Adopting the casual approach

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 April, 2012, 12:00am

Jason Godfrey has been a model for 15 years, so you'd expect him to be a master of fine dressing. But we found stacks of retro T-shirts in his closet.

'I wear T-shirts all the time. If I like one, I just keep on buying the same style. I'm pretty casual. Or maybe I'm just perpetually in my 20s,' says Godfrey, a 34-year-old Filipino-Canadian who made Hong Kong his base 21/2 years ago.

He's not joking. The model and TV presenter (Star World, AXN) has donned more than his share of the finest tailored suits in numerous campaigns and editorial photo shoots. But when he's off duty, he does the opposite.

'I'm driven to go against type,' he says. 'I don't want to wear the type of clothes that people would expect me to be wearing in my 30s. I like to dress like a bum and go to a nice place for dinner. I feel that, especially in Hong Kong, people want to show off their wealth in the way they dress. I dress to show I'm cynical about that.'

Some of his favourite T-shirts feature Marvel characters such as The Thing and Wolverine. There's also Bender, the robot character from Futurama, a series by the creators of The Simpsons.

'You know, cartoon characters always wear the same kind of clothes and nobody cares. I'm starting to think maybe I can get away with it, too,' Godfrey says.

If not for modelling, he says his wardrobe would probably contain just one pair of jeans and identical plain T-shirts. 'It certainly has influenced my style. When you are forced out of your comfort zone and dressed in clothes that you never thought you'd wear, you sometimes look into the mirror and think: 'Oh, that's kind of cool.' It broadens your wardrobe a little bit,' says Godfrey.

He says it's a misconception that models are showered with free clobber from sponsors. 'Over the past 15 years, I have probably got two pairs of jeans.'

When he wants to go for a more mature look, he trades some of his slogan T-shirts for V-neck plain ones, and wears them with a pair of dark Calvin Klein jeans. The only print shirt you'll find in his wardrobe was bought for a friend's wedding.

Being surrounded by opulent clothes on a daily basis hasn't made Godfrey a shopaholic. He usually goes for high street labels such as Topshop, Uniqlo and Pull & Bear.

'I don't really think about my style. It's more the don't-care attitude that carries it,' he says. 'I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard.'

Being dressed in metro looks for shoots, Godfrey aspires to dress like a 'real' man when he's not at work.

'I admire Vince Vaughn in Swingers and Steve McQueen. They dress simply, and look like men. I don't want to wear those cute little hats that make you look like Madonna in the Like a Virgin video. I don't understand that.'



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