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WARDROBE FEATURES

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PIONEERS The story from Spark Manshop to Wardrobe

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FOUNDERS It’s throwback time with J.J. Lim, K.C. Phuan and A.F. Chai on how it all began

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MY PRIVATE ROOFTOP fashion

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VISION The future of Wardrobe with CEO Lim Fang Heng

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THE REUNION fashion

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BOSS’ CHOICE Sempione Tre Briefcase FASHION FLASH: 26 Alpinestars Tech Air Race Suit · 32 Samurai COFFEE & TALENT WITH CREAM: 98 Stephen Rahman-Hughes

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56 58 82 89

THE ICON

ADVENTURE & TRAVEL

WOMAN

WORK OF ART

TRESURE CHEST

LEISURELY PURSUITS

Gianni Agnelli The man known as the ‘Bella Figura’ for his lust of life that, to this day, epitomises the red-blooded Italian mythology. Gianni is a true style icon.

More accessible now than ever, travel is an amazing privilege. If ever you needed inspiration for remarkable destinations, this is it. 22. Storm Surfing 28. Palio di Siena

Charlize Theron Some women have the ability to turn our world up-side down. Divine to behold, a beautiful mind and the depth of character to rise above the Hollywood lights.

There is beauty in everything from the tattoos of professional dark horses, the posters of Dr. Alderete to the inner workings of MB&F’s watches. These are just a few artists we admire. 58. MB&F 62. Tattoos 64. Dr. Alderete

It’s not always about the latest, the most expensive or the most hype. These are the treasures that you will never let go of. 82. Byredo 84. Lamborghini 87. Diptique

Time is the ultimate luxury, so what would you do with yours? 90. FOOD St. John 92. WINE Dead Arm Shiraz 94. BOOK The Great Gatsby 95. MOVIE The Untouchables 96. MUSIC Pharrell Williams

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fb: /Wardrobe.MadeToGetItRight

CONTRIBUTORS

editorial

Editor-in-Chief Lim Fang Heng

Steve Koh

Delvin Xian

artist

photographer

photographer

A well-recognised fine artist, Zac incorporates traditional and contemporary techniques into his work. Trained in Chinese calligraphy and traditional painting genres, his trademarked fluid strokes study sublime behaviours and relationships, presenting ‘trace evidence’ of primal instincts and interactions.

Steve has over 20 years of photography experience under his belt with a string of accolades including the MIFA prize for Best Fashion Photographer. Taught and trained in Tokyo, Japan, Steve is now the well-recognised head honcho of Image Rom Malaysia with offices in Malaysia, Vietnam and India.

It was love at first click for this Kuching-born lad upon receiving his first DSLR camera on his 19th birthday. In 2008, he joined Image Rom and has since developed a talent for fashion photography. Delvin’s images have appeared in countless fashion magazines from Esquire to Newtide.

Editor & Producer

w: wardrobe.com.my t: 603 22826866

Zac Lee

Jack Newberry Copywriter Lai Swee Wei production

Art Director & Designer Irene Danesi

writers

& stylists

David George, Fay Khoo, Gavin Yap, Graze Sham, Ian Johnston, Lau Chak Onn, Phang Yuting, Rachel Jena, Sophia Goh, Sybil, Taisu, Vincent Ting, Voon Wei, Zack Yusof creatives

Delvin Xian, Miguel Batista, Steve Koh, Zac Lee, Azrul Kevin Abdullah

printer

Times Offset (M) Sdn Bhd (194695-W), Bangunan Times Publishing, Lot 46, Subang Hi Tech Industrial Park, Batu Tiga, 40000 Shah Alam, Malaysia publisher

WB Wardrobe Sdn Bhd (552639-V), 51 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia www.wardrobe.com.my producer

Lau Chak Onn

Fay Khoo

Miguel Batista

writer

writer

designer

(403251-M), Level 36, Menara Ambank,

Formerly the editor of a men’s magazine, Chak is now a freelance voice, pen and personality for rent, looking for the next adventure, but making do with the next paycheck while he’s waiting. Follow his adventures at www.chak.me

An established food writer, Fay’s gargantuan appetite has seen her covering everything from kerbside classics to five-star haute cuisine for leading magazines and newspapers. She’s also forging a second career as a food presenter. When not writing about food, she authors children’s books.

With a passion for typography, Portuguese-born graphic designer Miguel has been working for some of the best design firms and type foundries in Portugal and the United Kingdom. He’s got a keen eye for detail, modern sensibility and a particular obsession for vintage magazines.

8 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,

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Mongoose Pacific (M) Sdn Bhd

50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia www.mongooseasia.com

The views and opinions expressed or implied in the articles published are those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of WB Wardrobe Sdn Bhd. All information is correct at the time of print. While every reasonable care is taken in compiling the magazine, the publisher shall not be held liable for any omission, error or inaccuracy. Please notify the publisher in writing of any such omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributors are welcome, but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage. All rights reserved by WB Wardrobe Sdn Bhd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing.

Master Craftsmanship Tailoring Bangsar, KL

Parkson Pavilion, KL

Sheraton Imperial KL Hotel


EDITOR’S NOTE

JACK NEWBERRY Editor & Producer

xistential psychologist Rollo Reese May once said ‘the opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity’. What I believe he was referring to is the fact that it is quite difficult to break away from what everyone else is doing and go your own way, start your own thing and even look the way you want to look. It takes bravery to take on that kind of responsibility because when the buck stops with you, there is no one else to blame. What you hold in your hands is the result of three hundred and sixty degrees of unique effort by a collection of Malaysian and international writers, photographers and of course the Wardrobe team who came together to produce a collection of great stories, illustrations and photography that reflect the brave, rebellious, traditional and unconventional union that defines the personality of Wardrobe. Alpha dogs Tom Carroll and Ross ClarkJones personify this spirit in their interview with a natural defiance of death, gravity and the soft lull of middle age. You will also read about another rebel by the name of Ben Gorham who is also making waves, but this time in the perfume industry. With travel on the agenda of all international men, we sought to make a recommendation that goes beyond the luxury of a hotel room and fine dining to give you a remarkable experience. All is revealed in our globe trekking feature on Palio Di Siena in Italy.

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Fabric Design by Bennison Fabrics UK

Perhaps the most rewarding challenge in making this magazine was the fashion shoots which required everyone to get out of their comfort zones in more ways than one. None of this would have been possible without the confidence, knowledge and understanding of the founders and their sons who have given us the opportunity to join them on their journey. I also want to give special thanks to the team; Swee Wei, our Copywriter who totally outgrew her title on this project and Irene Danesi our Art Director who translated abnormal ideas with amazing ingenuity and dedication. In much the same way that art should cause a reaction, our clothes should have impact. But unlike fine art, there’s a strong sense of functionality and purpose that permeates almost everything we wear and the magazines we read. I want to end this note with a quote that I have always enjoyed from Fred Shero. One that is befitting of this magazine and the company it represents; “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” In other words, we cannot expect great things to just happen to us without doing something about it. This is a tribute to the champions who claim their stake in life, those bold enough to take ownership of their destiny and a salute to the brave who know that real men do real things.

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The story of Wardrobe began with an idea and a spark of imagination driven by the determination of three friends to build a business together. The name of that business was ‘Spark Manshop’, a name that would soon become synonymous with sophistication across the region. They met in London where all three men independently sought to learn the craft of tailoring on London’s Savile Row, forging a friendship built on trust that would last a lifetime. With their newly acquired skills, they returned to Malaysia where the opportunity to raise the bar was apparent. Starting with just a single outlet in Sungei Wang Plaza, the company grew in popularity through the natural demand of the founder’s expertise to become the largest tailoring chain in the Southern hemisphere.

PIONEERS

WHEN YOU HAVE ALREADY SET THE BENCH MARK, WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO EXCEPT RAISE THE BAR?

A LUCRATIVE NICHE

Words by Jack Newberry Photographs by Azrul Kevin Abdullah

During the 1990s, Malaysia experienced a void in up-market professional tailoring and this was exactly the chance that partners J.J. Lim, K.C. Phuan and A.F. Chai saw. Through a balance of entrepreneurialism and absolute necessity, they began to grow and make a name for themselves looking after many of Malaysia’s most prominent business leaders, socialites and royalty. The necessity was a means of survival in a commercial landscape that did not place a lot of value on tailoring but once they reached a certain level, the opportunity was there to be taken. From one initial outlet, the growth was substantial. At the peak of Spark Manshop’s development, the company was opening one outlet per month with a total of 30 outlets throughout the nation and all this has been accomplished in spite of the ubiquitous malls that have populated every town in the country. What gave them the advantage was a handful of principles; hard work and dedication to provide clients with impressive designs through the delicate skill of hand tailoring was and remains at the forefront of their company values. But it is also the uncompromising use and understanding of the highest quality fabrics and cloths which have set them apart from all others. january

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Hard work and dedication to provide clients with impressive designs through the delicate skill of hand tailoring was and remains at the forefront of their company values MULTI-LEVEL TRIUMPHS Wardrobe 2001

If “the proof is in the pudding” as they say, then one only needs look at the sophisticated masterpieces that they have created over the last 30 years and the relationships they have with world renowned clothing companies like Canali, a deal that was sealed with a single handshake. Or even the fact that tailors from as far as the United States, London and Sydney employ their services. The list of achievements go on but perhaps the most significant is that as a company, they do not outsource work unlike many other global brands and this is partly because of their famous “can do” attitude but also due to a team that has largely remained faithful for over 30 years. As many business owners will attest, building this level of loyalty is incredibly difficult. Naturally, this kind of growth does not go unnoticed; soon many other tailors in Malaysia were raising their game in terms of quality and service. Be that as it may, the competition struggled to keep the pace as Spark Manshop continued to grow and more investment was placed into state-of-the-art machineries as well as international relationships with the world’s finest mills. The result of 10 years of hard work and a 200-strong workforce created a platform that allowed the founders to explore new directions. They were the only company in Malaysia to reach their size in the industry, earning the founders the title of ‘True Pioneers’ in the business of Malaysian tailoring. With such a prestigious accolade, the next challenge to be addressed was the future direction of the company. In 1996 the partners sold Spark Manshop, but the financial gain alone was not enough to satisfy their love for made to measure clothing and so they decided to come together again in 2001 to create a new and exciting concept called Wardrobe. 14

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360 INVESTMENT

brand was reinvigorated in a holistic campaign that would involve the construction of their flagship store, prominently located in Bangsar on Jalan Maarof. As soon as clients enter the boutique, the level of customer service and dedication to making an impressive result is immediately apparent. The ultimate aim is to customise designs using preferred fabrics and colours that allow the wearer to look remarkable. With state-of-the-art technology, Wardrobe is able to maintain the highest level of accuracy and organisation when dealing with the client’s particulars, whilst maintaining the most traditional methods of tailoring that cannot be replicated by any machine. The diligence involved in every suit created is reflected in the way each client is handled from beginning to end, with every interaction reinforcing the company’s belief that service is paramount and a clients experience is one that will lead to a lifelong relationship.

