Pushing fashion limits
Ah Boys To Men star Tosh Zhang says labels don't matter to him when creating his own style
Tosh Zhang - the YouTube sensation-turned-actor, rapper and celebrity most famous for starring in the Ah Boys To Men movie series - appears to be all about the swagger and sass.
But the man in front of me getting his make-up done is polite and friendly, almost meek.
The difference between Zhang's perceived image and reality may be jarring for some, but when it comes to his clothes and fashion, the 26-year-old is steadfast.
The local heart-throb of Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen, which is currently showing here, said: "I look to nobody as an influence for my purchases now because I don't want to create or model my style after anyone but myself."
Zhang says labels are not important.
"The brand, whether international, luxury or local, doesn't really matter to me as long as the clothing appeals to me."
While he does not emulate the style of other celebrities, he admires the style of several, including US rapper Kanye West and K-pop star G-Dragon.
"Both gentlemen have unique styles of their own and are courageous with fashion.
"They do not put themselves in a box and constantly push beyond instead of creating boundaries, which is what makes them trendsetters."
Asked to pick an outfit that reflects the real him, Zhang wore a checked jacket and T-shirt (by Stage), a pair of pants bought in Los Angeles, Timberland boots and chains from a shop at *Scape.
"I started paying attention to dressing well around the time when I graduated from secondary school and was going on to Republic Polytechnic.
"I had started breakdancing and was heavily influenced by street and hip-hop culture."
Since he has buffed up for the latest instalment of Ah Boys To Men (just check out his Instagram account for "topless" evidence), it was a surprise that Zhang chose to hide his hot bod when asked to pick his sexiest outfit (blazer from Select, jeans and shoes from Topman, a roll-neck top from H&M, chain from Versace and James McCabe watch).
He was particular about the cutting of the clothes.
He said: "Definitely a fine suit that's simple, yet shines."
An off-duty Zhang is still a dressed-up Zhang.
"When I look good, I feel good and when I feel good, I look even better!"
He picked pants from Los Angeles brand MSTKN, a T-shirt from Port & Company, a Jack Wills bag, a pair of Ray Bans, and a G-Shock watch. For his feet, he chose a pair of Nike Air Force 1.
"I'm willing to wear and try way more varieties and styles of clothing than ever before.
"I don't want to place unnecessary boundaries and limitations for myself when it comes to fashion as I want my style to mature and grow."
When he comes to attracting attention, he is less sure. He said: "Sometimes I'm really self-conscious, other times I don't care at all."
- MAKE-UP: BENO LIM, M.A.C. COSMETICS
Among all the freebies and goodies Zhang receives, it's a simple customised T-shirt - paired with Under Armour shorts and Asics shoes - that matters the most.
"It was made only for members of the cast and crew of Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen."
The T-shirt was given to him by the producers a week before filming wrapped.
Zhang said: "The last time I wore it was on the final day of filming (Frogmen).
"When (director) Jack Neo shouted for the very last time 'Ladies and gentlemen, it's a wrap!'... there were both cheers of happiness and tears of sadness.
"We were very happy that we had finally completed the long and difficult journey of filming but we were also sad that this was all coming to an end as this is the last of the Ah Boys To Men series and after this, we'll all be moving on to focus on our individual careers.
"That's why this T-shirt means a lot to me."