Yanxi Palace actor Lawrence Wong not afraid to experiment with different fashion styles

Lawrence Wong said he is not a "hardcore fashion person" and adores casual wear, but steps out of his comfort zone when it comes to the image he has to portray for work.
Lawrence Wong said he is not a "hardcore fashion person" and adores casual wear, but steps out of his comfort zone when it comes to the image he has to portray for work.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/LAWRENCE WONG

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - After leaving Singapore in 2016 for greener pastures in China, Malaysia-born local actor Lawrence Wong shot to stardom in popular Chinese period drama The Story Of Yanxi Palace as kind imperial guard Hai Lan Cha, even clinching the StarHub Breakthrough Star award last year.

But living in China did not just bring the heart-throb - who has racked up more than 2.9 million followers on Weibo and has 298,000 followers on Instagram - fame. It also made him step up his fashion game.

Wong, who is in his 30s and shuttles between Beijing and Singapore, told The New Paper: "The main difference is that in China, you are inclined to dress (up) more because of the cold weather. There is a lot of layering and you can wear nice coats, cosy sweaters, jackets and oversized hoodies.

"In Singapore, you can't do that. It's more practical to just wear shorts, flip-flops and a T-shirt. After a while, it becomes a habit."

Wong returned to Singapore last month to film his first lead role in Channel 8's new romantic drama My One In A Million, which premieres in July and will air on weekdays at 9pm.

Now in his 10th year in showbiz, he started out in small roles in Channel 8's Three Wishes and 118 as well as Channel 5's Zero Calling before finally getting his big break in Yanxi Palace.

On his style evolution over the decade, Wong said: "Now, I like things that are simpler and I place more emphasis in the material, the cutting and whether it flatters my body."

He said he is not a "hardcore fashion person" and adores casual wear, but steps out of his comfort zone when it comes to the image he has to portray for work.

Said Wong: "I'm not sure if I know or love fashion, but I would say I have a natural sense of what works and what doesn't for my body.

"I do like to experiment and I'm very open to and not afraid of trying new things that may seem weird or awkward."

His favourite designer is Kim Jones, the English creative director of Dior Homme.

"I think his work is very classy. He pushes boundaries but does not overdo it. (As for fashion inspiration), I get it from everywhere, especially now with social media. It's so easy," he said.

The priciest possession in his wardrobe may be a $6,000 Burberry leather jacket, but his staples are simple white T-shirts and tops.

He said: "I have a lot of different white shirts in different cuts for different occasions. Some are for layering, some are more baggy. They are basics and (go with) everything."

Wong has taken his fair share of fashion risks.

He recently purchased a sweater with a cape from Loewe that he admitted is so "dramatic and loud" he hasn't worn it yet.

His secret to always looking so stylish in his Instagram feed?

He said: "When it comes to photos, lighting is everything. As for poses and angles, just be natural. That is very important to me. I hate looking pose-y."



Like a prince straight out of a fairy tale, Wong was dapper in a belted black suit from Italian luxury fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna at the StarHub Night of Stars awards show last December.

He said: "I like this outfit because it is not your typical suit and I paired it with a sweater inside. That makes it a little more casual yet not inappropriate for the event. I also pulled the sweater sleeve out of the blazer to see more layers."



In Beijing, where temperatures can plunge below zero, he keeps warm in a black hoodie from US clothing brand Opening Ceremony and ripped light wash denim jeans.

He said: "It was just a casual outfit when I went out with my dad and sister who visited me in Beijing. It was pretty cold and the hoodie is lined with fur. I just wanted to make it casual with ripped jeans and Converse sneakers."



With Wong's rising profile, he feels the pressure to look good in public, especially with the Chinese paparazzi at the airport.

He wore this ensemble of green hoodie from Diesel and black pants and jacket from Coach for his recent trip to Geneva for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair.

He said: "When I travel, I value comfort a lot. There's paparazzi around (too) so I try to find something stylish yet comfortable.

"Being able to rest well during the flight is very important because once I touch down, I have to work immediately."



Decked in Adidas from head to toe, he enjoys street style too, as in this cooling printed shirt and shorts.

He had shaved his head for Yanxi Palace and really liked the look.

He said: "It's edgy, cool and easy to maintain. You literally can get out of the house in five minutes. It's not difficult to style (around) and works for every outfit."