With such a prestigious accolade the next challenge to be addressed was the future direction of the company

The future required another level of vision and one that would entail further investment, not only from the perspective of man power and machinery but actual knowledge. Under the leadership of Lim Fang Heng, Wardrobe has taken the responsibility to take Malaysian tailoring onto another level. The new generation of leaders have brought a fresh approach to a classic business, blending the skilful hands of its master tailors and a keen understanding of contemporary styles. They prioritise impeccable detailing and fitting to give every suit a sense of timeless quality that sets them apart from all of the lazy off-the-rack suits. The decision was made to maintain the strong level of company expertise, not just theoretically but through actual practical experience. Master Tailor Lim Fang Meng, was sent to study menswear and tailoring on Savile Row following his father’s footsteps, making him the only trained and qualified tailor with Savile Row’s tradition and heritage in today’s Malaysian market. Bringing the next generation into the fold represented a significant step for the company. It was time to do something new and exciting. In 2001, the Wardrobe

Wardrobe 2010

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WARDROBE The Icon

There is one figure in Italy’s hall of fame who qualifies as the example that so many wished to follow: The man known as the ‘Bella Figura’ for his lust of life that, to this day, epitomises the red-blooded Italian mythology. That man is Gianni Agnelli. Words & Sketches by Jack Newberry Watercolour Illustration by Zac Lee Photograph by Getty Images

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GIOVANNI AGNELLI (Gianni) was Italy’s most beloved industrialist. Born on March 12th, 1921 in his parents’ house in Turin, his father was Edoardo Agnelli, a major figure in Italian business and his mother, Virginia Bourbon del Monte, daughter of Carlo, the 4th Principe di San Faustino who was the head of a noble family established in Perugia. Although Gianni was a public figure who from an early age became all too familiar with the social circuit of Europe’s most privileged young elite, much of his private life remained a mystery. In many respects, it is this mysterious and unknown element that makes so many celebrities intriguing and marketable in today’s world. But despite the allure of this man and his own delight in entertaining an audience, Gianni remained private professionally and personally, especially when it came to the women in his life. e l e g a n c e - One prerequisite for all Italian legends and a national issue that is arguably as paramount as football itself, is style – something that this man exuded in effortless abundance. What sets him apart from his competition in a land where dressing up was and remains an art form, is that Agnelli was unique and his style, abnormal. It was these abnormalities and imperfections which attracted the attention of the nation, often setting unusual trends into motion for multitudes of people. Agnelli would be seen to adopt what would appear to be a miscellaneous style, a collection of unusual choices such as his famous combination of high-cut hiking boots matched with his tailored suit or a tie that was positioned slightly to one side. To a conventional man, these were bizarre preferences and yet for many, including fashion designer Nino Cerutti, Agnelli was an inspiration. Few figures of masculinity and power have achieved

random

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such a unique style and succeeded in winning the approval of so many during his time and even today, by the likes of fashion designers and fashion magazines around the world. It is this courage to challenge convention with a twist of inspiration which has the potential to redefine style. One of the more recent examples of this can be seen in the popularity of the suit jacket and denim jeans combination, which was inspired by another icon of gallant style, Ralph Lauren who would often turn up to black tie events in a tuxedo matched with denim jeans and boots. Andy Warhol was also known to adopt this great if not ubiquitous combination. Another famous trait, which has transcended over time and re-emerged into various latter day forms, is Gianni’s habit of wearing his watches over his shirt cuffs. One of the most classic examples of this is a photo of ‘L’Avvocato’ (an affectionate nickname meaning ‘attorney’ on account of his studies) taken in St. Moritz where he is seen to be wearing an Omega Ploprof Seamaster. Although it seems unusual to wear a watch in such a way, there is logic to this peculiar habbit, especially where large, chunky sports watches are concerned. Not only is it a unique style, it was also more comfortable, although one cannot be certain that the latter was ever a real motivation. The only other notable adoptees of this unusual practice are fighter pilots that require the visibility of all instruments, including watches, at all times. In countries such as China, where the domestic consumption of the top 200 luxury bands totaled 68 billion Yuan (USD10.2 million) in 2009 alone, the importance of showing off a newly-acquired watch has increased. So much so that Chinese tailors are becoming accustomed to the unusual request for the shirtsleeves to be shortened on one arm to allow the customer to show off his or her watch. t h e g o d fat h e r o f f i at - In 1966, Gianni Agnelli took over the reins of Fiat, a move he was initially reluctant to make as he felt that it was too much responsibility for him to undertake. Once in his stride, he embraced the organisation, ultimately controlling approximately 4.4% of Italy’s GDP, thereby making him one of the– if not the most – richest men in Italy’s history. His ability to forge relationships with Italy’s banking elite and aristocracy enabled him to build the company beyond the realms of the automotive industry, by acquiring and developing companies in the media, energy, transport, real estate and construction, as well as stakes in a number of other businesses – some of which were publicly known, such as the family’s interest in the iconic Bordeaux wine producer Chateaux Margaux. Without doubt, Gianni’s first love in this incredible collection of businesses was the ‘Old Lady’ herself, Juventus Football Club. He once said: “I get emotional every time I see the letter ‘J’ in the newspapers.” Such was his passion that the club managers famously knew him for his crack of dawn phone calls. He watched every game the team played, right up until the point when he started to lose his eye sight. Even then, he would never admit that he was suffering, instead insisting on listening

To a conventional man, these were bizarre preferences and yet for many, including fashion designer Nino Cerutti, Agnelli was an inspiration

to the games on television under the pretense that he could see what was happening. This was very typical for the man who wouldn’t seek help and would rarely complain. He was the epitome of Italian legend and a serial womaniser who was constantly surrounded by a collection of beauties – including Anita Ekberg, Rita Hayworth, Linda Christian, Danielle Darrieux, Pamela Churchill Harriman, as well as Jacqueline Kennedy – Gianni was known for being a passionate man in his pursuit for life. There were occasions when his passion would get the better of him, especially where women were concerned. On the rare occaision when he opened up on the subject of fedelity, he famously said, “One can be a very faithful and bad husband, just as one can be unfaithful and a very good husband.” One such incident involved Pamela Churchill Harriman walking into a bedroom to find Gianni with a younger girl. Gianni drove the girl home in his Ferrari, driving at high speed but lost control and crashed the car into the side of the road, leaving the girl shocked but unharmed. He himself sustained a serious leg injury, which would take months to recuperate. He never quite recovered from this incident, something evident in the limp he carried for years after and yet Gianni continued with his sports. Gianni Agnelli will be remembered forever for his style and passion, a man who embodied the aspirations of a nation with the elegance and demeanor of a man fit to be king. He wasn’t constrained by conformity and to this day, remains not only an icon in Italian history, but also an inspiration to a variety of people as richly diverse as the interests of the great man himself.

REMARKABLE DETAILS The Watch A civilian trend originating from a military practice of fighter pilots.

Boots It takes a brave man to break the rules. Wearing high cut mountain boots with a tailored suit couldn’t be further away from tradition.

FACTS Born: 12 March 1921 Joined a tank regiment: June 1940 when Italy entered World War II Married: on 19 November 1953 to Donna Marella Caracciolo dei principi di Castagneto Engaged in numerous affairs: 1940 - 24 January 2003 He was elected chairman of Fiat: 1966 Agnelli was awarded the decoration Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1967 and the title Knight of Labour (Cavaliere del lavoro) in 1977 Fiat-owned Scuderia Ferrari named their 2003 F1 contender the F2003GA, in tribute to Agnelli. january

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SU RF ER

storm

Ross Clarke-Jones conquers the step at Shipsterns Bluff, just off the south-eastern tip of Tasmania

WARDROBE Adventure

Big wave surfers Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones redefined what it meant to be a pro surfer in the late ’80s. But what makes them continue to push the boundaries of the sport over 20 years later? Words by Ian Johnston Interview by Jack Newberry Photographs by Andrew Chisholm and Dean Dampney

LEGENDARY BIG wave surfer Laird Hamilton once

said of testing the renowned Jaws surf site in Hawaii: “We didn’t know if we were going into a black hole never to be seen again. No one had ever ridden waves that big.” His solution? “Ride to ride another day” – go out to sea with every possible will and intention to do the same thing the next day. It’s an intriguing philosophy, and one that turns a huge matter like riding 25-metre waves into the simple thought of

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“we’re coming back tomorrow”. It is, however, what serious big wave surfers need to do – look beyond the dangers that they face on a daily basis. Big wave surfers don’t come much bigger than Australians Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones. The two childhood friends grew up with little other than a board in their hands and a deep understanding of what Hamilton was referring to. Boasting between them innumerable broken bones, fractured

spines, damaged tendons and ligaments and even a snapped bicep, the two have cemented their place in the sport’s history, and – at the ages of 53 and 48 – continue to push their limits every day. Much like Hamilton’s, Ross Clarke-Jones’ secret is surprisingly straightforward: “It’s about not taking a break. I’ve seen a lot of surfers continue well into their ’70s and the one thing they don’t do is take a break. Since I was 19 years old I’ve been con-

It’s a whole different level of surfing. You don’t get that kind of speed on a wave quite like that anywhere else in the world

tinually travelling, exploring and going on adventures and just enjoying my life and making a career out of what I do.” It’s a career that has seen Clarke-Jones travel the world’s best surf spots representing long-time sponsors Quiksilver and Red Bull. Effectively, he – like all professional surfers – is a marketing tool, but the Australian knows that to continue working at his best, he needs to see this as more than a job; january

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Tom Carroll enjoying the perfectly groomed waves at New South Wales, Australia; Best mates for 30 years, Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones

We were forcing companies to look at what kind of money they were making and what kind of money they should be giving the surfers. It was a shock to them

he needs to continue seeking the side of the sport that he loves. “I’ve never been content or satisfied. And we never rest on our laurels after contest wins,” he explains of himself and the background staff that support a professional surfer. This is the drive that has allowed him to tackle breaks like the one Hamilton so famously pioneered. Clarke-Jones wasn’t far behind, and he describes the feeling of tackling Jaws for the first time. “Surfing at Jaws is like driving around an F1 track. You’re travelling at such high speeds (surfers reportedly hit close to 50 kilometres per hour on waves at Jaws) and you’re trying to stay on course and get through to the other side at the finish line. It’s a whole different level of surfing. You don’t get that kind of speed on a wave quite like that anywhere else in the world.” Of course, travelling at such speeds with nothing but a fibreglass-wrapped foam board beneath your feet and little but a neoprene wetsuit as protection from the force of 18-metre waves, is inherently dangerous. That is an occupational hazard for ClarkeJones and Carroll and one that they have grown and learnt to accept. “The intensity of the wipeouts at a place like Jaws is really high,” Clarke-Jones says. “You feel like the wave could rip your limbs apart. I hit the bottom once, which is very rare. Hitting the bottom is when a lot of people die.” That said, Clarke-Jones is quick to point out that deaths in tow surfing – where the surfer is towed in to the wave by a jet ski, instead of paddling – and at the most notorious breaks like Jaws, are very rare. Indeed, no one that he is aware of has died from tow surfing, mainly because it removes one of the biggest hazards of big wave riding – being hit by waves while paddling. Clarke-Jones lives to face risks – he always has. To find the true inspiration and spirit that drives him, however, one may have to go back further than his childhood surfing days. The clue could be in his ancestry; in a man called Sir William Howell – ClarkeJones’ great grandfather. The English explorer was one of the first known outsiders to enter the jungles of Borneo. Not only did he come back alive, he brought with him a princess of the fearsome headhunting Dayak Tribe whom he later married. The parallels to surfing are perhaps a stretch, but facing adversity and inhospitable places, forces and elements strikes a chord with someone like Tom Carroll. For him, big wave surfing is about one thing above all others: overcoming the challenge. “There are always challenges in what I do and if I didn’t 24

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TOP 5 BEST PLACES TO SURF By Ross Clarke-Jones

1 Sunset Beach, Hawaii My overall favourite spot to surf. There are waves that you can ride and have fun with the kids when it’s only two feet, and waves right up to 15 feet for the experts. Sunset time should not be missed – arguably one of the best sunsets you’ll ever witness.

2 G-Land, Indonesia One of the longest left hand waves in the world. Living and surfing out of the famous jungle or beachside bungalows is an amazing adventure. Bali makes one hell of a holiday.

3 Jeffreys Bay, South Africa Very long right hander that can hold up to about 12 feet and still be perfect. Friendly waves that break on sand off a point break. Offshore winds can be tricky, but opens the barrel up for days.

4 Jaws, Hawaii The best tow wave in the world and now the biggest paddle in rideable wave so far. Reserved for mad men and women only. Fastest you’ll go on a board on a wave. Spectacular to watch.

