The Impression’s Look at the Parsons School of Design 2015 Design Winners


[intense_hr size=”large” accent_width=”30″ accent_height=”3″]By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

Fashion is one of the world’s most innovative fields and one that not only welcomes fresh perspectives but relies on them. To gain insight from the industries next generation of designers The Impression checked in with this years award winners from Parsons School of Design to see what was on their minds. For the first in this week’s series we spoke with Jon Max Goh, who along with designer Sungho Kim, was awarded Parsons Menswear Designer of the Year.JON MAX GOH portrait

What inspired you to go into fashion?
It really started from the simple problem of never being able to find something that would fit me just the way I wanted to, ever since I was a kid. Going through art school, I began to realize that despite being competent in multiple media, my comfort came through drawing, color and working 3-dimensionally. It wasn’t long before I realized that the body was the 3-dimensional plane I was most interested in calling my canvas. Coupled by the rose-tinted glamor of the fashion world at a tender age, it was inevitable that fashion and I would meet on an exciting adventure.

What three fashion houses do you admire?
Mr. Christian Dior has always been a big inspiration since I found my interest in fashion. There is something in the romanticism of his work, and the keen attention to beauty of his masterpieces that has definitely captured me from youth. By extension, the house of Christian Dior, and the different creative directors who have maintained and embodied Mr Dior’s legacy has resonated significantly with the way I appreciate beauty. From John Galliano’s opulent and theatrical Dior, to Raf Simons’ intellectual and refined modern Dior, I find myself constantly captivated by these nuances and attention to both surface detail, and sculptural detail in my own work. Also, the intellectualism within Margiela’s work and Raf Simons’ own work are some of the names I definitely continue to look up to and admire within the fashion industry.

What inspired your senior collection?
My collection centers itself around the idea of nostalgic memory in a search of developing a library of my own design vocabulary. By interrogating not only my personal and familial history, but also the collective memory and narrative of post-colonial migrant Singapore where I was born and raised, my thesis collection aims to re-examine what the conversation between East and West could look like in (fashion) design. In exploring these concepts through the medium of Menswear, I sought to challenge what is viable and acceptable on the male form within the context of fashion. What is viable outside of western Menswear? If you designed a dress for a man, is it not Menswear? Considering the level of acceptance within Womenswear in terms of what is ‘wearable’, can we continue to move Menswear in that same direction? Why not? These were questions that constantly propelled my thesis collection, and are questions I will continually pose and ask.

What mark do you hope to leave in the industry?
I am definitely interested in continuing to question and challenge the norms of our understanding of what Menswear is, can and should be today, and beyond the 21st century. But more so than that, I hope to incorporate a larger view and voice of viability that stems from outside the western world and western nomenclature of clothing, be it Mens or Womenswear. By borrowing from the past, and from cultures considered ‘other,’ to inform something that is new and of its own, and yet entirely a celebration of our collective existence as a human race. By tapping on and recording the richness of culture, heritage and history, I truly hope that my work will continue to humanize the way we see and the way we design the world we live in. That the new can be the old can be the new.