Living the dream
Creative consultant Alvin Goh has made a career of telling beautiful stories, writes Tama Lung
Whether styling a celebrity fashion shoot, curating an avant-garde exhibition or mastering a new make-up technique, Alvin Goh sees himself as a kind of storyteller.
'I like to seek inspiration from various sources and I like every visual to tell a story,' says Goh, whose most recent project was putting together the 'L'Art de la Radiance' exhibition in celebration of Cle de Peau Beaute's 30th anniversary. 'I like my visuals to have depth to them. Like the recent Cle de Peau Beaute exhibition that I created, every single piece of work has a profound story behind it.'
Raised in a Chinese family in Singapore, Goh once dreamt of a career as a fashion designer. But after launching a makeover business at the age of 20, he moved into make-up, hairstyling, styling and photography.
'I was amazed by the power of make-up,' Goh says. 'The sheer transformation amazes me and I started reading about it and practising it. It all started as a feel-good thing and never in my wildest dreams did I think something like that could become a career for me.'
After transforming girls-next-door into stylish sophisticates, Goh made his way to Hong Kong where he did make-up and styling for celebrities and major fashion magazines. He teamed up with Dior in 2008 for a photography exhibition, 'Iconic Visions', creating looks for eight celebrity models including Josie Ho Chiu-yee and Jennifer Tse Ting-ting. Goh says: 'I gave them a drastic makeover [the likes of] which no one had seen before and that garnered a lot of media attention.'
He designed exhibitions and advertising campaigns for Cartier, Guerlain and Louis Vuitton before taking on the Cle de Peau Beaute challenge, in which he handpicked 30 artists, photographers and poets from around the world to display their interpretation of radiance.
'I consider myself a creative consultant specialising in beauty and fashion,' says Goh. 'I started as a make-up artist and fashion stylist and then I graduated to become a creative consultant for many international brands.'
He credits Singaporean singer Kit Chan with instilling a sense of perfectionism and discipline in him. He also cites actresses Tilda Swinton and Juliette Binoche as his beauty icons, saying: 'I like women with good auras and positivity - that surpasses all levels of superficial beauty.'
Indeed, while Goh loves a good product as much as the next make-up artist - Cle de Peau Beaute's best-selling La Creme and concealer are two favourites - he sees beauty as much internal as external. 'I wanted to make a statement [with 'L'Art de la Radiance'] that beauty is not just from the outside but also from the inside,' Goh says. That beauty 'is beyond skin deep, and that if they look closely, everyone can discover radiance within themselves'.