5 Winki Pop, Australia Cold right handlers for all levels of surfing. Lots of fun!

love what I was doing I would have backed away from those challenges. I definitely needed to have all my body and soul in it because what I do demands it and today there are a few more things on the line, especially doing storm surfing.” Those “few more things” include Carroll’s age – 52 – and commitment to family and sponsors as he nears the end of a pro surfing career that started at the age of 12. And the “storm surfing”? An extended surf trip with Clarke-Jones for a Discovery Channel series and a feature film, Storm Surfers 3D, in which the two chase the world’s biggest, wildest waves in the Southern Ocean. The big-screen film is a new step for both surfers, but one that has simply allowed them to continue to chase the challenge of riding bigger waves than any other boarder (while also having a hell of a time travelling with mates). It’s not like the media attention is new to Clarke-Jones or Carroll either. When Carroll signed a deal with Australian surf brand Quiksilver in 1989, he became the sport’s first millionaire professional. It was huge for the 27-year-old Carroll; it was huge for the sport. “It was an absolute turning point,” Carroll says. “No one had really thought outside of the small square that surfing sponsorship was back then. My agent at the time was definitely forcing companies to look at what kind of money they were making and what kind of money they should be giving the surfers. It was a shock to them at first,” he admits. Fast forward 25 years though, and Carroll’s role in the rise of pro surfing is evident. Names like Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and Andy Irons have been thrust into the mainstream with product lines and brands bearing their faces, quotes and logos. Surfers now have worldwide appeal, and people like Carroll and Clarke-Jones were there to spark to the movement. It’s incredible, then, that they are still at the forefront of the sport, still pioneers. That is not something Carroll could ever have imagined. “I had an idea that I was on a mission to be really good at surfing and a lot of things just started to come out of that. A lot of good things came out that really supported the mission,” Carroll says of his highly successful career. “I wasn’t thinking about huge plans, but I did at some level want to be the best at what I was doing and that force in itself was enough.” Once again the answer is simple: want something bad enough, work hard enough for it and the support and success will come. If only everything was as simple as making a 40-year career out of finding and riding 20-metre waves. january

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Words by Lai Swee Wei Photographs by Alpinestars USA

PLAY IT SAFE

1. Collar and Cuff Soft neoprene collar and cuff construction 2. Shoulder Thermoplastic external shoulder protection combined with a unique external one-piece 90° TPU knee and tibia protection for improved protection and reduced drag 3. Chest Ultra-vented front panels for improved ventilation 4. Back Hump Aerodynamically sculpted back hump houses the Tech Air System micro­processor, battery pack, inflator module 5. Back Bionic Race Back Protector with secure snap connection 6. Forearm PU external protection for enhanced structural strength and abrasion resistance 7. Left Forearm LED system status panel 8. Wrist YKK semi auto-lock zippers ensure secure closure at all times 9. Knee An area on the inner surface of the knee/leg protection improves contact with the bike 10. Elbow, Knee and Tibia Removable soft elbow, knee and tibia protectors ensure maximum impact dissipation and energy absorption in the event of a fall

With in-built wireless airbags, the Alpinestars Tech Air Race Suit is nothing short of state-of-the-art.

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THE TECH Air Race Suit, a modified ver-

sion of Alpinestars’ leather racing suit, accommodates the electronics, sensors, inflators and wireless airbag technology initially designed for and tested with Alpinestars athletes. The airbag itself is powered by a battery pack and is inflated using a nitrogen-based gas mix. At present, the system incorporates two bags covering the rider’s shoulders and collarbones, offering a trigger to full bag inflation time of less than 0.05 seconds

and maintaining adequate pressure to provide the rider a minimum of 5 seconds of vital protection. Alpinestars racing stars such as Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Carlos Checa are just some of the champion athletes that have helped with the development and testing of the Race Replica to ensure there is no compromise in performance or safety. If the CPU determines from the data that a crash is occurring, based on algorithms developed in-house at Alpine-

stars, the airbags are deployed. The bags themselves take around 45 milliseconds to fully inflate, and Astars guarantees that both airbags will inflate at least 100 milliseconds before the first impact. In the event of a fall, both bags remain inflated for a total of five seconds, offering you plenty of time to safely enjoy your sky-ground view. Full deflation occurs in mere seconds, and within a minute, the suit resets itself so that unscathed riders can pick up their bikes.

Tech Air Race master control unit

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WARDROBE Travel

The World’s Shortest, Craziest Horse Race

The hills of Tuscany resonate with the fanatical cheering of tens of thousands of race fans in the medieval city of Siena twice a year, during the staging of the famous Palio di Siena. David George joined in the excitement that has electrified the city for hundreds of years. Photographs Corbis Images

WHILE ACTION replays have improved the audience appreciation of many major sporting events, there are still some where it’s vital to strategically plan your visits to the refreshment stands. When an event such as Palio di Siena lasts just 90 seconds, you definitely do not want to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Palio di Siena is staged twice a year on 2 July (Palio di Provenzano) and 16 August (Palio dell’Assunta) and has been keenly contested since 1656. Prior to the first official Palio, races involved buffalo and mules. This no-holds-barred, heart-stopping race involves just 10 bare-back-ridden steeds racing three 28

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times around the city square, with the first horse to cross the line proclaimed the winner. In the excitement it is not uncommon for riders to tumble off their horses, but their falls are cushioned by padding around the walls and layers of soil or tufo spread over the cobble-stoned surface of the historic square of Piazza del Campo. Rising above the piazza is the 105-metre-high Torre del Mangia bell tower. Whether the jockeys are pushed or fall is debatable, as things often get quite brutal. Every dramatic encounter between riders is within the rules because, basically, there are no rules. While not historically part of the jockey apparel, helmets are now worn to

provide some degree of protection. Siena comprises 17 neighbourhoods collectively called contrade, whose origins date back hundreds of years. Each neighbourhood or contrada is thought to have originated from different armed militia which once protected the medieval city from outside marauders. Here, everyone is connected to everyone else, and extended families are the norm in each contrada. Traditional and often violent rivalries between neighbouring communities fuel the excitement on the day. Family feuds can be just as fierce and some even forbid intermarriages. It is all very Shakespearean over there.

The hills of Tuscany resonate with the fanatical cheering of tens of fans in the medieval city of Siena twice a year

Riders battle on behalf of the contrada for the coveted banner with an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on it. This banner of painted silk is commissioned by a new artist for each race. While the race is hugely popular with the fiercely patriotic Sienese, it also appeals to tourists from around the globe. Most come for the spectacle and probably don’t care too much for the reason behind the races, which have been become blurred over time. With wine being an important part of the celebrations, it’s important to appreciate that the races are actually staged to ensure a bountiful annual grape crop. january

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Anticlockwise from left A contradaiolo rider sleeping with his horse on the night before the race; Before the race, the horses are blessed in the church of the respective districts; A young man wears a medieval costume and carries a shield for a parade in the Piazza del Campo

r ac e day - Activities start early with church services in which people from each contrada accompanied by their respective horses seek divine intervention to ensure their victory. Visitors must arrive early to ensure a prime position around the main city square, although the best seats are sold out months in advance. While it’s all good fun, spectators should expect to be jostled and cajoled in the 50,000 strong crowd. Meanwhile, the jockeys and their teams prepare their horses of which not one is a thoroughbred. No team wishes to be randomly allocated a nag but if they are, the jockey has to work extra hard to ensure he wins or, at least, to prevent arch rivals from crossing the line first. Spectators shouldn’t be alarmed to see horses get injured or occasionally drop dead halfway around the course. Jockeys often take a tumble too, with most falls occurring at La Curva di San Martino, a near right-angled turn with a downhill approach. As the hysteria and crowd tension mounts, the jockeys mount their steeds bare back in preparation for the elaborate and ceremonial race start. Then, they’re off with jockeys in colourful regalia lashing their horses with whips to urge them on, and to be the first across the line after three circuits of Piazza del Campo. In a neck-wrenching, bone-rattling, adrenaline-charged 90 seconds, the race is all over. But it signals general merriment and celebration, especially by those from the winning contrada.

Outrageous feasts are held throughout the city and mostly outdoors for full appreciation of the Italian summer. Communal dining on long tables is custom, with the local wineries supplying the fruits of their labor to every restaurant and Trattoria in town, much to the satisfaction of visitors and locals. In every respect, this is an event that brings the community together. Everyone pitches in to help set up and clean up after the gorging. m e d i e va l c i t y - Siena is the capital of the province of the same name and its historic medieval centre is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This hillside city is not only famous for its historic streetscape, but also its cuisine, art and museums, and being one of the most visited historic sites in Italy. Located 230 kilometres northwest of Rome and just 70 kilometres south of Florence, Siena is located in Italy’s cultural heartland. Palio di Siena has been succinctly summed up by one observer who remarked: “It’s not a horse race. It’s life.” Like so many things in life, the true prize is taking part.

- Activities extend before and after the race to ensure that Siena is the place to be during the weeks surrounding the running of both races. One of the main activities is the meticulously choreographed ‘Corteo Storico’, a parade that honours Siena’s historic traditions and the customs of the 17 contrade. This is a colourful and noisy affair with the beating of drums and parading of heraldic colours and traditional costumes, culminating with a display of synchronised flag throwing. The selection of the horses for the race weeks before the event is a ritual itself, in which every neighbourhood is guaranteed at least one race a year. Three days before the race, Siena’s 17 communities descend upon Piazza del Campo where the draw for the horses is held. Just 10 are selected for each race, with seven of these being those that did not run in the preceding race. The other three positions are selected by ballot and six trial races are staged in the days before the actual race day. après grand prix

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Words by Sophia Goh Photograph by Getty Images

THE SAMURAI of medieval Japan were originally established to serve and protect wealthy feudal lords. Referred to as bushi in Japanese, they later became influential warriors, transforming themselves into an elite ruling class that belonged in the highest echelons of society. As the centuries passed, empires crumbled and social systems collapsed, but the culture and myth of the samurai lived on. At the heart of every samurai is the distinctively Japanese moral code known as bushido, often interpreted as ‘way of the warrior’. The seven virtues that belong to the code are; rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honour and loyalty. Bushido was a spiritual system influenced by the both Zen Buddhism and the indigenous spirituality of Japan known as shinto, with a contradictory stance on acceptable extreme violence balanced with wisdom and serenity. It is a convenient exception to what is usually understood to be the most paramount of laws amongst the most “peaceful” reli-

BUSHIDO GEAR gions in modern history. Kat Kiyomasa, a prominent Japanese territorial Lord, employed a samurai to protect his land as was the custom of the time. In a book he addressed to all samurais, regardless of rank, he wrote these words: “If a man does not investigate into the matter of bushido daily, it will be difficult for him to die a brave and manly death. Thus it is essential to engrave this business of the warrior into one’s mind well.” This gives us an insight into the severity of the code and the way the samurai was expected to conduct themselves. Life consisted primarily of education in the laws of honour, duty, military strategy, literature, and self sacrifice. Weapons adopted by the samurai included bows and arrows, spears and even guns, but their main weapon, what has become synonymous with samurais today, is the sword. They traditionally carried two swords; one that measures over 24 inches long that was used for slashing and beheading, as well as a short one at 12 to 24 inches that was used for stabbing

“To this day, people still make the pilgrimage to the Sengkuji Temple, some to offer incense, many simply to see the final resting place of the 47 loyal warriors”

