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Gok — thefashionatetraveller.com

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Goks Fashion Fix Series 3 has arrived

Well, I’ve had a bit of catching up to do after being offline for a bit, travelling and being sick. Something that snuck up on me while I wasn’t looking, but is terribly exciting is …. *drum roll*

Series 3 of Gok’s Fashion Fix!!

Ok, so it’s in the UK only, and I don’t know when it will air here in Australia or in the US, but AUNTY GOK IS BACK!! Love him or hate him, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

For any of you who haven’t seen Gok Wan’s splendid show, each week he is pitted against High-end Fashion Boutique owner and fashionista Brix Smith Start, to select and style catwalk outfits that encompass current trends.

The kicker is, she gets to choose from any label she desires, whether Armani or Rick Owens, Margiela or Erdem – but Gok can only select from the High Street – aka chain stores such as Topshop, H&M;, ASOS, Primark, New Look and River Island, to name a few. Indeed he champions these, as they are the stores at which the vast majority of (UK) women today shop.

However, what he does, which is so brilliant, is to customise each garment so that it has even more oomph and edge, using haberdashery materials and a bit of sewing. This is the magic of Gok – he does what a lot of us crafty fashionistas do. For those who don’t have the imagination to see a trend and see how to transform a garment to reflect it, Gok shows you how.

Each week they pick a few current trends as direction for their catwalk looks – such as the goth look, the floaty floral, the preppy look, the global traveller, and this week a big one was the utility look (see Gok customising the look below).

Gok and Brix both have 4 or 5 models go down the runway in a shopping mall – this is called the ‘Face Off”.  At the end, the audience members hold up cards to select their favourite – not knowing which ones were high street and which were designer.

Every time but one so far, Gok has won.

Brix Smith Start

Brix is no slouch in the fashion stakes, despite perhaps not having the cred of Alexa Chung, with whom Gok worked previously in series 1. Brix started off in showbiz in ’83 in legendary British band The Fall, before pursuing a career in fashion and presenting.

She has three A-list boutiques in Shoreditch and has an amazing array of videos on her YouTube channel, Start Television. Earlier this year she featured Stolen Girlfriends Club – ya gotta love that!

To be honest, her high voice and smug overconfidence sometimes irritates me, but you need a bit of conflict in a TV show, no? It makes the victory that much sweeter when Gok demolishes her with his finesse, as the crowd overwhelmingly votes for him each week.

Gok Wan, the man

As for Gok himself, he dropped out of the Central School of Speech & Drama in ’98 (still overweight and unhappy with himself) and set about re-inventing himself.

I admire that he worked hard to achieve his current litheness, going from a 21 stone schoolboy to the svelte dandy he is today. He doesn’t advocate starving, mind you. When asked for diet tips, he said: ” Never deny yourself anything. Everything in moderation. So if you want it, have it. Just make sure you compromise in other areas”.

Beginning with styling celebs such as All Saints, Bryan Ferry, Erasure and Wet Wet Wet (!) he moved onto styling for tv and magazines. In 2006 he was approached by Channel 4 to do “How To Look Good Naked” and it aired in 2007. The rest, as they say, is history.

His styling ability is one key to his success; but he nonetheless works hard to stay on top.

“Every month I get all the magazines. I still do mood boards, even after a decade of working in fashion. It’s like a muscle, you have to exercise it. I need to know what the designers are doing, I need to know the current trends, I need to know what celebs are doing, all that kind of stuff. I’ve got to be abreast of all of it. A stylist only works with what’s out there already, I don’t redesign stuff, so I have to be on top of it. And it’s knackering.”

On the other hand, it is his dapper yet warm and girlfriendly onscreen presence that is
the second key to his success. It is this warmth that puts the women at ease each week, as he addresses their body issues and proposes flattering clothes and capsule wardrobes for them.

Gok also has great onscreen chumminess with the celebs he helps style each week, often teasing them mercilessly.

He certainly has a distinctive voice, peppering his comments with words like “massively”, “bangers” and “rack” – here’s a fun look at Gok’s colourful vocab. And for shock Gok trivia of the day – he has slept with women as well as men (well, I never!)

But enough about the man. Back to the show.

What I didn’t realise, is that there is a fab website accompanying the show which includes those fantastic DIY’s, trends, stockists and more. 

How To’s – from sewing in shoulder pads to styling up a utility dress from an inexpensive trenchcoat, to making a gorgeous silver cummerbund.

Supplier Lists – tells you where to buy the fashion from each episode (esp from series 1 and 2).  Many stores are online, so worth a look even for non-UK peeps.

Get the look or featured products – is a bit like the above category, but it also shows you where to buy the items to customise your fashion, instores such as B.L Trimmings. Episode 2 screened on June 2 and featured 3 looks: Equestrian, Moroccan Bazaar and Floral Grunge – see the list of stockists here.

Below is the Global Traveller look, styled with items from Very.co.uk.

As the show progresses, and certainly, once the new series comes here, I’ll be checking back to see how he achieves each look – and also looking at where to buy things I suddenly discover I just ‘have’ to have.

Before I finish, I should share that Gok may not be as lovely as he’s cracked up to be. A few years ago, this article surfaced, “How to feel bad naked“, from a model who said she’d been treated badly. In it, Gok seems to be a misogynistic rich boy who just puts it on for the cameras, if you believe what you read.

I’m really not sure, but for now I’ll be a fence-sitter and live in denial, and just get lost in the onscreen persona who does inspire me tremendously.

Do you watch the show? How do you feel about Gok and his fashion?