+  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 3rd outfit. #3 in twelve acts





What items did you use to compose this particular out fit?
1940s two-tone gabardine jacket
Peter Som gunmetal pants
Donna Karan micro-knit long sleeve (not shown) sheer
Patriotic scarf, 1940s
Pattern socks, sheer
1940s navy cream suitcase
WWII Valentines scarf hanging on suitcase
1930s celluloid pin


How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
I love gabardine jackets and it’s harder to find two-tone versions, so it was thrilling to find it in one of my favorite combinations: muted pink and grey.


Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time?
Quite spontaneous. It was easy to keep with the color scheme, and complement the jacket with the long sleeve knit and pants. I have had these Peter Som pants for years! They are fantastic in tailoring and cut and as you can see there is some fraying at the hem but I don’t mind it so much. Mr. Som pays a lot of attention to his designs, even in things you don’t see from the outside, like piping detail on the pant-lining and the inside of the pockets which were a deep purple.

In a scale of 1 to 10, how pleased are you with this composition/ outfit?
It’s subtle and quiet. If I were trying to spruce up the look in this photo I would toss in a vase of peonies or flowering quince stems in the background. Wish I had thought of that. I wished I had axed the scarf as it detracted too much from the contrast lapels of the jacket.


What roles do color, the fit and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit?
Pink and grey together is a tried and true color combination, so perhaps I’m not being particularly imaginative, but I wanted to show an edited side of me. When I first got the jacket, I was concerned it was clearly women’s jacket and the silhouette doesn’t exactly work for a guy, but I had a discussion with my friend Adam Brozowski, and he replied with, “Don’t think of the jacket as for a woman, or for a man, but wear the jacket as for Voon!” I just loved him for it.


How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
I would like to try the jacket with a newsboy hat and much baggier high-waisted pants the next time and see what happens.

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?
The 1940s era intrigues me. Wartime really affected how clothing was designed—it involved rationing of fabrics and materials, and the decadent clothing/beading from the 1930s were frowned upon, so 1940s clothing became more practical and all-purpose. People got inventive, making clothing out of feed-sacks for example which appealed to me. So every button and pleating on this 1940s jacket may have been “negotiated”. I purposely chose this amazing scarf dated 1942 for this photograph as it has this rare print of humorous love letters written from an army officer to his sweetheart for every day of the week. Excerpted from one of the letters – “Tuesday. Sweetheart…It wasn’t easy for me to say, Things in a very romantic way…I’m such an ordinary guy…There’s not much use to even try! But I love you so, I’m kinda wacky…Be true to me…Your Boy, In Khaki!

Posted in Voon Chew | 11 Comments

11 Responses to special guest/VOON CHEW: talks about his 3rd outfit. #3 in twelve acts

  1. Breanna says:

    That suitcase…oh boy, what I would do for a piece like that!

    I love the way you talk so lovingly about these pants, Voon. It gives them a sort of “Velveteen Rabbit” quality that only adds value to their already great classic look.

  2. Mimi says:

    The jacket is lovely, and fits with the candy colors of your palette! And those pants match that collar perfectly. Really well put together. Looking forward to seeing more masterpiece outfits.

  3. stephanie says:

    true style rises above male or female- that jacket is GREAT.

  4. gretchen says:

    Voon has such a unique take on mixing feminine and masculine. His fresh way of putting things together is quite inspiring.

  5. Heidi says:

    What Stephanie said…yes!

  6. Amy says:

    Those socks are killing me in the best way.

  7. Roger Pauner says:

    All look good, but I have to say this is my fave! The male version of the Pan Am flight attendant, but a lot shinier.

  8. Lauren says:

    Wow, the pops of color and the tailoring of that jacket, just superb.

  9. Wow, those are some crazy fun socks!

  10. Mia says:

    Both charming and debonair!

  11. jean says:

    You fabulous style and inner beauty shines brightly in this fabulous photo!

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