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victims. These swords were used for combat, finishing off wounded enemies, and when necessary, on themselves. The Japanese tradition of seppuku demanded that defeated or disgraced warriors commit suicide with honour by ritually disemboweling themselves with their short swords. In fact, so important were the two swords – together, called daisho – in samurai culture, that in the late 16th century, non-samurais were forbidden to wear them. Early versions of samurai armour were evolved from those worn by Japanese warriors, going as far back as the seventh century. They were made from small individual scales of either iron or leather, called kozane, which were bound together in strips and coated with lacquer. These strips of scales were then laced together with silk or leather to form a chest-piece. By the 1500s, however, new versions had been developed to reflect the changes in fighting tactics and methods of warfare. Iron-plated armour, or modern armour, had replaced its predecessor, while various pieces to protect other parts of the body were added – in particular the helmet, a markedly distinctive and crucial component. Perhaps the most famous story is that of the 47 Ronin. The word ‘ronin’ defines a samurai with no master. In 1701, a regional lord by the name of Asano Naganori was provoked into drawing his sword and attacking an official named Kira Yoshinaka in the palace of a shogun, a military commander. He was immediately arrested and forced to commit seppuku. Two years later, 47 of his samurais avenged their master’s death, hunting down Kira in his house and beheading him – without even knowing why Asano had attacked Kira in the first place. One young ronin was sent away to tell their story, while the other 46 carried out the attack before calmly awaiting arrest. Instead of being executed, all of them were allowed to commit seppuku, and were buried near their master at the Sengkuji Temple in Tokyo. Their story became a Japanese legend, and has since been made into various plays and movies. To this day, people still make the pilgrimage to the Sengkuji Temple, some to offer incense, many simply to see the final resting place of the 47 loyal warriors.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDERS

ARCHITECTS GREATNESS BY JACK NEWBERRY

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A.F. CHAI

The Crafstman

Jack Newberry sits down and listens to the

3 FOUNDERS

describe how they persevered to get to where they are In anticipation of my meet- tion the period in which they today. ing with the founders, I found myself making comparisons to the garment industry in New York and tailoring businesses of Saville Row in London. I tried to imagine how these three long term partners and friends came to build a tailoring empire that would stretch over 35 years to this day with over 200 staff, three boutiques as well as a fabric trading company specialising in bespoke and made-tomeasure tailoring. It is very natural to look at the achievements of successful people and ask ourselves ‘what is different about them?’ Too often we look in the wrong direction. We pay too much attention to their personalities and less on the idiosyncratic nature of their up-bringing and culture they were raised in, not to men-

came into their own. Prior to my arrival at the textile workshop headquarter, I was only familiar with the Wardrobe boutique in the plush settings of Bangsar. But as soon as I arrived I was warmly greeted by Mr. Lim, father to Wardrobe CEO Fang Heng, who offers me a cup of Chinese tea whilst we wait for the photographer to arrive. We are given a guided tour of the workshop where I get to meet some of the employees who have been with them from the start. Eventually, we make our way back to the reception and settle down in a conference room in front of the three founders, all dressed in their own style but with one noticeable constant between them. This is, naturally, the quality of their cloths.

The interview begins.

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Photographs by Azrul Kevin Abdullah

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J.J. LIM

K.C. PHUAN

The Marketer

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The Money Man

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Thank you very much for taking the time to meet me. I want to find out how you got started. How did you guys first meet? K.C. PHUAN: We met in London in 1972, attended the same tailoring school which was Tailor and Cutter Academy in Welsh Street and later at London College of Fashion. We were classmates there, we got along very well and our friendship brought us to where we are today.

Major highlights behind the creation of the company.

Did you ever imagine having such a big company 35 years later? J.J. LIM: When we first started, we just needed to make sure that we could survive. But as the years went by, we climbed up the ladder to a certain level and we started to see that the market was there for us to grow even bigger. Then we fine tuned the business to suit the market needs. That’s when we expanded. You could say that it was by luck and not intentional. But along the way, we could see certain things and from there we put the effort in. In the beginning we only wanted to survive, I’m sure it’s that way for many other companies.

J.J LIM: Of course, definitely. We’re very much in touch with the overseas men’s garment leaders. We have a connection with them and we get information from there. We also subscribe to men’s magazines and Mr. Chai reads about a lot of new things in the market. With our strategic investment in tailoring technology and machineries, relentless R&D for consistent product enhancement and commitment to human resource development, we are more than fully equipped to support the activities of businesses. Occasionally, we also get professionals from overseas to come here and train us and vice versa.

We feel very honoured to have a local brand being recognised in this way

A.F. CHAI

Fabrics play a key role in every suit you make. Where do you source your fabrics from? A.F. CHAI: Mainly we source our fabrics from Italy, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany. Interlining mainly comes from Germany and Italy. In terms of the collar fusing, the fabric must be high-quality, light-weight, and soft. As for the thread, we use a very fine cotton thread, highly twisted, firm and stretchable. We pay attention to the fine details because it’s the small details that go a long way. We use a lot of French and English techniques in the products we produce. We are not just a normal tailor shop. We have set up a workshop with about 200 staff and million dollars worth of machinery.

So what are your roles in the company? K.C. PHUAN: When we began our partnership in 1978, we identified which were the main areas of the business. Mr. Lim took charge of marketing, Mr. Chai is in charge of the craftsmanship and I direct the administration and finance and to this day our roles have remained pretty much the same. Do your roles ever cross over? K.C. PHUAN: I would say that we complement each other and support each other well. How does the relationship between the partners work on a professional level? K.C. PHUAN: Well, of course. You see I always used to tell my late wife that a business partnership is more difficult than marriage. Really. You will have your quarrels and all that. But you see, what actually kept us together are our values and principles. Firstly, we don’t take advantage of one another. Secondly, we’ve got to be honest with each other. Thirdly, whatever we argue about, there’s no right or wrong. It’s just a different opinion. And when it’s finished, we don’t keep it to heart. We just move on. Sometimes you can be too passionate about what you do, but you know what? Life goes on. So you have to take a different view of life. During our time in London, we thought; what do we do after we’re qualified? So that’s how the plan came about to come back and start the shop. We began in 1978. 38

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What do you love about your work? J.J. LIM: It’s the satisfaction of the job at the end of the day. When we work with our customers, we recommend the right things, we cut the right measurements and we put detail into the styling and the image that we built for the person. So when the garment is ready and we see him or her walking away with the end product, it makes us feel very happy.

1. London In 1972 London, a great friendship was forged between J.J. Lim, K.C. Phuan and A.F. Chai during their time at the Tailor and Cutter Academy. 2. Effort The trio learned the delicate skill of hand tailoring from the experts at Savile Row and brought their knowledge to Malaysia. 3. Success 1978 was a year of celebration as their first boutique, Spark Manshop was established in Sungei Wang Plaza.

And how did things progress from there? How did you get the title, Spark Manshop? K.C. PHUAN: Basically, the idea of the spark is what happens when you wear clothes tailored by us, there should be a sparkle there. While we were in London, I also used to learn how to window display by watching the professionals at Take 6, a high-street brand on Oxford Street. After the semester, I stood outside their window to watch them do their window displays. I stood outside and observed for almost one week. Soon, the man from the shop invited me in and I found out he was the Chief Display Manager.

I understand that when you first started, you had your work cut out for you. A.F. CHAI: In those days we had to survive. When I worked in Yow Chuan Plaza, we started at 9am and would reach home at 10pm. Even back then the KL jam was terrible. By the time I reached home, I had my dinner and went to bed at 11pm. The next morning, I wake up and it starts all over again. Every morning I had to do the button holes for shirts, trousers and jackets. I had to be hands on. When we first started, we didn’t have a big team. We hired two assistants to help us. There were only five of us. When I was in London, I studied there and worked there

for four and a half years, and didn’t even celebrate CNY. I had to work to survive. If you want to do it, you can do it. It all depends on how hungry you are. Why are experts at Saville Row using your services? A.F. CHAI: Because they recognise our workmanship. We’re on par with international standards. We feel very honoured to have a local brand being recognised in this way. Can you see the importance for innovation, new technology and new styles when it comes to making suits?

Do you have any advice for young tailors who aspire to achieve what you have achieved so far? J.J. LIM: First of all, they must have passion for their work and love the industry. Then only you can melt into the trade. If there is an opportunity to go overseas, by all means please do, because when it comes to men’s clothing the leading countries are still in Europe, such as Italy and London. So you have to go and open up your eyes and learn more and study more and get exposed to what is out there. Have a different viewpoint. Understand the history of the trade. If you just stay in this part of the world, your perspective will be narrow. No matter how much you learn you must also go to the Mecca. january

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My Private ROOF TOP Sometimes we all have to find time and personal space and put things in perspective... So why not do it with elegance?

PHOTOGRAPHY by Delvin Xian/Image Rom ART DIRECTION by Irene Danesi STYLING by Jack Newberry HAIR & MAKEUP by Sybil and Phang Yuting/Diva Production MODEL Bront Palarae COORDINATION by Lai Swee Wei LOCATION Lot 10 Rooftop

WARDROBE wool cool stretch singlebreasted three-piece suit, white giza cotton shirt, silk necktie and pink chess board silk hand-rolled pocket square


WARDROBE linen window pane singlebreasted sport coat, black corduroy trousers, white cotton shirt, silk necktie and cotton hand-rolled pocket square

WARDROBE pink salmon linen singlebreasted sport coat, cotton trousers, cotton shirt, suede belt and silk hand-rolled pocket square; MOSCOT glasses


WARDROBE cotton blend double-breasted two-piece suit, cotton shirt and silk hand-rolled pocket square

WARDROBE cotton blend double-breasted two-piece suit, cotton shirt, silk necktie and silk hand-rolled pocket square; MOSCOT glasses; CANALI scarf


WARDROBE wool cool stretch trousers and cotton shirt; MOSCOT glasses; HUBLOT classic fusion classico ultra-thin watch; CANALI shoes and scarf; ALFRED DUNHILL fountain pen

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WARDROBE linen chalk stripe single-breasted sport coat, navy corduroy trousers, white cotton shirt and silk hand-rolled pocket square; TOD’S shoes

WARDROBE cotton blend seersucker single-breasted two-piece suit, white linen shirt and linen hand-rolled pocket square; HUBLOT classic fusion racing grey chronograph


WARDROBE charcoal gray wool two piece suit, cotton shirt, silk necktie and silk hand-rolled pocket square; MOSCOT glasses

WARDROBE charcoal gray wool two piece suit, cotton shirt, silk necktie and silk hand-rolled pocket square; TOD’S shoes


23 WARDROBE navy corduroy trousers, wool cool stretch waistcoat, giza cotton shirt and silk necktie; MOSCOT glasses


WARDROBE wool cool stretch single-breasted sport coat and waistcoat, navy corduroy trousers, giza cotton shirt, silk necktie and silk hand-rolled pocket square; MOSCOT glasses; MOUAWAD gent’s ring 18kt white gold set with sapphire 4.05cts, and gent’s ring 18kt rose gold set with diamonds 0.36cts and sapphire 4.11cts


Words by Lau Chak Onn Photograph by Corbis Images

WARDROBE Woman

From her humble beginnings in native South Africa to being one of Hollywood’s most soughtafter and respected leading ladies, Charlize Theron has seen both sides of the coin.

