A week ago, my sartorial integrity has been challenged. Mama-provoker threw a spontaneous cocktail party in the hub of Hong Kong's financial district for colleagues and friends that consisted entirely of bankers, lawyers, and accountants. If I were to show up and be introduced to this foreign world as the son of the hostess, my sister, also a confirmed attendee, promptly implied I better not be 'too much of [myself]', as in please dress down. When further interrogated if I brought a plain shirt from London, I realized I hadn't foreseen any formal functions, I only packed turtlenecks and knit dresses. Needless to say, it's starting to shape up as seriously not-my-scene. On the night, I decided that I'd be damned if I were to compromise and show up looking like a typical 'boy' conforming to my oppressive gender role (to someone like me); so to strike a balance, I showed up in an all black vintage 70s Ann Taylor jumpsuit. There, diplomacy has been laid. This led me to think, why am I so adamant against going with the proverbial flow? I mean, even instead of choosing a plain background to shoot an outfit, I needed to hoist myself up to the edge of a cliff with crashing waves like I'm Aerial the mermaid *cue Part of Your World*. Perhaps it's because I've been trying to 'fit in' all my life and got me nowhere because people like us simply don't fit the classic mold, which is why we're seen as provokers. But truthfully, I don't mind the classics, so long as there's some twist to it. Exhibit A, a striped top and black wool trousers, except mine are corseted flared dungarees that are so high waisted they graze my nipples, and my Breton cardi-top also works as a polo. Yes, I let the devil live in my details. Then for street-cred, I throw on this vintage cropped white denim jacket I found in a tiny charity shop in Paris back in October. Come to think of it, I do have some formal events lined up, one wedding in France come summer. I was given full permission by the bride-to-be to "be myself", now that's what I like to hear... I'm thinking a sheer baggy navy ruffled blouse and tweed fringed diaper shorts. Oh yeah, fuck the suit.
clutch OLYMPIA LE-TAN
photography DAVID HAJOO CHOI