James Chau Kin-seng

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2005, 12:00am

Style secrets of the hip and fashionable

CCTV newsreader/producer

Wardrobe staple?

Ties. On camera, I choose styles that are solid/patterned, serious/fun or preppy/crazy. It's the one thing you wear that expresses your personality to viewers. And, if you don't have personality, you can pretend to with a tie

What do you always wear?

Underwear - if I remember.

Fashion no-nos?

Birkenstocks and Velcro-strapped sandals. They're beyond ugly and Jackie O never wore them.

Man bag or jacket pockets?

Neither. I don't carry a wallet or keys. I make do with a silver money clip. If I'm forced to be practical, I wear my black Hermes Evelyn bag or the medium grey Prada box I used at Cambridge.

Favourite shoe designer?

I'm going to Rome this autumn to find out. Should I send you answers on a postcard?

Must-have accessory?

A mink travelling blanket, a Cartier French Tank and oversized black sunglasses.

Most cherished fashion item?

I'm unfashionable and out of touch with what trendies such as David Beckham dictate. But my most cherished item (fashionable or not) would be my white and peacock blue Valentino belt and my brass-buckled Ferragamo wrist cuff with a stitched, butterscotch leather strap. Sounds rather kinky, I know, but it looks quite smart.

Who'd design your Oscars suit?

Swedish maestro J. Lindeberg, who cuts, snips and tailors his dinner jackets to the 'nth' degree. Very svelte and rather like a rock star take on the Yves Saint Laurent le smoking look. I also think Julien MacDonald, Valentino Garavani and Alber Elbaz are the Elsa Schiaparelli, Charles James and Hubert de Givenchy of our times.

Style icon?

I was born into a stable of clotheshorses and, without doubt, my mum is the champion thoroughbred. She's friends with Jimmy Choo and has a shoe collection that would make Imelda Marcos blush. Hundreds of pairs of Charles Jourdan, Salvatore Ferragamo and Roland Cartier. If she believed in reincarnation (and she doesn't), my mum would definitely come back as a padded clothes hanger or a wooden shoehorn. Hard to say which.

Your fashion style?

Conservative with a liberal edge.

Metrosexual or neandersexual (non-metrosexual)?

It would be nice if I could just manage 'sexual'.

Shoes or trainers?

I only wear trainers for fencing and when I drag myself to the gym a couple of mornings a week. Don't get me wrong - I'm not health conscious. I do it purely for vanity. My brown Hermes trainers occasionally see the light of day. About as often as I eat.

Slip-ons or lace-ups?

I have one pair of black lace-ups that I use on the last day of Royal Ascot with a morning suit. Every-one looks terribly glamorous, but in a top hat and tails, you sometimes get mistaken for an undertaker.

Cuffs or buttonhole?

Buttonholes remind me of my pre-pubescent schooldays. I'm afraid it's cuffs, monogrammed with my initials on the underside. Our little secret.

Boxers or briefs?

Briefs, naturally.

High end or high street?

Well, high street to me begins with Sloane and Old Bond. It's politically correct to say that you mix and match, but - let's face it - Givenchy beats Giordano hands down.

Fashion disaster?

A black/white Moschino blazer splashed with C sharps and treble clefs. Humiliating. My only excuse is I was studying at the Royal Academy of Music at the time.