CHARLIZE

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WHEN MONSTER hit theatres in 2004, it was an un-

expected hit, grossing more than USD60 million on a paltry USD8 million budget. Few would deny that one of the main reasons filmgoers flocked to watch it was to see one of Hollywood’s most attractive not to mention brightest leading ladies portraying one of America’s ugliest characters, both inside and out – its first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. Of Theron’s eventually Oscar-winning performance, the film’s director Patty Jenkins, had only this to say: “This isn’t just a performance. This is a woman who understands both the light and the dark side of life.” Viewed through your typical wide-angled and shallow celebrity lens, Charlize Theron seems to be proof that God didn’t build all women equally. At a stately 37, she’s still topping men’s magazines’ lists of beauties, and still has no end in sight to an enviable list of fashion and cosmetic sponsorships. On top of this, she’s seen as one of the most talented actors of her generation, with the double whammy of a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her aforementioned role in Monster. Since then, she’s appeared in just about every category of cinema, from critic’s favourites like Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, to big budget popcorn sci-fi flicks like Prometheus. Up next, a co-starring role with Tom Hardy in the long-awaited 4th chapter of the post-apocalyptic movie series, Mad Max: Fury Road. Theron is also on Forbes Top 5 list of most highly-paid female actresses, commanding up to USD18 million per movie – just behind Angelina Jolie. This affords her a comfortable living to say the least, residing with her adopted son Jackson in a Los Angeles mansion and with Quentin Tarantino as her neighbour. Between her acting gigs, she somehow finds time to manage her own production house, Denver and Delilah, which produces a range of films and even a reality TV show. A few times a week, she chats happily on the phone with her mum – whom she commonly drags along for red carpet events – in her native Afrikaans. Further rumours report that she just started dating all-round nice guy, Eric Stonestreet, from the hit sitcom, Modern Family. From all appearances then, Charlize Theron leads a charmed life. So what then was the dark side that Jenkins was referring to? Back in 1991, a young Charlize lived with her parents, Greta and Charles Theron in a farmhouse in Benoni, a short drive from Johannesburg, South Africa. “My dad was a big guy, tall, skinny legs, big belly,” she revealed on a now infamous ABC interview in 2004. “[He] could be very serious but loved to laugh as well, and enjoyed life. He also had a disease. He was an alcoholic.” One day in June, less than two months from her 16th birthday, Charlize came home only to be warned by an aunt that her father had been out drinking with her uncle, and appeared frantic. “Na-

ture gives you instinct. And I knew something bad was going to happen,” Theron said. Sure enough, her father showed up with a shotgun in hand, shooting the lock on the gate, and went straight up to Charlize’s locked door, exclaiming, “Tonight I’m going to kill you both with the shotgun.” He then fired a shot at Charlize’s room. Her mother, Greta, then made the only decision she could, and grabbed her own handgun from the bedroom. Charlize then heard a number of shots being fired from her room. “I don’t know how many, and then I heard my mom screaming hysterically.” When she came out of her room into the hall, she saw her uncle wounded on the floor, and her father dead from gunshot. She could also hear her mother crying upstairs, and found her in the corner of her bedroom. “What happened?” the 16-yearold Charlize asked. “Charlize, I shot them … I shot them.” In the weeks that followed, her mother wasn’t prosecuted on grounds of self-defense, and Charlize herself won a one-year modelling contract in Italy, and moved herself and her mother away, leaving the tragedy of her youth behind. From then on, her life resumed the sort of celebrity storybook you would expect. At 19, buying a one-way ticket to Hollywood to find her fortune as an aspiring actress, she almost ran out of money, but whilst arguing with an ATM teller, she was talent-spotted and the rest is history. A past like that doesn’t quite allow for the sort of idealistic life you might otherwise expect her to have. Knowing what she does about the realities of life is perhaps why Theron doesn’t just sign cheques for charities, but is actively engaged in the causes she chooses to champion. Her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, was founded to reduce HIV/AIDS and sexual violence among African youth, who are believed to have the highest incidence of the disease per capita in the world. In May last year, she actually took a trip to Capitol Hill to lobby for stronger government support in countering AIDS and HIV spread. Theron even offered to be President Obama’s private tour guide to South Africa. It’s a unique combination of resilience and vulnerability that carries well into many of her roles – from the cold, calculating daughter of a mogul in Prometheus, and the isolated wife in The Devil’s Advocate to the desperate former prom queen looking to recapture her happily married high-school sweetheart in Young Adult – a perfect-looking woman always portraying someone less than perfect. Which is probably why when she dropped the perfect looks entirely for Monster, we responded by flooding into multiplexes and giving her an Oscar. Because in our minds, we could never quite accept that someone that looks as close to perfection as Charlize Theron, could ever have anything less than a perfect life. january

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WARDROBE Work of Art

Watch making is a business steeped in tradition. Although there are few personalities who are prepared to stray too far from the straight and narrow, the times are changing, says Jack Newberry and lauded tradition of watchmaking has been a source of constant inspiration for so many industries which yearn for heritage and tradition. It’s seemingly impossible for any other country in the world to replicate the power behind their trade, which has been passed on for hundreds of years. Even in today’s world of hightech communication, replication and mass production, very few have come close enough to the title of ‘competitor’. The few that have do represent significant competition, but the question is this: how have the Swiss succeeded in cultivating and protecting their label? To see the ‘Swiss made’ inscription or engraving encapsulates a country’s dedication to perfection, technical innovation and reliability – which remains to this day, one of the strongest concepts of quality known in the market. It appears that the only means of protection for their trademark is through a series of international treaties, agreements and copyright laws based on intellectual property, which have diverted numerous attempts of imitation and replication, but not entirely solving the issue of counterfeiting by any means. Watches are paradoxically timeless. In much the same way that the men’s tailoring industry has maintained the traditional cuts and fabrics from over 100 years ago, Switzerland continues to produce timepieces which bear many of the same hallmarks as the examples created by the pioneers of the industry. This may be because the classic element of design endures fashions and trends, staying true to its form and changing very little from the traditional methodology developed so many years ago. Switzerland doesn’t rest on its laurels though. As a famous Englishman named William once put it, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” There are approximately 12 major historical innovations that the industry has experienced, from automatic winding to GPS capabilities and to this day, the challenge for innovation continues, with a handful of individuals and brands pushing the boundaries of design and function ever more with the aim of producing new and exciting creations.

SWITZERLAND’S LONG

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Almost every feature of the watches that we see in boutiques today was developed before 1870. Considering the advances in technology, science, medicine and almost every other sector known to man, this is quite an astonishing fact. Even taking the earlier example of the tailoring industry doesn’t support the argument as to whether there is a need for innovation because fashion designers have always pushed the boundaries on a seasonal basis, irrespective of whether original design concepts are maintained within the labels’ lines. I had the pleasure of meeting Maximilian Büsser, the founder of MB&F (Maximilian Büsser and Friends), the creative lab responsible for mechanical works of art such as the ‘MoonMachine’, created in collaboration with Stepan Sarpaneva. Note that Maximilian refers to his company as “lab”, and watches as “machines”. One of their most iconic designs is the ‘Moon Machine’, forged from the creative collision of two worlds: MB&F’s ‘HM3 Frog’ and independent watch maker Stepan Sarpaneva. What I have observed of this design is a watch which has defied conventional thinking. The two bulbs, from which the name is derived, are said to resemble the eyes of a frog. I personally, feel that whilst I appreciate the playful idea of this resemblance, I can’t help but see a nautical compass. Prior to the collaboration, Stepan worked for a number of prestigious brands, including Parmigiani and Piaget. He is both the first to endow a machine with a new complication – the moonphase – and the first to create a model for the Performance Art range. Having graduated with a Masters in Micro-Technology Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Maximilian became instrumental to Jaeger-LeCoultre as part of their senior management before taking on the perilous role of Managing Director of Harry Winston’s Rare Timepieces in Geneva. His appointment represented a huge opportunity and a challenge, given that despite the jeweller’s presence in the market, their timepiece operation was virtually bankrupt. In late 1998 when Maximilian took over, there was a collection of problems from the suppliers to the retailers and ultimately, the watches were lacking a reason for being. Saving the company from bankruptcy was the young CEO’s ultimate goal and so in trying to save Harry Winston’s watch operation, he realised that there was no way he could achieve this by acting like all the other companies. They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention” and I believe the situation qualifies. Maximilian needed to think

Photographs by MB&F

UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN


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fb: /Wardrobe.MadeToGetItRight

People fear standing alone, especially in terms of style and ideology. You need to have the strength of character to do so because very often, you’ll be faced with ignorance and prejudice. Maximillian explains that this is why he has amazing customers. When asked who buys his work, he describes the typical client as “extremely self-asserted, not people who want to show off, as they only want to buy what everybody understands. Our customers are courageous, they’re rebels, and they’re often, entrepreneurs who don’t need to prove anything to the rest of the world.”

w: wardrobe.com.my t: 603 22826866

out of the box in order to create a line of the same quality and standard as the brand’s famous jewellery collections. He explains how the transformation took place: “… that’s when we had the idea of rare timepieces, rare diamonds, and rare movements. But we didn’t have the rare movements, so that’s when we started talking to all sorts of independent watchmakers who had been subcontracted to the greatest brands. In fact, OPUS was created to help a friend, Francoise-Paul Journe who launched his brand in 2000 but suffered as so many independent watchmakers have, because he wasn’t able to talk about his history and track record due to confidentiality agreements with the major brands he had worked with.” Maximilian goes on to describe the beginning of a new approach to the business, which was born during a conversation the two men had at the Basel Fair when Maximilian said, “We should create a product together, so that we, Harry Winston, can tell the world that you’re a genius and we get some of your incredible movements.” A week later, they were in Francoise-Paul Journe’s workshop and they got started. “I had no idea that it was going to be a game changer.” Established in July 2005 and “born out of passion and rage … passion for watch making, and rage in that we haven’t evolved in over 100 years.” Maximilian goes on to say that, “with very few exceptions, everything you see in the majority of watch stores was created 150 years ago and that’s mind-boggling … MB&F is about all the people I’ve met in my life who share the same values, the same passions. Whatever we do, we always credit every single person who works on the product.” Maximilian credits much of the lab’s success down to relationships that he has built over the years. Maximilian spent decades conforming to the corporate rules of Swiss watchmaking until the day he decided to break the chains that were constricting his imagination and started a creative rebellion. Pushing boundaries, especially in art, can leave one misunderstood and often unappreciated. He recalls the time a couple walked past his exhibition at a watch event in Paris and he heard the husband tell the wife how ugly he thought the watch was. Maximilian introduced himself and explained the idea behind his work. Fifteen minutes later, the husband tried it on and fell in love with the piece, but asked, “Do you think I’ll have the courage to wear this?” Once you understand where the inspiration comes from and what led to the pieces’ creation, it’s really only then that you can fully appreciate his work in its entirety.

Established in July 2005 and born out of passion and rage… passion for watch making, and rage in that we haven’t evolved in over 100 years

MB&F Moonmachine

Master Craftsmanship Tailoring Bangsar, KL

Parkson Pavilion, KL

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Words by George Conway-Sanders Photographs by Borneo Ink, St Bobby James, Startattoo Studio and The Bled Collective

The Guilty Pleasure of an Enduring Art

There is an esoteric art that moves throughout society like an undercurrent, not entirely independent of frivolous fashions but certainly fueled by our affection for individuality.

Advertising CEO

Government Administrator

Stock Broker

Dato’ Sri

Engineer

Flight Stewardess

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HOLA HOMBRE! Prescription from the good Dr. Alderete. Words by Rachel Jena Illustrations by Dr. Alderete

AN ILLUSTRATOR that calls himself a doctor, who

creates imagery that would not look out of place at a Mexican wrestling match is sure to grab attention. Patagonian-born, Mexico-based Dr. Alderete is that man and his works are comic book-like creations which capture the zeitgeist of sci-fi movies and rockabilly. Fans? He’s got a few. His colourful illustrations have found their way onto album covers for bands like Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Lost Acapulco, and The Mutants and they’ve also been featured in specialised anthologies like Taschen’s Illustration Now!, Latin American Graphic Design and Die Gestalten Verlag’s Los Logos series, Latino.  His work is available to the public via collectible books edited by the man himself, Mexican Graphics and Day of the Dead – For those in search of something more personal and permanent, Alderete also offers exclusive bespoke 1950s retro rockabilly tattoo designs. Dr. Alderete’s works are distinct in their pulp fictionesque quality and his graphics are characterised by heavy use of black ink and solid 64

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For more information and more of the doctor’s works, visit www.jorgealderete.com

colour. If Monet’s Waterlilies are more your thing, you are definitely looking at the wrong artist.   A well-known name in Mexico and beyond, the illustrator (his mother calls him ‘Jorge’) finds his inspiration from the city that he calls home. Mexico City’s working class folk, wall graffiti and barios (neighborhoods) are all embedded in his work and it is also where he’s set up shop; The good doctor is owner and co-founder of Vertigo Gallery and the Isotonic Records label. When asked what the success behind his images were, Dr. Alderete cited freedom and the fact that he didn’t rationalise his work. More importantly, he added, was that he had fun bringing his images to life – something, he argues, that would undoubtedly translate to the viewer. It’s a simple diagnoses, but one that hits the nail on the head. Art should stir the senses and heal the aching soul. Alderete answers the question as to whether we need a little rock and roll in their lives. For those intrigued by the Doctors unique work, you can look forward to his next soon to be released book and exhibition about Easter Island. january

