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17. October 2019

The smexiest men alive: Mr Lianyi Zhang


Maximilian Mogg

 1. How did you start with menswear?  What was your first contact with classic menswear? 

Before I came across classic menswear, I was rather passionate about fashion brands and took inspirations from different fashion shows. One that influenced my style and aesthetic the most was the Burberry Prorsum’s Autumn/Winter 2012 show by Christopher Bailey which pays tribute to classic British menswear. I was very fond of Mr Bailey’s designing style that brought a freshness to the historic brand while maintaining its heritage, and that encouraged me to delve into the world of classic menswear. I got myself a few overcoats from Burberry including the signature gabardine trench coat. A few years later, I purchased my first made-to-measure suit from Gucci. After this important experience, I believed I was ready to set foot into the realm of classic tailoring and started studying the styles and histories of various British and Italian tailoring houses. 

2. How do you normally put your outfit together? 

I always start by choosing the colours and textures. Some colours just don’t match each other; the same goes for textures. Once they’re set, I can narrow my garments down to four to five pieces and make my final decision between those chosen pieces. 

3. Tips for starters? 

Don’t just think about combining colours, but also textures. Worsted fabrics won’t go well with casual fabrics. That’s why a fine wool blazer with jeans looks odd. On the other hand, a tweed jacket works just fine with denim. When it comes to classic menswear, stop wearing low-waisted super skinny trousers. It pulls down your waistline and does not make you look taller or slimmer. Same goes for jacket length. ‘Rules are meant to be broken’ is true, but make sure you actually have a handle on the rules first. Follow the good old dressing rules and don’t try to impress anybody at the beginning. Otherwise, you might end up looking like peacocks from Pitti Uomo. 

4. How would you describe your style? 

My current occupation doesn’t require a strict and formal dress code, so I have quite a wide range of choices. I don’t necessarily have to wear a worsted 3-piece suit with a shirt and tie. Instead, I prefer less formal pieces like breton shirts, roll-neck jumpers, sports coats, and penny loafers. However, when attending more formal events, I try to dress up in the most conventional way possible. 

5. Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your role models when it comes to style? 

Inspiration comes from old films or series set before 1990s. In terms of role models, I don’t really any. There are plenty of #menswear icons, such as the Duke of Windsor, but I don’t think that style is imitable. I do still love taking inspirations from them, though. There are also a lot of smartly dressed British gents on Instagram that I follow. 

6. Which are your favourite brands at the moment and why? 

Drake’s, of course. They’ve created their own style and I love their casual wears and accessories. Edward Sexton. There are a few tailoring houses that have inherited the unique style of Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton is one of them. A Sexton suit has the most traditionally masculine silhouette one could imagine. Their new ready-to-wear offering also contains quite a few interesting pieces like their Hollywood-top trousers, pin-collar shirts, or their hidden button-down shirts. Not to be a shill: Maximilian Mogg. It’s not an easy process to find a trusted tailor that you can plan your sartorial future with. However, I think Max and I really share an aesthetic, and that’s really key in a relationship like this. 

7. Do you have a favourite garment and is there a piece of clothing that you would never wear? 

My MTM double-breasted suit by Edward Sexton cut from heavy fox flannel is my power suit. Things I don’t like include down coats and tank tops. I detest them and I really can’t see when I would ever need one. 

5 quick-fire questions

Favourite Bond film? 
I’ve only watched a few and I’m not a huge Bond fan. Some of the early Bonds did dress really well, though. 

Favourite shirt colour? 
Powder blue & white 

Your favourite shoe model? 
Cap-toe oxfords & opera pumps 

Break or no break? 

DB or SB?