“Suit Geek” is PRINCIPLE M’s original feature column where each month we reach out to one of our loyal customers & friends and ask him to share his clothing, life, and his unique point of view on gentlemen‘s style.
For our 19th interview, we invited Mr. Louis Wang Siyuan to wrap up 2021 for us. A friend and regular guest for all of the PM events, Louis often fasinates us with his elegance like it runs in his blood. We would always wonder where did that come from. Today, he joins us and shares his satorial journey, his ‘big’ career change, and his favourite plays and movies.
/THE ‘BIG’ CHANGE
“My name is Wang Siyuan, friends also call me Louis. I worked as a lawyer for quite a long time, focus on entertainment industry, recently I have changed my career, to get into the front line of the industry of entertainment, now I work at a director’s studio as his assistant.”
“To begin with, I felt it challenging, exciting. Being a lawyer, there’s a routine for what you do every day, quite predictable. But now I’m doing some more creative work.”
“The biggest challenge is to change your mind-set. Working at a law firm as a lawyer, we’re dealing with regulations and rules. The first thing on our mind when we’re facing a question is what are the regulations to that question. But creative work has no rules. You have to free yourself from the boundaries. Sky is the limit for the creative works.”
/HIS FIRST MENSWEAR PIECE
“Maybe call it my first menswear piece. It was a 4-button navy corduroy blazer. Obviously an influence from the navy uniform. I got it when I was 15 I think. I’ve always liked the navy sailors, so I couldn’t help the impulse to dress like one. ”
“I started wearing that every day. I caught people’s eyes, back in the middle school, I couldn’t deny it. But that’s me.”
“Our uniform back in my middle school days was sportswear. But I wanted to wear something military like, so as to keep myself neat and tidy, offered myself a sense of self-discipline and order. I also did fight for it, go against the dress code, the norm, and having the shield of being a good student and good academic scores, spared me from the criticism, in a way. ”
“My first suit I can’t remember quite clear, maybe it was the school uniform, or maybe when I was doing a photo shoot. When I was 4, I appeared in a child’s show and then I went to the art school. I got training, singing, acting, dancing etc. Being a child star, and a student at art school, we all had the privilege to learn about classical menswear.”
“A lot of people had family influence on how to dress themselves, they learnt it first hand. My family wasn’t like that, so I had to learn it from the knowledge. Being a fan of film and theatre. I had a chance to dig into all those materials and look for inspiration. Fred Astaire, James Stewart, Cary Grant, those icons in the golden Hollywood area, models of the classical menswear. It was like being taught the first lesson – what does beauty mean for a man? But also being a bookworm, I want to look beyond the surface, into the culture, the fabric, the craft. Not only suits, but also ties, shoes, all those little gadgets, and hairstyle, and the idea of men’s aesthetics, literature, waving into a big net of experience, which later becomes my guidance into the classical menswear world. Then I set foot to try.”
“I went to Tsinghua university for law, 他hen I went to study Masters in Philadelphia, USA. I also joined an exchanged program in Europe, during which I travelled to all those Western European countries, I would say that was the happiest time of my life, where I found freedom. I had lived in the UK and traveled to different counties when I was young. But as I grew older, more mature, I could see and feel how people dress themselves on the street better.”
“What is your favourite piece, Louis?”
“Always the next one.”
/HIS OPINION OF ELEGANCE AND THE PEN COLLECTION
“Elegance is making selections. Making the selections requires you to have the ability to read the room, to judge the atmosphere, after that, make your choices. As long as I did that, then I just need to be myself. Even when I was working at the law firm, we didn’t have a strict dress code either. But I still wore a suit and tie to work.”
“When making a decision on what to wear, I would think about the atmosphere of the place I’m going to, the surroundings. I was working in an urban area of Guomao. So the main tone of the colours would be grey and navy. So I didn’t wear tweed that much because the colours wouldn’t fit. Now our studio is located in a suburban area, like a garden, outdoorsy, and my job also involves a lot of walking, so I wear more tweeds now, and less formal looks, just to fit into the whole picture.”
“Just want to be a good picture.”
Whenever we see Louis, he’s always carrying a nice bag.
“I carry pens and paper in my bag. Just be able to write down at any moment, I don’t want to lose my thoughts.”
“Pens are the necessities of my life, and a good souvenir too. I bought these pens during travels. When I travel, I would find a local pen manufacture, well-made, which would remind me of the trip. Same thing with perfume, clothing, music while you’re travelling. Those feelings are connected with each other, to create something more vivid than a single photograph.”
/THE PLAYS AND THE FILMS
Louis mentioned plenty of directors he admire, Ingmar Bergman, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Luchino Visconti, Chris Nolan…those name that any true film lover would be familiar and happy to hear at any time.
“I always regard my boss as the best director in China, I love his work. When I began to find my interest in films, Bergman and Tarkovsky also had a great impact on me. ”
“George Cukor, he was very talented dealing with female roles. The Philadelphia story, my fair lady. It was adapted from the musical and put it on the screen yet still fascinating.”
“Paul Thomas Anderson. He also knows a lot about photography. Phantom Thread is one of my favourites. It goes very deep about love and relationships.”
“I like watching movies, going to the theatre, go to classic music concerts, and reading books. Maybe theatre is my great hobby, I couldn’t imagine my life without the theatre and those wonderful plays. “
“Shakespeare, is always there. When I was in college we played many of his plays, I read lots of them, too. Some plays would be too difficult to put on the stage, but even to put it on paper, it’s fascinating to read. Chekhov, Ibsen, Ancient Greek writers, Sophocles, Euripides, I think our lives sometime photoed by their works, or the kind of feelings put in the nutshell, the wooden O, in the sense of Shakespeare, the O is the theatre back in the Renaissance days. From the royal to the common life, from batttle fields to fairy tales. Use our imagination to create a whole beautiful world about our normal life, which is important to me.” □ PRINCIPLE M
Interviewer: Justin Kwan Writer: Carrie Liu Photographer: Adora Wang Produced by PRINCIPLE M