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Designing the future of a successful company is a challenge that Lim Fang Heng takes seriously

WARDROBE Vision

Writing

FUTURE Words by Jack Newberry

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BUSINESS passed on from one generation to the next is a beautiful thing. We are not just talking about the power of legacy or the value of experience and knowledge but also the continuation of a story that unfolds and gathers momentum as the years pass by. The handover, as it were, can be a difficult path to walk as the architects make way for the new leaders and their contemporary visions, feeling a slight pain as they let go of the business they have cared for since birth. The difficulty is born from the sacrifices made by the entrepreneurs; these are the guys who worked seven days a week with a noticeable absence of this outlandish concept called “holiday”. It was the founders who built the company from the ground up, the ones that took the risks and so moving on to the next phase is always a challenge and yet it has to be done. The Wardrobe legacy is the result of the pure determination of three men who set out to bring tailoring excellence to Malaysia and to this day the narrative continues with the next generation at the helm. The landscape has changed; fads have come and gone, but with a keen eye on 70

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the prize, the new generation presses on, doing so armed with a reinvigorated perspective on just how far the brand can go. CEO Lim Fang Heng has a vision of a company with a global presence stretching outside Malaysia and beyond. “Wardrobe stands among the world class brands because of the level of service we provide, the quality of fabrics we use and the uncompromising degree of workmanship that our company employs. We are looking to revolutionise traditional tailoring and to groom urban men throughout the region with quality tailoring that can last a lifetime,” says Fang Heng. Even with such impressive global aspirations, the development of tailoring in Malaysia remains an important issue for them. Over the years, Wardrobe has earned recognition from some of the most influential people in the country for their deep understanding of traditional craftsmanship, contemporary design and dedication to customer service. After a conversation with Fang Heng about where he intends on leading the company, I came to realise there is a storm brewing. Plans are being carefully laid to actually realise the kind of claims that we have all become accustomed to hearing from ambitious CEOs with dreams of grandeur. Even to an optimist such as myself, I hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and just agree that the challenge is achievable and this, in itself is a good sign. Because when you have an idea and not everyone gets it, this usually means you are on to something special and unique. When everyone understands your ideas straight away, it’s because it has been done 100 times before. Beneath the excitement that glows in his eyes you can see a methodical calmness to his composure. There is a humility which one would not necessarily expect from a man in his position. Getting involved on every level from the bottom up has given him precious insight into how the brand can be developed further and from what I have learned there is a long way to go, far further than I actually imagined. Taking the company to new heights through innovation and hard work will come with rewards. But taking on this responsibility, which is to say taking on the helm of a company that has already seen so much success, certainly comes with expectations. It is not only knowledge and experience that has been passed on to the next generation, but an unmistakable passion that runs deep throughout the company. That is true value of legacy; a passion to continue a great story and write a new and remarkable chapter.

The landscape has changed; fads have come and gone, but with a keen eye on the prize, the new generation presses on

THE REUNION

PHOTOGRAPHY by Steve Koh/Image Rom ART DIRECTION by Irene Danesi STYLING by Voonwei/The Style Animal assisted by Samuel Y HAIR by Vincent Ting/Miko Hair Studio assisted by Carmen MODELS Melina/Wu Models, Ethan and Jhonny/Andrewsmodels and Danny Lim COORDINATION by Lai Swee Wei LOCATION Carcosa Seri Negara january

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On Jhonny - WARDROBE black wool singlebreasted two-piece suit, white cotton shirt, slim silk necktie and hand-rolled silk pocket square On Melina - ECLIPSE turquoise sleeveless high slit drape maxi dress with buckle detail; earrings stylist’s own

On Danny - WARDROBE olive green corduroy single-breasted dinner jacket, black wool blend trousers, white cotton shirt, ivory silk bowtie and silk hand-rolled pocket square On Ethan - WARDROBE blue corduroy double23 breasted dinner jacket, white cotton shirt, black silk bowtie and silk hand-rolled pocket square


On Danny - WARDROBE olive green corduroy single-breasted dinner jacket, black wool blend trousers, white cotton shirt, and ivory silk bowtie and cummerbund On Melina - As before

FROM LEFT On Jhonny - WARDROBE black wool single-breasted two-piece suit, white cotton shirt, slim silk necktie and hand-rolled silk pocket square On Danny - WARDROBE olive green corduroy single-breasted dinner jacket, black wool blend trousers, white cotton shirt, ivory silk bowtie and cummerbund, and silk hand-rolled pocket square On Ethan - WARDROBE blue corduroy double-breasted dinner jacket, black wool blend trousers, white cotton shirt, black silk bowtie and silk hand-rolled pocket square On Melina - ECLIPSE red sleeveless sequin cocktail dress and embellished heels; earrings and ring stylist’s own


BOSS’ CHOICE WARDROBE Sempione Tre Briefcase RM4,950

Brief Encounter

First impressions matter and this briefcase is a sure-fire way to make a statement. What kind of statement? The kind that equates to good taste, intellectual depth, distinction and a suggestion of chivalry. Meticulously handcrafted in Italy, this briefcase sports a cream canvas that’s handsomely paired with a super soft pebble-textured Brandy leather. The exclusive Vitale Barberis Canonico 80

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fabric lining is waterproof, stain-resistant and ripstop, while the metallic details are finished with an anti-oxidant treatment for a permanently even colour over time. Moderately sized, this briefcase boasts an external pocket and two inside compartments with numerous pockets to hold the things a professional needs. What you are looking at is a classic case of style meets function.  Words by Lai Swee Wei Photograph by Li/Image Rom


Wardrobe took the opportunity to ask Ben Gorham a few questions:

Don’t judge a book by its cover

How did renowned Swedish perfumer Pierre Wulff convince you to move away from painting to perfuming? He didn’t actually; I convinced him! It took a while to convince Pierre to help me with my project. What is it about the art of perfuming that you enjoy? Probably the part I enjoyed the most is the perfume’s ability to evoke emotion, which is very strong.

Words by Jago Photographs by Byredo Parfums

Byredo REBEL! There are businesses and professions that have never been easily accessed by foreigners and on many levels, that is still the case today. We only need look at the top tier occupations in the fine wine business of Bordeaux, the NFL, or London’s renowned Savile Row for further proof. Another multibillion dollar business that has traditionally been exclusive is the fragrance trade, controlled by a small handful of companies that monopolise some of the rarest ingredients used for the manufacturing of scents. This is a conservative business that has never been easy to break into, so imagine the industries reaction, with its elitist views, to the arrival of an apparent bad boy called Ben Gorham, wading in at 6.5 feet and enough tattoos to make a sailor blush. How dare he? Well, let’s just say there was nothing conventional about the way he did it. A native to Sweden, with an Indian mother and Canadian father, a prior life in professional basketball and a degree in fine arts, these are the essential ingredients that make up the man behind the brand Byredo. Coupled with an ability to realise his own vision of simple compositions, Byredo’s unique identity has become a sensational revelation in the sea of celebrity and prestige fragrances that have overwhelmed the retail landscape for years.

The conflict between limited luxury and mass marketing has affected a number of high profile brands. How does Byredo fit into this equation? I’m not sure how Byredo really fits into this equation. The price of a Byredo product is a reflection of the quality of raw materials we use as well as bottle, cap and packaging that is of the highest quality. In terms of distribution, it’s limited for the fact that the product is very specific and it requires a specialised approach to selling. I’m very happy that the stores that we work with today truly understand our product. Who do you look up to and why? My mother, because she’s done everything for me. Since you’re into tailoring scents, are you also a fan of customising your own clothes? How would you describe your sense of style? There is an element of customisation, primarily in suiting. I have been using a bespoke tailor for the last five years and I think that my sense of style is best described as jeans and t-shirt or tailored suits. I imagine this will not be the last venture on your list. What else could you imagine doing? Deep sea diving. What are the stories behind your tattoos and what do they mean? Is there a specific one that is most significant to you? Stories really vary. I started to get tattoos when I was quite young and I still do today. In terms of one being more significant to me; it’s the ones that reflect family. What kind of sports and hobbies do you practice today? I am really into running and I have started mixed martial art training that I find very challenging and exciting. If you could choose a scent from your line that best describes you, which one would it be and why? That’s really the thing; they’re all a part of me. And no one fragrance captures who I am as a person. In your own opinion, define what makes a real man today. Humility. january

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The Beginnings of a Revolution

WARDROBE Automobile

For the outlandish, inimitable swagger that is Lamborghini today, tribute needs to be paid to the first car they made that went against the grain – the Miura.

Words by Lau Chak Onn Photographs by Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A.

FOR EVERY car company, there is one model that defines the brand. Not just in its design, but the way it was engineered, conceived and built, all coming to represent everything the company stands for. Lamborghinis are the embodiment of rebellious excess, and the start of that rebellion was the Miura. After being denied a better clutch for his Ferrari 250GT because they told him he was a “tractor maker who didn’t know anything about sports cars,” Ferruccio Lamborghini did what any Italian millionaire would do in 1962 – he started his own sports car company, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. However, even internally, the company was focused on building grand tourers, prioritising ride comfort over racing pedigree. The company’s first two cars, the 350GT and 400GT were modest successes but hardly set the bull on fire. However, within the walls of their factory in Sant’Agata, Italy, there was a revolution simmering. Lamborghini’s top engineers and designers, largely a bunch of 20-something prodigies, were working off-the-clock to design a new sports car with a strong racing pedigree, codenamed the P400. To achieve this, they created a svelte form factor that would require the engine to be mounted sideways, and in the middle, for perfect weight distribution, and to minimise body-roll. So svelte in fact, that for the P400’s debut at the 1966 Geneva Motorshow, they couldn’t fit the engine in, and thus put ballast in the engine bay and refused to let journalists lift the hood. Despite this, the car was a huge hit – Ferruccio was so impressed by what his designers had been building (and by the 353 pre-orders the car had received), that he immediately green lit the car for production. Launched as the Miura in 1967, it was the fastest production car of its time, whizzing from standstill to 100km/h 84

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in 6.7 seconds to a glorious V12 3.9-litre symphony. Perhaps more importantly, it was the first Lamborghini that looked the part, with an exquisitely curvy profile, deep-set Clockwork Orange eyes, gills and air ducts aplenty, and its wildly flamboyant bull-horn shaped doors. Its engine was melded with its gearbox mounted sideways behind the passenger compartment, to save space. This innovation became the standard configuration for almost all supercars to date. It wasn’t the most practical car though – the engine’s position meant that rear visibility was basically more of the engine than the road, and the pistons were pumping constantly mere centimetres behind the driver’s ears. Early versions didn’t even have power windows or any sort of useable luggage space to speak of – the plush Italian leather interior was considered luxury enough. Only in its third version did Lamborghini actually think of adding air conditioning and a lockable glove compartment – as options. And yet, it was this combination of performance and flamboyance with little thought of practicality that came to define Lamborghini. Perfectly framed in the transition between the rocking ’60s and rebellious ’70s, the Miura was undeniably the car of its generation.


Words by Jago Photograph by Diptyque Paris

TOOLS OF A PRO

…try hard to appear as though you have hardly tried at all.

