumultuous private life.

With her legendary violet eyes, alabaster skin, and raven locks, she became one of the worlds most talked about women; setting a precedent for the way in which young starlets would be viewed in years to come.

However I truly hope that she won't be remembered for her ability to sell newspapers, but for her extraordinary talent, and for her humanitarian efforts, that sees her HIV/Aids foundation that has helped millions of people worldwide, as surely one of her greatest legacies.

As I sit here typing, I am not shocked that she is no longer with us, I am shocked that a women so talented, beautiful and resilient could ever have existed at all.

Elizabeth Taylor 1932 - 2011
A woman as beautiful as she was talented

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Makeup Forever - The world's first unretouched campaign

Today, women everywhere should prepare to jump for joy as Makeup Forever launches the world’s first ‘unretouched makeup campaign’.

Yes you heard it right: bucking the trend for unrealistically flawless foundation and perfectly polished pouts, the American makeup brand has chosen to use au naturale images to promote its line of HD foundation, instead of the endless stream of pictures, Photoshopped beyond recognition before they are released into our consciousness.

Pictured, arm outstretched, snapping a photo of herself, the campaign is clearly assisted by the fact that the model in question is already stunning, with near perfect skin.

However there are flaws for us to hone in on; from her bumpy arm to her dark under eye circles, the campaign has a sense of realism, that allows us to actually get a sense of the products capabilities, as opposed to those of the digital designer.

It's a brave pioneering move. Lets hope that this is just the first of many brands to allow us to see the real women, behind the manufactured image.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Commuun: Paris Fashion Week

One of my favourite shows from Paris Fashion Week, has to be the Commuun show.

The Parisienne based fashion house is run by two Japanese designers, Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate, although they have only shown the past two seasons, I find their shows, and their innovative way of constructing garments very exciting indeed.

Focusing on the interplay between sheer and opaque fabric, the Japanese design duo created a collection that re-invented the wardrobe staple, simply through the mixing of un-expected textures.

This black cropped jacket was given a uniquely contemporary twist, by juxtaposing the rigid matte black fabric with the oil slick-esque high shine panels. It looks gorgeous with this monochrome ensemble, but would look equally stunning dressed down on the average women with jeans and sky-high black ankle boots. 

I adore the mix of sheer and opaque fabric in this dress. Whilst this is a very simple silhouette, the contrast makes your eyes dance around the page. Obviously not the most wearable dress - I may need to hit the gym for a few hundred hours first - it looks stunning as a show piece.

This is a master class in how to make sweatpants sexy. Mix matte white trousers, with a sheer chiffon, and black wool top and you never need be ashamed when you answer the door to the postman again. 
These exquisitely tailored yet casual trousers may actually be my favourite piece from the entire collection - I literally want to reach through my computer screen and grab them of that lucy, lucky model.

The perfect cocktail dress. I wonder if we will see anyone on the red carpet in this, this year? I will be on the look out.

The final looks strayed from the monochrome structure of the rest of the show, and introduced pops of primary colour. 

All in all, this was one my surprise favourite show of the entire season; simplistic yet innovative, I only wish I had a few thousand pounds to spend on those white trousers, and black jacket. 

My only gripe? 
Why the red eyeshadow? 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

John Galliano: What Could Have Been

In an intimate salon setting, a series of just 20 looks was showcased, from the fallen visionaries e own line.
A far cry from the fantastical, and theatrical nature that normally encapsulates a John Galliano show, I was worried that the clothes would pale in comparison to his usual exquisite standards; on the contrary, amid the simplistic setting, it served only to showcase just how stunning Galliano's designs are, and what a great loss to the fashion industry the events of the past two weeks have led too.

Whilst I am in no way excusing or attempting to justify the designer's behaviour, it should be noted that I am also unable to overlook the beautiful garments from his latest collection, that would in other circumstances have been applauded. The fur collared tailored jackets, latex pencils skirts and the ubiquitous nod to 30s with over sized closh hats, was combined with an un-parelled sense of glamour in the form of romantic, billowing print dresses and feather adorned midi skirts. Groundbreaking? No. Signature Galliano? Of course, but then, actually, aren't they one and the same thing?

The one thing that was missing was Galliano's signature bow. With the designer now apparently seeking help for the drink problems that caused his outburst - the question has to be asked as to how long he will remain in fashion exile? Coco Chanel's lasted nine years didn't it?

What are your views on his latest collection?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Maison Martin Margiela

The Maison Martin Margiela show (hereby referred to in this post as MMM) is always one of my highlights of Paris Fashion Week.
The Belgian design house, always manages to deliver a conceptual collection that leaves you with a strong opinion one way or another.
Not always wearable (who can forget last seasons cardboard cut-out take on masculine vs feminine?), the clothes always make an impact along with a highly entertaining and thought provoking show.

This season however left me feeling somewhat disappointed.

Based around the concept of a single dress, the models appeared with dresses, un-zipped to the waist to reveal the garments lying underneath.
A great concept, yet all too often the clothes looked just way to bulky, and swamped the models slight frame.

It is almost impossible to see the detailing underneath the red coat in this outfit. It's almost as if the stylists were competing to see just how many garments could be forced on a single girl.

The ubiquitous deconstruction was once again showcased by MMM. Normally a masterclass in how to chop and change garments - this coat looks to me almost amateur - as if a design student had been let loose with a pair of scissors.

My favourite look in collection however has to be this camel maxi skirt complete with long black leather gloves.

I also love this pink sleeveless dress, however once again think that less would defiantly have been more when it came to the styling ( I am not a fan of the wrinkly pantyhose boots)- it really distracts from the exquisite garment.

All in all I feel that whilst this a good collection with some nice pieces, it doesn't have the usual MMM wow factor that leaves you discussing the collection for days afterwards.

What did you think of the collection?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Ann Demeulemeester: Black Parade

It’s rare that an all black collection has the ability to capture its audience. All too often the exquisite detailing  gets lost against the mass of opaque fabric.

Following in the footsteps of seminal designers such as Vera Wang and Yohi Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester appears to have defied all fashion logic as her single colour collection was (at least in my little mind) a showstopper.

 The formidable Belgian designer strayed from her monochrome colour palette seen last just season and sent an array of darkly beautiful models down the runway; each one adorned with birdlike, black feather head pieces, oh so tough black leather leggings, and intrinsically detailed velvet jackets in, you guessed it, black.

 The indulgent goat fur jackets, the ends of which had been tinged with crimson red, provided the only shot of colour, to the all black collection. 

Whilst the collection may not appear instantly wearable (I can’t quite imagine I would ever have the occasion to whip out a £10,000 goat fur coat), there are many pieces which would make great winter staples, once styled out of your own closet.

For example this velvet and lace encrusted crop jacket would complement any winter cocktail dress, and look perfect over a simple jeans and silk shirt ensemble.

For me however, the big trend to come from this collection has to be the innovative use of belts. Big, tough and military inspired, they have been juxtaposed with bird’s feathers to symbolise, in the designers own words, “giving peace a chance”.

Forcing the clothes to ruffle and crumple, the oversized belts literally coerce the body into an entirely new silhouette. For the price of one, well chosen accessory, you could have the ability to renew an endless amount of outfits, all whilst flattering your body shape.

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to lust after this ostrich feathered beauty a little while longer.