In less than 2 years since Elohim by Sabrina Goh was launched, this Singapore based label has built a cult following all around the world. Deservedly so – each collection represents Goh’s unique voice in the fashion world. The clothes are fashion-forward and unique, but always accessible. I’m so excited to have Sabrina Goh participate in our Designer Interview Series!
Paper-Doll: How did you get into fashion design?
Sabrina Goh: Fashion has always been the dream job I wanted to do since I was young. I still remember my father asking me if I was interested in becoming a fashion designer. I do not know why he asked me that. Maybe he could see it was a gift in me. I was not art trained as a child but I was very inspired by my dad who was a Architect Draughtsman and I always helped him to watercolor. I continued my passion and studied at LASALLE.SIA College of the Arts, majoring in Fashion Design. After graduating, I participated in Singapore Young Designer 06 and 07 and was a finalist for both competitions. It was great to showcase my creativity in public and I couldn’t be who I am now without the great experiences.
When did you launch your own label?
What inspires you / your work?
I am inspired by structured forms, mixed elements of menswear and womenswear, symmetry and asymmetry, developing forms into unexpected details and startling silhouettes, exploring colour, cutting, textures, fabrication and contrasts between matt and shine.
Describe your SS 10 Collection.
ELOHIM Spring Summer 2010 collection is inspired by body modification – the act of adding to, cutting and customizing the body, to extend the concept of self. People who modify their bodies seek to recreate themselves. The body is a glove for the mind; to be studded is to be safe from harm. To lace up, to zip up, to wear courage, over and above our being. Taking this idea to its full expression, the collection sees extruding body shapes and extended shoulder lines. The silhouette is sculpted and decorated with frills, simple cuts are oversized and prolonged. Skin, body and hair are emphasized with frontal, declarative fringe details.
The collection is an anatomy of bodily modification, with braids, studs, pads and trains in strange places that have evolved into a larger-than-life skin for a less-than-invincible self. An Edward Scissorhands get-up, an armor too big for the wearer, for the creature hiding behind the garment.
These garments amplify and conceal at the same time, as the wearer adjusts her outward expression to suit a distressed world, as strong as she is vulnerable.
What is your favourite piece from your SS 10 Collection?
Studded Jeans (pictured above).
Did you have a personal soundtrack or a favorite album that you listened to while working on SS’09/10?
Not in particular, but I listened to MIA, Potishead, Damien Rice, The Kill and Air etc.
What area of your work do you enjoy the most?
Designing is my forte. I enjoy developing new collection and seeing each of the sketches become a real piece of clothing and eventually on the runway and photo shoot.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Financially I would say. Especially in this economy crisis, consumers are cutting down their expenses on clothing. My team is working very hard to give the best quality and creativity of clothes in exchange for our bread and butter and then continue to work wonders for next collection.
What is the most surprising thing that has happened to you as a designer?
I have not shown my collection in foreign countries or international runways, yet we are surprised that a lot of overseas press and media is writing about me and my label. I must say this is very fortunate and I really appreciate that.
If you could collaborate with any designer / artist / musician / etc. on a single project, who would it be and what would you do?
I want to collaborate with an installation artist. My design is always inspired by structural object and shape. I want to develop my collection to the next level whereby people can relate it as art.
If you could design a wardrobe for any one person (past/present/real/fictional), who would it be?
I would want to design a wardrobe for Kate Lanphear, US Elle Style editor.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Minimal. Androgynous. Structural.
What is your favourite item in your personal wardrobe?
My black gabardine vest.
Where do you shop for clothes when you’re not wearing your own?
Zara and Topshop Unique.
What is on your current fashion wishlist?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN’s Leggings.
What is the one item that every woman should have in her closet?
A pair of Jeans that looks good on you.
What is your favourite thing about the city you live in?
(Singapore) Very safe and clean environment.
If you couldn’t be a fashion designer, what other area of interest would you like to explore?
If I am not a fashion designer, I will be a makeup artist.
What is next for your label?
Establish in Singapore and to the rest of the country. I am fortunate to showcase my collection at AUDI Fashion Festival Singapore 09 together with Vivienne Westwood, Ashley Isham, Christian Lacriox, Marc by Marc Jacob etc. I hope this will be a platform to showcase my works internationally.