It is a terrible mistake to believe your ignorance on the subject of romance makes you manlier

Diptyque ‘Baies’ Scented Candle THERE ARE opposing schools of thought as to the best way to attract a woman. The first is to give the impression that you have endeavoured to do all you can to blow her away with either the smallest of details such as the recollection of dates (a huge feat for me) or even the calligraphy used in a love letter. One can also make an impression through great gestures of grandeur epitomised by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who enjoyed the empire’s greatest period of prosperity and dedicated one of the most magnificent examples of Muslim art, The Taj Mahal, to his third wife. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to enjoy the palace due to her untimely death when giving birth. Still, one cannot question the magnitude of 86

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naming such an amazing construction after one’s wife although it should be noted that she deserved this great gift after giving birth to their 14th child. I cannot imagine that many have the means to make such enormous impressions and very often it is not even necessary to push the boat out so far. So let us address the other school of thought: to try hard to appear as though you have hardly tried at all. What is known as “effortless romance.” The legendary Fiat owner, Italian Playboy and industrialist Gianni Agnelli achieved this but in the context of sartorial style where he seemed not to care about his choice of clothes and the way they were matched but in doing so he created his own style that broke many traditional rules. Our recommendation

is to fill your bedroom with a selection of Diptyque candles. Place them randomly and away from anything remotely flammable because although you may want to set her world on fire, it is best not to do so literally. Play some Marvin Gaye and the rest is up to you. By this point, she will be so impressed it will be hard to go wrong. Here are two tips to enjoy your candles for a long time: Allow the candles to burn for at least an hour to let the wicks soak up the paraffin and burn properly. Doing this will balance the way the candle burns and avoid the wax from hollowing out later. Regularly re-centre and trim the wicks once you blow them out. Look after these professional tools and you’ll have 60 hours worth of romance at the strike of a match. january

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L E I SU R E LY P U R SU I T S Food • Wine • Book • Movie • Music


FOOD

Since you and your wife are both chefs, how do you break a stalemate when it comes to decisions in the kitchen? My wife and I often hug and kiss, which is a very satisfactory way of resolving any stalemate in the kitchen. It’s not something I can do with my brigade!

The Name’s Fergus

The story of how you met your wife is extremely romantic. Would you say you are a romantic sort of fellow? Would she agree? I like to think I’m a romantic soul. I’m not sure my wife would agree totally. What sort of food do you always, always, welcome? Italian.

Fergus Henderson is no stranger to the limelight, having been celebrated as the man who revived British cuisine and who put ‘nose-to-tail’ dining on the world culinary map. Born to two architects in 1963, and despite studying architecture, Fergus Henderson narrowly avoided traversing the same career path as his parents. He landed instead, on his feet, as a self-taught chef who has since founded the renowned St. John Restaurant, which promulgates ‘nose-to-tail’ dining and which earned him the title “father of offal”, to which he is known to reply: “It’s only polite to eat the whole animal.” His wife Margot – she served him lunch at the Eagle Pub in Farringdon one day and it was love at first bite – was his partner in the French House Dining Room in Soho, which they opened within two months of meeting in 1992 and successfully ran for a number of years. They have three teenage children, and despite the travails of such subsidiary businesses as a hotel (St. John Hotel) and a flourishing career as a cookbook author (Henderson is the author of three books: Nose to Tail Eating – A Kind of British Cooking, Beyond Nose to Tail Eating, and The Complete Nose to Tail: A Kind of British Cooking, which was launched late 2012 and completes the trilogy), Henderson continues to win acclaim for the daily changing menu at his British-centric St. John, which was, controversially, awarded a Michelin star in 2009. One of the most enduring signature dishes of the restaurant continues to be the famed roast bone marrow and parsley salad. 90

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What’s the one thing you’d rather die than put into your mouth? I don’t like or understand raw celery, but I could eat it in a life or death situation. You were destined to become an architect rather than a chef. What was it about the restaurant industry that captivated you to change the course of your career, and kept you there for all these years? Working in an architects’ office, I couldn’t understand folk at lunchtime going out to buy their sandwiches and a can of pop, and then consuming them at their drawing boards. This is meant to be a creative profession, (and) I could not see anything inspirational in this taking of sustenance at midday. The importance of a good lunch was dawning on me. Then the fiscal finger of fate began to wiggle and at the end of my architectural training, I got offered a job in a kitchen before anything else. The rest is history.

In terms of ‘nose-to-tail’ dining, which animal is best, and has yielded your favourite culinary creations over the years? Pig, without a doubt, but in Beirut, they can do extraordinary things with the whole lamb. You’re known for saying that food should comfort and uplift. What’s the one dish that unfailingly puts the spring back in your step? Devilled kidneys, my birthday breakfast, sets one up for the rigours of the day. What’s the one dish you’ve created that you would say best represents you as a chef ? Roast bone marrow and parsley salad. It’s simple but simple is not easy. The dish is not a fait accompli – you, the eater, are involved in its construction. What’s finer than gnawing on a bone? You’ve published three cookbooks. Do you think there are any more books lurking within you, culinary or otherwise? What are they? More, yes! But quite what and when? What’s the one food trend you’ve never been able to understand? Trends and food don’t mix terribly well. Food is a permanent thing. Trends can cause trouble. Which chef do you most admire and want to collaborate with? I admire most chefs and am always up for the challenge of a collaboration. What would your epitaph be? “Let the way-hay abound”.

sweet recipe

Words by Fay Khoo Photographs by St. John Restaurant

MADELEINES A warm little sponge thing of joy with a nipple on top should melt the coldest of hearts. Ingredients for about two dozen 135 g unsalted butter 2 tbsp pure honey 3 large eggs 110 caster sugar 15g soft light brown sugar 135g self-raising flour, sifted *You’ll need a Madeleine tray 1. Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan and simmer until golden brown. Leave to cool. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar together for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has tripled in volume and leaves a trial on the surface for a few seconds when the whisk is lifted. 2. Fold the sifted flour and melted butter through the egg mixture until it is all incorporated. Pour into a plastic container and leave to rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours. 3. Grease the Madeleine moulds with butter, then dust them with flour, tapping off any excess. Place a dessertspoon of the mixture in each mould and bake in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 for 12-15 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown.

Working with offal must mean your family would be regularly exposed to it. Do your kids like or loathe offal? They’ll wolf down a plate of crispy pigs’ tails, or grilled ox heart, but draw the line at tripe and kidneys. But there’s hope; it’s early days yet. You are known for loving your gadgets, but what’s the one appliance you simply cannot live without in the kitchen? The wooden spoon. Henderson’s preoccupation with noseto-tail eating remains ardent. Indeed, it’s the single dominant principle on which Henderson’s approach to food and the spirit with which he believes one should approach the art of dining and cooking is founded. Henderson himself sums it up most succinctly, saying simply that “cooking like this is not a concept; it’s a way of life.”

We got him waxing lyrical here »

What would you eat for your Final Supper? And who would your dining partner be? Sea urchins. Then we would have some ewes’ milk cheese. To drink: a great red Burgundy, with my dining companion Margot, of course! How would you describe your sartorial style? Urban French peasant. january

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Words & Photograph by Brian Wilson

WINE

BE WARNED: THESE ARE NOT FOR EVERYBODY. THOSE WHO PREFER DELICATE, EUROPEAN-STYLED AROMAS AND FLAVOURS MAY FIND THESE REDS TOO INTENSE AND FLAMBOYANT

Despite the French sounding name, d’Arenberg is very much a prestigious Aussie wine label. This Australian winery has proven it can take on the French and beat them at their own game. While some wine connoisseurs argue over the merits of New World wines versus the traditional styles of the Old World, those in the know, espouse the virtues of respected wineries such as d’Arenberg and its iconic patriarch, d’Arry Osborn. d’Arry and son Chester oversee a winery that embodies the very essence of the place. The French call it terroir, while the Osborns would prefer to claim that their famous McLaren Vale property has evolved through the meticulous balance of tradition and innovation. One of the most successful grape varieties grown at d’Arenberg is Shiraz and sales wise, no other Australian variety matches that of Shiraz. Australians can’t get enough of the style and many others love the big, bold, take-no-prisoners fruitiness of an Australian Shiraz. Noted American wine authority Robert Parker Junior claims, “There’s nothing in the world like an extraordinary Shiraz from South Australia. They’re huge, rich and concentrat-

Seeing a bottle of Dead Arm appear at the table, I was immediately distracted by what is considered one of Australia’s most iconic red wines. Dead Arm is a constant shining light on the Langton’s Top 100 Wines List, which is the barometer of auction demand for prestigious Australian wines. One of d’Arenberg’s three iconic reds (the others are the Ironstone Pressings Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre and Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon), Dead Arm is deep in colour with hugely rich and concentrated fruit on the palate. Despite the name, it’s a lively red which d’Arry claims will last a lifetime and only gets better with thoughtful cellaring. Always intrigued by the wine’s name, I pose the obvious question. d’Arry patiently replies as if he has answered this many times: “A fungal disease can attack and affect one arm of a grapevine, but the surviving arm ends up being a little gem of productivity. My son Chester, who is now Chief Winemaker, cultivates these surviving vines which are also very old and low yielding and ages the wine with minimal oak treatment to create a blockbuster wine deserving of our iconic range.” Wine connoisseurs won’t need too much arm twisting to appreciate this superb Australian Shiraz.

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ed, and represent some of planet Earth’s most compelling wines. Be warned: these are not for everybody. Those who prefer delicate, European-styled aromas and flavours may find these reds too intense and flamboyant.” DEADLY SERIOUS

Australian winemakers who produce these wines are deadly serious in everything they do, with d’Arenberg’s Dead Arm setting the benchmark that others try to emulate. Recently, I caught up with d’Arenberg’s elder statesman in the winery’s much lauded d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant. There’s no better person to offer a synopsis on the winery’s envious history. He remarks, “Wines were first planted in South Australia in 1837 and on the original Osborn property of Bundarra in 1912. My father, Frank Osborn, grew grapes to sell to other winemakers before becoming interested in producing his own wines. Winery construction began in 1927 in preparation for the 1928 vintage. I took over from my dad and since 1984, my son Chester has been carving out his own niche as a winemaker.”

COLOR METER

Brian Wilson visits d’Arenberg Winery in South Australia’s McLaren Vale region to chat with Australian living wine legend d’Arry Osborn about their iconic Dead Arm Shiraz.

BROWN MAROON PURPLE RED PINK AMBER GOLD STRAW CLEAR

LINGER/ FINNISH BALANCE

NOSE

HEAT/ABV

0 5

BERRY FRUIT

0 4

0 3

BODY

FLAVOUR WHEEL

“All Hail The Mighty Dead Arm”

CITRUS FRUIT

0 2

0 1

STONE FRUIT

TANNIC

HERBAL/ GRASSY

WOODY

FLORAL

SOUR/TART SWEET

NAME: D’arenberg Dead Arm GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Shiraz WINERY: D’A renberg REGION: McLaren Vale, South Australia ALCOHOL: 14.5%

MINERAL

SPICY

VINTAGE: 2009 SAMPLED: 2013 PRICE: RM250+ WINEMAKER: Chester Osborn FOOD PAIRING: Wagyu beef cheek january

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Words by Fay Khoo

Words by Gavin Yap

Things that will inspire you

BOOK The Great American Dream Regularly cited as one of the pillars of American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby continues to captivate readers more than 80 years after its publication. It’s a matter of enduring relief to me that I never studied The Great Gatsby at school, but discovered his writing much later, when I was already an adult. Nothing destroys the pleasure that is gleaned from reading a masterpiece quite as efficiently as a school curriculum, and no matter how great a book is, it loses its magic after you’ve had to analyse it and write about it to within an inch of its life. Happily, that hasn’t been the case with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his writing – in particular, his exquisite short stories, which continues to be a source of immense pleasure for me. Fitzgerald’s power as a writer lies in his ability to convey great emotions and upheavals through prose that is lean and always imbued with a sense of economy. Despite being a regular contender for the title of the Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby was, during Fitzgerald’s lifetime, not considered a commercial success like his other novels This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and the Damned. Nevertheless, if Ulysses was James Joyce’s magnum opus, then The 94

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The novel was born from Fitzgerald’s desire to create ‘something new, something extraordinary and beautiful, and simple and intricately patterned

Great Gatsby inarguably stands as the towering literary piece de resistance in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s entire oeuvre. Inspired by the parties that he used to attend, the novel was born from Fitzgerald’s desire to create “something new, something extraordinary and beautiful, and simple and intricately patterned.” To this end, he has succeeded most marvelously, producing a novel that’s concurrently a compelling and incontrovertibly blistering depiction of the nouveau riche class during the decadent ’20s, but also a story about change, and those who resist it. And, like Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Gatsby is a searing indictment of what happens when the American Dream is taken to extremes. The story revolves around the enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby, who prowls the periphery of the endless magnificent parties he throws, a voyeur rather than a participant, and the primary source of gossip amongst guests who’re as quick to condemn him as they’re to accept his hospitality. He’s unwaveringly fixated on his single unshakeable obsession: his passion for the beautiful wife of Tom, Daisy Buchanan. In as much as he is self-made, Gatsby’s ultimate tragedy lies in the fact that he has built his mystique and personality on the shaky foundations of materialism, and he’s ultimately betrayed not just by the emptiness on which his life is predicated, but also by all who surround him. If you haven’t yet, I strongly urge you to read the novel, before Baz Luhrmann’s rock ‘n roll movie version of Gatsby irrevocably ruins this quietly tragic masterpiece for you. For as much as he captured for posterity the fascinating yet horrifying lifestyles of a morally bankrupt America, Fitzgerald was, like his protagonist, also a victim of the society to which he belonged. And it is this pathos of experience, coupled with the eloquence of his spare, considered prose, that captures the imagination with more efficacy than a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie ever will.

