CLAD IN A head-to-toe ensemble of ebony, his svelte frame swathed by textile layers of varying textures, Bryan Goh comes across as a mysterious individual with a curious sense of style.
Amidst the vibrant and colourful fashion community, Bryan’s minimalistic monotone hues stand out. Amusingly, he owes his penchant for black to the practical rationale that he is a messy eater.
Bryan believes that a person’s choice of colours speaks volumes about their personality and for him, black is versatile and multi-dimensional, as it is ominous yet calm, strong but subdued and ostentatious yet meek at the same time. His dedication to black is symbolic of the fundamental principles of his personal style- one that is steadfast to the aesthetics that he believes in and unwavered by passing trends.
Fashion holds varied interpretations to different individuals. To some, fashion is a means of self-expression, whilst others use it as a platform to make a statement.
To Bryan, fashion is an avenue for experimentation and evaluation- a primary process of discovering and curating one’s personal aesthetic. It is also a form of escapism for him, as each different outfit can be perceived as a fantasy to escape the everyday. A case in point is the climate-defying layers that are often featured in his outfits.
Out of interest, Bryan dabbles in apparel design as a hobby. He shares that his designs are often conceived when he dreams up pieces he would wear and thus, his designs are an extension of his personal aesthetic preferences. Staying true to his aesthetic beliefs, Bryan experiments with minimal monotone hues, sleek silhouettes and the juxtaposition of textures. As an aspiring designer, Bryan is an avid supporter of the local fashion industry. He strongly believes that the works of local designers posses a certain soul and character that encapsulates the beliefs and fashion philosophies of its designer, a trait that is lacking in mass-marketed apparels that are often designed under the influence of a passing trend.
Fashion is dictated, Style is innate.
“Style is curated, never collected” makes Bryan’s fashion philosophy. Although fashion often connotes excess and extravagance, Bryan refuses to buy into the concept of passing trends. He cites the 5-piece-per-season concept to be a major influence in the curation of his personal aesthetic preferences. This concept originated from France, where French women purchase only 5 key pieces of a particular season, forcing them to thoughtfully select and curate pieces that are true to their personal style. This concept also prioritizes quality over quantity.
Although often assumed to be one and the same, Bryan is quick to draw the distinction between fashion and style. He believes that one can be fashionable yet not stylish, explaining that an individual can choose to conform to trends, but he will recognize it immediately if it fails to resonate with one’s personal aesthetic. “Fashion is dictated, Style is Innate.”
Photographs taken by John Tan