+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

special guest/VOON CHEW: talks about his 11th outfit. #11 in twelve acts






What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
Joy Dorcey New York vintage straw hat (50s?)
Vintage Gucci sweater
Vintage military jacket
Skinny white belt.
1940s flecked high-waisted pants
Cole Haan suede tri-tone loafers


How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
I was shopping at the Chelsea flea market with my friend Heidi Rosenau when I came across a gorgeous 1940s nautical dress with amazing sailor collar detail with red accents, which was perfect for her. Shortly after, on the same rack I spotted this incredible collegiate knit sweater and was all over the colors and the 30s-inspired design. Good karma I guess for finding that dress for her!

Normally with such a distinct sweater I prefer to keep it simple with everything else but decided to carry the inspiration of the sweater throughout the whole ensemble.

The headpiece was actually a 50s pillbox hat. Its original shape was quite unflattering and outright silly, but I really liked the tri-tone aspect of the hat and was wondering if there was a way to salvage it somehow. So I played around and finally collapsed the pillbox and miraculously converted it into a saucer shape/tilt hat, which made it more wearable all of a sudden.


Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time?
It was somewhat planned in a sense that I wanted to put all those pieces together and see what might happen.


In a scale of 1 to 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit?
I may have been bit overkill on the color scheme and the outlandish hat will definitely be a conversation starter, but could be the unpleasant kind (chortle). However I have really thick-skin so even if people might disapprove of this look and say something negative about it, I will survive it. What I won’t be able to live without is an adventurous spirit towards fashion.


What roles do color, the fit, and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit?
I am really drawn to the combination of red, white and blue. Replace white with cream/off-white and it’s even better. At first glance the sweater looked tiny but upon wearing it, surprisingly it fit perfectly, especially how the color blocking seams somehow hit perfectly around the shoulders.


How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
Head-to-toe like this? Highly unlikely! The sweater will definitely get a lot of “screen time”. In this photograph I dressed up the sweater with the flecked pants that have hints of red and white in the navy fabric. But for a more casual look, I would wear the sweater with navy linen shorts and a pair of Sperry’s boat loafers.


There is perhaps a spiritual, emotional, intellectual or psychological aspect to the what/how we dress. What is your personal experience in relation to this outfit?
A beautiful hand-knit sweater is one of “my favorite things”. Excerpting from the song that Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music, “When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad!”

I firmly believe in the lyrics. Even when one is feeling down, putting on a favorite piece of clothing can lift one’s spirits.

Posted in Voon Chew | 2 Comments

2 Responses to special guest/VOON CHEW: talks about his 11th outfit. #11 in twelve acts

  1. Stephanie says:

    each piece here is just standout.

  2. AmyW says:

    There is something so comic-booky/superheroey about this, in a very alt way, of course. Digging it.

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