Benjamin Kheng goes for boldness in his style
Benjamin Kheng performed in Superman costume in 'warped sense of judgment'
If Benjamin Kheng had his way, he would be dressed in steampunk-style all day.
That is how extreme the local singer-actor can go when it comes to his evolving personal style.
The 29-year-old, who was once into the Dri-Fit craze as well as chokers and bell bottoms during his polytechnic days, has attempted boat shoes, waistcoats and slacks, scarves and wide-brim hats.
Kheng, who is 1.73m tall, told The New Paper: "I think it's absolutely boring to stick to one style, so it's fun to change it up.
"I have height issues - meaning I am short - so it's fun to see what works and what absolutely doesn't."
Characterising his current personal style as "functional-mod", he added: "I love the boho aesthetics, but both that and mod are highly impractical in Singapore. And I no longer advocate three-piece suits in the tropics."
Kheng joked he is still waiting for the moment for his image to be taken seriously.
"I still advocate for me in a dress," said the cheeky frontman of local pop band The Sam Willows, which has been on hiatus since May.
Although no one has ever dictated what his image should be, he admitted being increasingly questioned about his fashion sense over the years.
"But at the end of the day, I think people just care that you give a damn about the choice, and you boldly stick to it. Unless you're a nudist."
However, some of his bandmates from The Sam Willows - his sister Narelle and Sandra Riley Tang - do give him fashion advice and are regularly in sync when they disapprove of his choices.
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"I mostly listen to them, because if they say it in unison, it must be bad," said Kheng, who recently performed an acoustic gig in a full Superman costume.
"I have a warped sense of judgment sometimes."
He added: "Between (bandmate) Jon (Chua) and me, I'm the one who usually dares to go a little crazier, so our stylists and friends put me in more eccentric things.
"(But) I can't rock a bomber jacket like Jon."
Not surprisingly, Kheng has had his fair share of fashion faux pas, the most memorable one happening during one of The Sam Willows' cover shoots.
"I decided to pull my hoodie cowl over my head and wear a wide-brim hat over it. I looked like a bee-keeper and I still have dreams about that."
His weakness? Headgear and floral shirts.
"I have about 40 caps and hats, but I only wear about three.
"I have issues," said Kheng, who added the most expensive item he owns is a gifted pair of Y-3 sneakers that he wears to death.
Kheng recently appeared alongside Aisyah Aziz and Wang Weiliang in Roar, a musical documentary that premiered earlier this month, and was also a featured artist in this year's National Day Parade theme song Our Singapore as well as Singtel's first National Day commissioned song In Return.
He also collaborated with local underwater photographer Andrew Lim on the photography project The Lamest Apocalypse, which seeks to educate the masses about the dangers of plastic pollution.
THE 'ALLAN WU'
Kheng decided to pay tribute to Singapore-based Chinese-American host-actor and fellow Fly Entertainment artist Allan Wu by donning what he feels is a classic look of the latter's at a Tumi event in Hong Kong.
Pairing his colourful silk shirt with a G2000 leather jacket, Prada shoes, Uniqlo EZY Ankle Pants and "a scary smile", he said: "Allan is a mentor and a friend (who) has an unsafe amount of muscle on him. I think if you look up leather jacket in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of Allan."
With the silk shirt being one of his favourite pieces, Kheng thought it would be interesting to "match it with something traditionally masculine, like the timeless leather jacket".
YER A WIZARD
A massive fan of the visual language and stories of Gucci, Kheng was glad to be styled in head-to-toe Gucci by his friend Randolph Tan at the Italian luxury brand's Fall/Winter showcase in Bangkok.
On whether he was channelling Harry Potter at Hogwarts in the long-sleeved blue and red striped outerwear and matching pants and glasses, he said: "I don't know, but it sure as hell was comfy."
Kheng's way of letting loose is to look like a homeless hipster against the backdrop of Coney Island in Punggol.
Pairing his own apparel with Kanagawa wave Gucci sneakers which he adores, he admitted that if no one ever gave him fashion advice, he would be "the biggest boho in this country".
Exploring Pulau Ubin decked out in a casual Gucci checked top and shorts is what Kheng would define as fun juxtaposition.
He said: "(Stylist friend) Randolph Tan wanted to photograph some pieces in a different light and explore the many sides of Ubin."