Having lain low since the label Song&Kelly disbanded in 2007, this much-missed designer will launch his first seasonal menswear collection Wykidd next month at his atelier in Mount Sophia. He spoke to us about contemporary menswear and his upcoming collection prior to its release.
What’s the biggest shift in menswear you’ve observed over the years?
That men are more aware of fashion and slowly catching up with their girlfriends and wives when it comes to shopping for their wardrobe. They also know what a Birkin or an Alexa is today. They are also more willing to try new trends such as drop crotch pants or skinny jeans. Plus, there’re more colors to men’s dressing too, especially in major cities around Asia such as Seoul and Shanghai, where men actually spend more than women. It is an upward trend and makes the scene a lot more interesting for designers like myself as I am more willing to try certain designs in menswear now than I would have, say, five years ago.
How have your design aesthetics evolved and grown over the years?
It’s cleaner, utilitarian, and more attention is paid to refined finishing and details that are very personal to the wearer.
What can you tell us about your upcoming ready-to-wear collection?
It’s my Spring/Summer 2011 collection entitled ”Exposed,” which is inspired by the dance of light and shadow. The direction is influenced by Helmut Lang, Comme des Garçon and the tradition of mens tailoring and artisanal precision finishing and craft. The style is mostly casual with outstanding details that give it an air of distinction. Pieces include soft tailored jackets with hand laced shirt details and tees with edgy prints: It’s the refined tropical style that we so need in our summers to come.
Is it an extension of sorts from your current bespoke pieces?
Well it’s certainly an extension of me and what I’m about: In terms of fluidity in design, which is what my dresses are about, so yes.
What looks appeal to you and what are you inspired by these days as both a consumer and designer?
Anyone who dresses with confidence, whether it’s in fashion or in season, appeals to me. Someone who bothers to dress according to the occasion or even if it doesn’t call for dressing but they do. I love seeing people spinning their own idiosyncratic style on themselves, which totally inspires me—especially here where we tend to be more conservative. More and more art also plays a very important part in my work.
What do men look for in a collection these days and what should they be looking out for?
Cloth, cut and value that they can feel. There’s so much out there and if men have slightly more to spend on themselves, then I advise them to look for designs that have been worked on by hand but seem so effortless. Like my blazers and shirts, which are very limited in numbers with artisanal finishing in each one.
Famous last words?
You are what you wear.
Wykidd Song’s made-to-order blazers and jackets are available now via www.wykidd.com while “Exposed” will be released in February 2011.