1. How did you start with menswear? What was your first contact with classic menswear?
I was first introduced to menswear by my uncle. His clothing – mainly consisting of pieces from Japanese avant-garde designers – always fascinated me. Hence, from early on, I learned that clothes are far more than merely a means to an end. The conceptual backdrop for these designs is very enthralling to me. Yohji Yamamoto’s clothes, for example, are closely connected to classic menswear. Hence, my introduction to menswear in general and classic menswear took place at a similar point in time.
2. How do you normally put your outfit together?
How I choose my outfits really depends on what I am doing on any given day. When I am at university or in the office, I would usually go for a combination of wool trousers, a shirt, and knitwear. I tend to wear white leather sneakers on these occasions. I am rather discreet when it comes to colours: most of the time I wear blacks, dark blues, and/or beiges. Every now and then I add some colour but that is the exception not the rule.
In the evening or on special occasions, I enjoy wearing suits. For now, I do not have too many options to choose from so my approach is fairly pragmatic. The suit is navy blue, the shirt is either white, light blue, or pale pink and the tie should work with the shirt. I do not play around with socks and shoes: I usually opt for black oxfords and black socks.
3. Tips for starters?
As I would consider myself a beginner, I can only advise you to have a conversation with someone whose style you admire and who is perhaps further along in their sartorial journey than yourself. These experiences are incredibly enlightening! Another very helpful thing to do is studying magazines. A considerable amount of my knowledge on menswear comes from magazines (Fantastic Man and Hercules Universal are personal favourites), blogs, and – more recently – podcasts (Blamo!). Sure, there are huge discrepancies in quality when it comes to these media but if you have found your way here, you are probably on the right track.
4. How would you describe your style?
My style consists of everything from jeans, to avant-garde designers, and conservative suits. Perhaps, one common denominator is a certain inclination towards uniformity (not uniforms!) and a playful approach to it. Suits can work as a sort of uniform that one can take cover in. A suit elicits certain connotations. Wearing a suit, you can choose to subvert these – or not. In a contradictory sort of way, a made-to-measure suit complicates the entire situation by being a highly individualised piece of clothing. I very much enjoy a playful approach to this ambiguity.
5. Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your role models when it comes to style?
I find inspiration in various things: literature, film, and social media are my biggest sources at the moment. Editorials in fashion magazines are also insightful at times.
Some of my stylistic role models are fictional characters. The way in which George Falconer (Colin Firth) approaches clothing in Tom Ford’s A Single Man – precisely preparing in the morning in order to turn into what others expect from him – is iconic. In Plein Soleil, Tom Ripley (Alain Delon) masters the ultimate summer wardrobe and in Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons) wears one of the most beautiful Glen-check suits I have ever seen. Recently, I have also become a fan of Timothée Chalamet’s outfits – the ecru dinner jacket he wore to the 2018 Oscars earned him the best-dressed award in my book.
6. Which are your favourite brands at the moment, and why?
Christophe Lemaire is one of my favourites. Margaret Howell is also very exciting at the moment. There are many outfits in her collections that I would like to wear. The colour palette is rather muted which allows you to combine almost all of her pieces with one another. The silhouette is airy and rather loose. It never strays too far from classic cuts but also has a sense of androgyny.
7. Do you have a favourite garment and is there a piece of clothing that you would never wear?
At the moment, one of my favourite pieces is a woollen sweater from Acne Studios. It has a boxy cut and features a very wide brim. At first sight, it appears to be beige but the beige is mixed with some pink and forest green. It goes well with almost all muted colours and keeps you very warm.
I could not see myself wearing velvet suits. It might be worth to consider a velvet dinner jacket but wearing an entire outfit in velvet should be reserved for the likes of Jimi Hendrix.
5 quick-fire questions
Favourite Bond film?
I am not a fan of Mr Bond.
Favourite shirt colour?
White or light blue – at times, combined in stripes.
Your favourite shoe model?
Break or no break?
It really depends on the types of trousers. When it comes to suits, I would go for either half break or full break, depending on the degree of formality.
DB or SB?