MOVIE That’s How You Get Capone! The amusingly true story of how a fashion icon helped turn a film into a fashion icon by not actually doing that much. The Untouchables turned 27 last year, which reminded me that I was 10 when I first saw it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it on the big screen till many years later at a special midnight screening in London. And while it was great to see Bobby De Niro’s image projected 40 foot high as he pummeled one of his goons into a bloody pulp with the aid of a baseball bat, I’ll never forget the first time I saw it with my dad.

This was back in the day of Video Masters. Some of you are probably too young to remember this but years ago, instead of pirated VCDs and DVDs, you had pirated video cassettes and the most common one kicking around during the ’80s was called Video Masters. Ask your dad, he’ll know what I’m talking about. My dad’s the kind of guy that laughs whenever a guy in a movie does or says something ballsy or overtly macho. So any movie with a script by Pulitzer Prize winning writer David Mamet will be, more or less, viewed as a ‘comedy’. My dad clapped and laughed his ass off throughout the entire film. Perhaps it’s a blessing we didn’t watch it in a cinema. For those of you poor souls unfamiliar with the film, The Untouchables is a 1987 cinematic revamp of the famous 1950s or ’60s television show of the same name. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil with Elliot Ness and his band of ‘untouchables’ going up against legendary crime lord Al Capone. Over the years, the film has come to be regarded as a ’80s classic. It’s not hard to see why: its pedigree is amazing – a group of Hollywood big guns at the height of their powers. In addition to the aforementioned Mamet, there was director Brian De Palma, the man responsible for films such as Blow Out, Body Double, Carrie and Scarface. You could argue that De Palma has never made a better film since, although Casualties Of War and Carlito’s Way came pretty darn close. And of course, there was that cast – Kevin Costner, Sean Connery (in his Oscar-winning role), Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, Billy Drago and the big man as the big man … Robert De Niro as Al Capone. But although De Niro was Brian De Palma’s first choice for Capone, he wasn’t the first actor cast. The acting god initially turned the role down, concerned that his commitment to a Broadway production of Cuba and His Teddy Bear wouldn’t give him enough time to put on the weight required to look the part. That, and De Niro’s hefty asking price, forced De Palma to cast Bob Hoskins. But in an inspired act of insanity, De Palma threatened to quit the film if Paramount didn’t hire De Niro. The studio caved and De Palma got his Capone, and Hoskins received a USD20,000 buyout. Legend goes that after getting paid off, Hoskins called De Palma and said, “If you ever don’t want me to be in a movie, just give me a call.” As is evidenced by the story above, The Untouchables’ journey to the big january

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screen is loaded with juicy anecdotes, not least of all is the controversy over the film’s wardrobe credit. In the credits, Giorgio Armani himself is credited as being responsible for the wardrobe worn by the actors, and while it is true that Armani did indeed donate suits to the production, it was costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker who ultimately formulated the look and feel of every character in the finished film. The Untouchables was set in Prohibition era 1930s Chicago, which demanded extensive research in order to nail down the accurate 1930s look. In fact, a lot of the suits in the film were completely authentic clothes dug up from various antique clothing stores around the Los Angeles area. But back to the Armani issue, in a news piece released in 1987, Vance-Straker was quoted as saying, “Armani didn’t do a thing. He never even met a soul on the film except for me.” To make the whole thing even funnier, most of the suits Armani donated to the film were not worn by the main actors but by background extras. Out of all the principle characters, only Costner, Smith and Drago wore Armani in some scenes. All of the Al Capone suits were painstakingly recreated from old photos from the Chicago Historical Society. De Niro’s obsessive method preparation demanded nothing less. He visited Capone’s tailors and insisted on wearing the same silk underwear Capone used to wear. Costume designer Richard Bruno and British tailor Henry Stewart executed Capone’s look in the film. Upon the film’s release, Stewart made it pretty clear that he wasn’t amused with all the attention Armani was receiving. “I was sitting in the theatre during the premiere of the film,” he said back in 1987. “De Niro had even given me the tickets. And everyone started applauding when Armani’s name came on the credits. I felt like a real dummy.” What I can’t help but find amusing about this is that because of the credit Armani received, all the clothes in the film looked like Armani’s clothes anyway. But regardless of who did what, the bottom line is that everybody looked great and the film, thanks undoubtedly in part to Armani’s credit, has become an iconic film for men’s fashion. Armani has gotten his hands dirty in Hollywood many times since. He dressed Richard Gere in American Gigolo and Gere has insisted on Armani suits in almost every film he’s done since. More recently, George Clooney and Brad Pitt paraded the Armani brand in 96

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Ocean’s 12 and 13 and he supplied Bruce Wayne with his nifty wardrobe in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Actually, I remember reading not too long ago that De Palma was in the process of developing an Untouchables prequel entitled The Untouchables: Capone Rising, which would focus on Capone’s arrival and rise to power in Chicago and his encounters with a cop named Jimmy Malone, the Sean Connery character from the first film. Gerard Butler is currently attached. God only knows how true this is. Given Hollywood’s recent slew of crap, it wouldn’t surprise me if it is. At least, it’s got the original director on board. Who knows, maybe they can get Giorgio Armani to donate a couple of suits.

MUSIC

In the world of modern entertainment, multiple Grammy Award winner and style icon Pharrell Williams stands out as a unique proposition, a special talent with the ability to evolve, embrace change, try new ideas and diversify

All of the Al Capone suits were painstakingly recreated from old photos from the Chicago Historical Society

Words by Zack Yusof Photograph by Getty Images

PheReal... Williams? In the world of modern entertainment, multiple Grammy Award winner and style icon Pharrell Williams stands out as a unique proposition, a special talent with the ability to evolve, embrace change, innovate and diversify. After all, it’s no ordinary hiphop producer that gets to grace the pages of Rolling Stone, design Louis Vuitton sunglasses or create exclusive fashion lines that manage to reach beyond rapworld marketing with a presence in upmarket boutiques of SoHo, Melrose and Shibuya. Then again, the one thing that Pharrell Williams has never been in his career is ordinary. Like a Curtis Mayfield or Prince, Pharrell is blessed with the ability to don several hats – song writing, performing, and producing – in the studio and more often than not, thanks in large to his as-

tute sense of what’s cool and happening in the current pop culture, he is able to conjour up something fresh and contemporary-sounding. Away from the studio, Pharrell also proved to be star material – naturally cool in endearing, and always impeccably dressed in the most stylish and unique fashions taking to the centre stage role with consummate ease. His style is an essay in itself but essentially you can describe it as heavily influenced by hip-hop and skateboard culture, in parallel with bold European tailoring for formal occasions and more recently he has introduced combination of Mediterranean chic with a grunge revamp. Ultimately, all these elements are combined on a regular basis. For the Hypebeasts who crave the limited and unobtainable, Pharrell has created a

street wear clothing line in partnership with Japanese icon Nigo called Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream shoe line which is now in a further partnership with long time fan and rap mogul, Jay Z under RocaWear. Today, Williams looms large as a bonafide pop culture icon; an innovator and pioneer who transcended the pop genre he helped redesign and reinvigorate. As one half of the ground-breaking Neptunes production team, along with his musical collaborator Chad Hugo, he crafted beats and hits for both high profile rappers and MTV-friendly pop stars, favouring retro style, synth-and-drum machine beats over sampling or replicating old records. Pharrell is equally at home brewing

dark and triumphant hip-hop beats for Jay Z, as he is crafting catchy, Thriller-esque pop funk for Justin Timberlake or sequencing sexy R&B pop for Britney Spears and blasting out some shouty skater punk thrash with N.E.R.D (No one Ever Really Dies). Today, the trademark Pharrell off-key Curtis Mayfield falsetto is ubiquitous, providing musical accompaniment for everyone from Kanye West to his latest collaborators, French electro dance pioneers Daft Punk. In the heady, ever-changing world of Pharrell Williams, a man gifted with the kind of talent and universal appeal specially reserved for only a select band of truly special artistes, good things just have a way of coming true. january

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COFFEE & TALENT WITH CREAM

IN EACH ISSUE OF WARDROBE, WE INTERVIEW MALAYSIAN TALENTS ABOUT THEIR LIFE. English actor, singer and choreographer Stephan Rahman-Hughes sheds some light on the film industry, his sense of style, and the most courageous thing he’s ever done. An interview by Lai Swee Wei

SWEE What have you been up to recently? I hear you’ve been travelling to Los Angeles quite a lot.

getting it, you see there’s more to do, more to achieve. If there’s a passion for what you do, you’d never have to worry about motivation.

STEPHAN Yes, it's true. I've been having meetings with casting directors and putting myself into some professional acting studios. It was very inspiring to go back to learning but with professional TV and film stars in the same class.

SWEE Could you ever imagine a plan B in life? If so, what would it be?

SWEE You’ve been in film productions in the UK and Malaysia, how different are the two? STEPHAN The difference is in the expertise and the training. In the UK, there’s more competition for every position. They train and learn everything they need for a particular position. That depth of training doesn't really exist in Malaysia but the need to produce work does, so that drives people to create and learn along the way. Even if you only start with basic skills, it's amazing to see what people can achieve, if they want it bad enough. SWEE Where do you draw the line as an actor with the roles and scenes you’re willing to play? STEPHAN I want to do a higher standard of work and that means saying “no” to all the crap. If I read a script, the piece has to resonate with me. Even if it doesn't look great on the page, you can sometimes see the potential to bring something worthwhile to a character. SWEE You’ve taken on a lot of projects over the years, which is the one you’re most proud of and why? STEPHAN I'm proud of the whole journey. I've made good decisions and bad ones too but I feel fortunate to have had those experiences that have brought me to where I am today. SWEE How do you motivate yourself to keep doing what you do? STEPHAN There's always more. Just when you feel you're

STEPHAN I really enjoy teaching. It's very fulfilling to see a piece of knowledge change somebody. SWEE How would you describe your sartorial style? STEPHAN Classic with a modern or contemporary touch. It could be in the cut or an embellishment that adds a bit of flare. SWEE What’s the best advice you’ve ever been told? STEPHAN "If you don't believe in what you're doing, why should anyone else?" I was told that by an acting coach and it applies to everything in my life. Also, "teach people how to treat you." A dance teacher told me that at a time when I felt so many people doubted me because I started dancing so late in life. It made me show people my determination and taught me to earn respect. SWEE What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? STEPHAN I saved the world from destruction by an alien empire, single handed (laughs). Actually, I find myself sticking up for people a lot. I've definitely taken a few punches that were meant for other people. SWEE Define what makes a real man today. STEPHAN A man willing to support those around him and be the best he can be in his relationships. He’s playful yet serious, and focused when needed. A good friend, brother, husband, father and most of all a good role model. Someone who strives for the better in himself and inspires those around him.



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