Out of My Closet: DJ Enso

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2012, 5:48pm

We're standing in DJ Enso's Lan Kwai Fong apartment on a noisy Friday night - his turntables are plainly in sight, but it's not music that's on his mind.

He's talking to us about fashion - like his sounds, the DJs dress sense is a tongue-in-cheek blend of genres.

"I like to mix and match," says Enso, whose real name is Cassady Winston. "To pull things from different areas and cultures, and to reappropriate them to build something new."

His sartorial style rarely follows any rules, cultural zeitgeist, or even sticks to one personal identity.

"I play a lot of characters and the clothes I wear help remind me who I'm playing at the time," he says.

The two wardrobes side by side in his upstairs bedroom offer an assortment of personalities, and while there are a few tailored pieces and brand names in them, they're not part of the Enso look.

Hats feature prominently: the top shelf of his cupboard and most of the other surfaces in his household are covered with baseball caps of all shapes, sizes and colours.

"It's a bit of a problem really, since I always want more," he says. "Five years ago, if you wanted a Yankees cap, it was always the same colour. Now, you can get them in pink, fluorescent blue, whatever - there's a lot of fun collecting custom, graphic ones."

The hip hop influence is just one minor dimension of a blurry whole. Even Enso pokes fun at his own fashion choices - including his treasured selection of cat T-shirts.

"Hip hop culture has these airbrush DIY shirts of rappers - unlicensed, over-sized shirts that some guy with a silkscreen made in his liquor store. And cats are huge right now, so these T-shirts that fuse airbrush culture with these outer space animals just amaze me," the 31-year-old says. "It's also part of the whole metrosexual thing: guys have to do cute these days."

But "doing" cute isn't just about beaming cats off your chest any more. It also encompasses a creative and international aspect to Enso - similar to the varied ethnic club nights he hosts at XXX, the venue he runs in Sheung Wan. He has a propensity towards what he likes to call "minority clothes".

Often, they're acquisitions from around the globe, with his club-trotting lifestyle regularly taking him from Chengdu's Tibetan neighbourhoods and Mexico's weekend street markets to his native San Francisco's vintage stores or London's hip designer boutiques.

"The whole aspect of taking traditional clothes and mixing them with modern items is based on my premise that at some point in the future all rules will be out the window," he says. "Not just with the metro thing, but where everything will be mixed up in a Blade Runner way.

"I don't know - as a DJ, wearing these clothes helps me get in character. But it's not just that: there's a monotony to life, and it's just fun dressing up."