Nerd mentality

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 March, 2012, 12:00am


Ricky Kwok raises the shopaholic bar high when he opens his walk-in closet to reveal five racks of clothes, displayed like a fashion boutique.

'I used to be worse,' he says. 'I had to have my favourite pair of trousers in every available colour.'

The celebrity stylist has been in the trade for almost 10 years and has worked alongside A-listers such as Michele Reis, Anita Yuen Wing-yee and Sandra Ng Kwun-yu, and recently styled a campaign for Japanese casualwear label Rosebullet.

Kwok goes to extremes when he's styling the stars, but he's more subtle when he's picking his own outfits.

'I can go avant-garde in photo shoots, but you'll never see me wearing men's high heels or a skirt to an off-duty dinner or drinks. You have to feel comfortable in whatever you wear,' he says.

His passion for the quirky, nerdy look is evident in his wardrobe selections. The racks are filled with colourful shirts, suits and parka jackets.

'I don't have any white shirts in my closet. I don't have many plain pieces either, because they are boring,' he says. 'I'm obsessed with stripes and checks.'

Kwok recalls that once, to buy an out-of-stock piece he saw displayed on a mannequin, he went to Harrods every day for a week to beg the saleswoman.

His favourite go-to brands are Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe and Factotum for patchwork or check shirts and outerwear.

'You could wear them in seven years' time and they still wouldn't be out of style,' he says.

He also loves patchworks on his shoes. Some all time favourites include high-top sneakers from Mercibeaucoup and a leather pair from DSquared2.

Not quite the formalwear type, Kwok usually pairs denims or cargo trousers with his shirts. In fact he loves the 'drop-crotch' style chinos from Japanese brand Mercibeaucoup, and bought a dozen of them in different colours.

'I usually stay away from bulky silhouettes, but I found the cut suits my body shape. So I got eight pairs the first time I saw them. I think I probably have 60 of these pants from different brands,' he confesses. 'Yeah, I agree that's a bit much.'

He's bought a few Balenciaga envelope clutches in different colours and sizes, as well as two iPad cases from MGM, which he uses as clutches. Having had his share of 'wanting it all', Kwok says it's more about buying into 'versatility, longevity and practicality' these days.

'When I had to move home, I looked at all the clothes I bought and never wore,' he says. 'After that, I decided to scale back on the shopping.'

But he still stocks up on cashmere knits and cosy shawls.

'I think it's a winning combo for guys to layer a good quality cardigan on top of your shirt. They are warm and versatile,' he says. 'I have to travel to different places for work, so shawls and scarves come in handy. They can give you an instant style boost.'

Kwok always packs his pastel blue Louis Vuitton pullover and a few cashmere cardigans from Club Monaco when he has to travel. He often takes inspiration from fashionistas on the street.

'I don't have a style icon, but I find myself constantly attracted to street fashion. I remember chasing after a girl I met in Paris to take a picture of her. She was wearing a very tight pencil skirt and wore a jacket draped over her shoulders instead of wearing it arms-in. That was before everyone started doing that last season.'

As a stylist, Kwok deals with high fashion brands every day. But he thinks there is more to fashion than designer brands.

'I don't think you can buy good taste. There's actually no absolute formula for styling and that's why fashion's always fun,' he says.




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