I introduce to you the first in the series of Smart People – a section of the blog I will be dedicating to the dressers of this world. It’ll include a variety of gentlemen that I come across – from the ones on the street, to those that I swipe across on Instagram.
First up – Ethan Wong. I originally came across him through The Fedora Lounge, a brilliant blog and website dedicated to all aspects of Vintage and the lifestyle it entails. Soon enough, I found Ethan on Instagram – his sun-drenched west-coast photos, looked over by me in envy on a cold, wet and wintery London morning just rang out. At the top of his feed, I was directed through to his blog (Streetxsprezza) which contained an interesting blend of modern/vintage clothing and styles, which sat rather harmoniously post side-by-side. I decided that the best way to get a real understanding of Ethan, was to get in touch with him and have a good old fashioned chat.
How old are you? Where are you based?
I am 19 years old and about to graduate from college! I’m based in Los Angeles!
Being a stylish man yourself, what does style mean to you?
Style means being able to express yourself in the way you that you require. It has nothing to do with casual or formal. It’s all about expression and doing it well.I can tell you’re open to a variety of looks, both modern and retrospective. How did your love for vintage clothing come about?
It came about when I was just learning how to dress well, about 2 years ago. The Great Gatsby movie really showed me how awesome the dandy inspired 1920’s looks were but the Dapper Days at Disneyland exposed me to the bigger community of people who love to be vintage inspired. It was looking at pictures of Dapper Day when I saw people wearing actual vintage clothes. My keen eye noticed that the Double breasted suits of the 1930s-40s are very different than the ones cut post 1960. I naturally assumed many of these pieces were bespoke or hand made, but after conversing with a particular guy, I learned that they were true vintage pieces! As I started looking for actual vintage items from 1920-1940, I learned more about how it was accurately worn, the materials, and just general knowledge. All of it got me to where I am today; loving to wear vintage.
What is is about vintage clothing that just gets you?
I’ve always loved large lapels, whether they are peak or notch. The shape of vintage lapels have an aesthetic that I simply am attracted to. As I got more and more into collecting vintage clothes, I found that vintage should only be worn with vintage; it preserves the accurate look. I’m very picky, so vintage is a way for me to have the aesthetic I want and be as accurate to the time as possible. It’s simply so immaculate: high quality fabrics, big lapels, spear point collars with collar bars, fitted jackets and straight legged trousers, and hats.
It takes hard work and dedication to find pieces like you’ve got – how do you spend your time finding your clothes (online / in stores)?
Living in Los Angeles really does help because many of the big name vintage dealers and wearers live here! Every so often they’ll find some cool pieces that doesn’t fit them and sell that piece to members of the community through Facebook.
Other times, I frequent my favourite vintage stores in the city or just peruse eBay’s vintage menswear section from time to time. Thanks to my small frame, I’m able to buy quite a few pieces.
Quick fire – What’s your favourite piece you have in your collection?There are a few items I like! I have a three piece brown suit with orange stripes, a grey summer belted back suit with a light blue window pane, and a great 1930’s light brown herringbone sport coat with patch pockets.
What does Retrospective Modernism mean to you?
Retrospective Modernism is a term that I would use to describe my life. I love modern styles and yet I keep one hand firmly in the past, never forgetting how classic men’s style truly was.