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7 Sartorialists share their thoughts on style, trends, and what’s next

Dos, don'ts, and how to update your closet for the year ahead.

Chris Chong

Capitaland

MD, Retail, CapitaLand Singapore

My style: I like stylish yet practical pieces as I might have to be at a few different malls around the island on a workday. To me, retail is about the details and it has to be relevant, fun and interesting; I go for the same qualities when I pick out pieces. I appreciate playful details that pop and I would jazz up a corporate suit with statement shoes or a belt.

Trends I’ll be trying: I’m inclined to be adventurous with textures and silhouettes, and will be on the lookout for wearable outfits in satin, silk, leather and pinstripes. New and noteworthy Collaborations are a great way for businesses to reach out to larger audiences and increase their market share. Fortunately, the popularity of collaborations shows no sign of slowing down in the fashion world. In the past year, many innovative products have been released, and I look forward to more in 2020, particularly the capsule collections of Louis Vuitton and NBA, and Jordan Brand and Dior.

Trend that must end: Overly distressed jeans.

 

(Related: CapitaLand Retail deputy managing director Chris Chong on personal style and strategies for saving retail)

 

Walid Zaazaa

Manifesto

Founder, Manifesto

My style: Minimalist and functional. Black makes up 80 per cent of my wardrobe and the rest of it is navy, grey and, occasionally, white. I have more than 40 black T-shirts – I like the idea of a uniform.

Closet update: I want to be less strict about my look and my personal fashion principles. I think it’s about time. I’ll probably replace some of my basics with stuff that is a bit more sophisticated. For example, I often wear the clean, black tees from (French brand) Lemaire, but I’m ready to wear less simple and “dressier” tops from his collection. I guess the older I get, the less boring I become.

Trends to watch: I sense a slowdown in logo-heavy streetwear, probably replaced by smarter sportswear. There will also be a return to style inspired by the 1970s. Shoulders will become structured, waists are getting higher, trouser hems are wider, and there is an interest in retro-traditional fabrics like houndstooth. It’s probably inspired by movies (think Joker or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and the music scene.

Must-have for now: A bucket hat. There are so many different shapes and materials available. I’ll suggest wearing one with an elegant, slightly oversized shirt and wide-legged trousers for a more sophisticated look.

 

(Related: 3 design and fashion figureheads pick out brands you should watch)

 

Jeremy Nguee

Preparazzi gourmet catering

Chef-owner, Preparazzi gourmet catering

My style: Apocalyptic chic. I love minimal, functional black and grey outfits, and outer shells in technical materials. I mix it up with the occasional pilot bomber with embroidery patches and my Louis Vuitton monogram Keepall bag. My sneakers are always white.

Sport luxe: Last year, I started cycling, and also commute by foot and public transport, so I’ve lost a bit of weight. I’ve taken the chance to refresh my wardrobe, and find myself reaching for clothes that are slim-fitting and made from light, technical materials that keep me cool on the long trek to the station or a meeting. Thankfully, lots of sporting brands now have exciting collaborations that make “atheleisure” a bit of a fashion statement. I wear Rapha both on and off the bicycle. They have well-designed, top-quality clothes, and also have cool collaborations with designers like Paul Smith and ByBorre that literally sell out in minutes.

Designer to watch: As the creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, Virgil Abloh reaffirms how men love to dress. Relaxed, casual and always a statement. His latest collection features motifs of wildflowers that symbolises the beauty of humanity’s diversity. I would love to pick up one of Abloh’s latest Pochette (pouch) or Keepall – even though I’m trying to live a more sustainable and minimal lifestyle. Maybe another bicycle or watch then? (Laughs.)

