Personable, charming and just a little bit cheeky is how we would describe Gok Wan after meeting him in London last week.
A man of many talents, he’s a stylist, author and presenter of more than a few shows including Gok’s Style Secrets, Gok’s Clothes Roadshow and How to Look Good Naked.
We flew over to interview Gok at the launch of his new Specsavers range of glasses, which are all achingly stylish.
Dressed in a black ensemble and simple gold bangles, he conveyed an easy elegance, a style that cannot be bought.
Every bit as personable and charming as he comes across on his TV shows, the presenter was a pleasure to speak to.
He has a knack of sizing a person up in seconds, and you can almost hear the cogs in his head spinning as he works out what you should be wearing.
Describing our writer’s outfit as ‘a little bit Prada, a little bit Miu Miu’ pretty much made her week.
Did you always want to work in the fashion industry?
I’ve always loved fashion but I didn’t always want to work in the industry. I remember watching my sister get ready at home and choosing her outfits. I love the way clothes can transform how people perceive you.
I originally wanted to be an actor and when that didn’t work out, I fell into fashion which I absolutely love.
Describe your worst style disaster.
I got up for work one morning and dressed in beige. A beige coat, beige jumper, beige trousers and beige shoes, the overall effect was that of a prosthetic limb.
Worst of all, it was a creative store that I worked for. The outfit was so awful that my manager sent me home.
Are two days ever the same?
No, but I like it that way. I’m based in London but always doing something different. I could be designing in my studio, hosting an event, presenting or filming. It’s great though.
What is your top shopping tip?
Choose a couple of pieces that you would never ever go for, and try on them on just to see. Our brains work creatively on visuals so you might see it on the hanger, but you won’t love it until you try it on.
Always, always, always try on before you buy.
In your opinion, what are the most popular style mistakes?
Not dressing for your body shape, buying trend items that may not suit you and opting for clothes that are really uncomfortable which really don’t fit properly.
If you’ve gained a dress size, embrace that and go up a size rather than trying to squeeze into something too small.
Who is your style icon, someone modern and another from days gone by?
My current is Fearne Cotton. She’s a good friend of mine who dresses amazingly well, she takes risks and she’s daring. I love her sense of style.
From years gone by, there are so many, so many. Catherine Deneuve, she looks great, absolutely incredible, knows her body, knows her shape. She’s just so elegant and sophisticated.
You were a big hit on The Late Late Show in 2010 and one comment in particular stands out. You said you’d prefer a real rose to a fake rose, why was that?
Yeah, it’s the idea of what we find attractive. If you’ve got something man made, that’s what we often assume to be attractive.
Perfect petals, perfect stem, perfect leaves and then compare that to a real rose which is slightly wilted and has seen better days.
The real rose will always be more beautiful than the plastic made made one, and so always keep it natural and keep it real.
Real is more beautiful than preconceived plastic, always. Every single time.
What do you get from your job?
I love my job. I love the fast pace, I love meeting people, I love the human stories and the success stories.
I love the fact that I can do stuff which changes peoples lives and inspires them, which all sounds very Oprah Winfrey but I do, I love that.
I’m in a very fortunate position that I can consider that my job.
What’s the ultimate accessory?
A bag, always a bag. I love bags, I’m obsessed with them. I have a Chanel shopper. It doesn’t get much wear but I love it.
I was going to bring it today but then I didn’t, I don’t know why. I brought a a Yves Saint Laurent one instead.
So, tell us about your new Specsavers range.
It’s a capsule collection with something for everyone. Not trend driven at all, it’s what I think is beautiful in glasses. Clear arches, bold shapes, bold colours, different materials, different eras.
I didn’t want to concentrate on anything that felt like it belonged to a collection too much, it had to be a line of separates.
To round off the interview, we treated Gok to a few quick-fire questions.
Chanel/Dior – Chanel
Designer/High Street – High Street
Heels/Flats – Heels
Monroe/ Hepburn – Hepburn
Christian Louboutin / Manolo Blahnik – Louboutin
Blonde/Brunette – Both
Dog/Cat – Dog
Cooking/Fashion – Am… probably fashion
Leopard print/ Polka dots – leopard print
Bags/ Jewellery – Always bags, every single time (even before shoes)
Karl Lagerfeld/ Alexander Wang – Do you know what? I’m going to say Lagerfeld, he’s the daddy isn’t he?!
Suffice to say, we loved chatting to Gok. Check out his Specsavers range here… we are crushing on the tortoiseshell pair below, priced at €149.