 

(Related: Chefs’ Watch Collections: Both Jeremy Nguee and his timepieces are stylish and versatile)

 

Kevin Seah

Kevin Seah Bespoke

Tailor and founder, Kevin Seah Bespoke

My style: Simple and classic, with a bit of vintage and dressy. I’m usually in a shirt and jeans, and dress shoes with the occasional jacket. On weekends, I typically wear a casual, short-sleeved shirt and shorts. It’s like a modern safari and Cuban style. Nothing experimental; it’s about keeping things cool and comfortable.

Favourite designer: I’ve always liked what Armani does for its menswear. Elegant, classy, well-cut and very wearable designs with beautiful fabrics.

Tropical layering tips: We are bespoke tailors in Singapore, so unlike regions such as Europe, we don’t focus on beautiful winter styles with heavy layering and coats. I like to push the boundaries of menswear by focusing on casual, lighter fabrics and styles. I recommend overshirts for layering over casual blockprint shirts, which we have been actively pushing. I’ve always loved the artisanal craft of fabrics and prints. Also, we try to educate our clients to look beyond wearing their jacket with a dress shirt – they should also consider uncommon pieces such as a shortsleeved, Cuban-style shirt.

 

(Related: How Singapore’s bespoke tailors are future-proofing their trade)

 

Alexander Hascher

Sacco

Founder, blazer brand Sacco

My style: Sprezzatura, the Italian term that describes a casual way of wearing tailoring. For me, this means breaking up the stiff suit and replacing it with a soft blazer and comfortable chinos, both in a variety of colours. I have stopped wearing ties and cufflinks – instead, I use pocket squares and leave my shirt cuffs open.

Style scene shifts: There will definitely be a growing focus on sustainability and a move away from fast fashion. Besides that, I see an explosion of colours. Men work in increasingly relaxed environments, and corporate dark hues are being replaced by more daring and expressive colours. In past seasons, the look was more monochromatic but this year, I see it all mixed up in clashing tones – think the Joker.

Closet essential: My choice without question is my brand’s “zero-gravity” jacket, a soft blazer that is completely unlined and unstructured – it’s super-light, soft and, most importantly, breathable. There are neither shoulder pads, canvas nor lining; it’s just a single layer of luxury fabric.

End this trend: No more big logos, please.

 

(Related: Why the direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail model is here to stay)

 

Kozo Kawamura

Colony Clothing store

Founder, Colony Clothing store

My style: I used to design for (Japanese clothing retailer) Beams when I was living in Tokyo, and when I started Colony Clothing, I wanted to design clothing that sat in between Asian and western styles. Recently, I have enjoyed mixing black pieces with bold, clashing colours.

Getting social: Instagram has changed the way people dress – on the platform, you can see the many different ways that people coordinate or style their clothes. In the past, people might have worn a brand from top to bottom, or copied entire looks styled by a brand. Now that we can see how other people match their outfits, we tend to experiment more with our own style. People are more open to dressing in a manner that reflects their own identity and character.

Timeless craft: No matter the era, I recommend British bespoke suits and shoes. We occasionally have trunk shows with brands like (tailor) Huntsman and (shoemaker) George Cleverley.

 

(Related: Cult “select shop” Beams to take over Colony Clothing)

 

Clement Piak

Rico Engineering Works

Director, Rico Engineering Works

My style: Street-inspired styles that are against the norm – I like to look different, but not in such an exaggerated way that I look like a clown (laughs).

Who to wear now: Prada. In recent seasons, Miuccia Prada has showcased louder, unusual pieces that fit my style. I love how her brand plays with colours too.

Look I’d like to try: I’m intrigued by sharp tailoring, actually, because it would be a total change from what I typically wear now. I like the tailoring by Tom Ford. I like the cut and the brand’s attention to detail.

Must-have accessory: The upcoming Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior sneakers. I attended the Dior Fall 2020 men’s fashion show in Miami, where these shoes were featured. I like them a lot because they represent a combination of the two styles I like – sporty/ street and luxury. I have a pair reserved, and I’m waiting for them to arrive.

 

(Related: Fine clothes and accessories bring this stylish tribe together)