Hi guys, it’s Gok here. Now I’m very excited
because my wonderful friends and colleagues at Tu at Sainsbury’s have asked me to not
be in a studio for once but, in fact, to sit down with a cup of tea and tell you exactly
what I have learnt over the last 22 years working in fashion. So here goes. Being a freelancer I actually didn’t really
have a boss, until I met my agent, who really pretty much is the boss of fashion for everyone.
And she taught me that as long as I believe in the work that I’m doing, as long as I
trust my own sense of style, then it’s good work because at the end of the day fashion
is subjective, and so is your image. So when you look in your mirror and you see what you’re
wearing, if you like it, that’s all that matters. It’s an art-form. The best piece of fashion advice from my mum
and dad? Now, forgive me mum and dad – I love you – but my parents aren’t actually
the most fashionable people in the world. In fact, when they’re walking down the street,
from behind you can’t tell who’s who because they actually swap clothes. I love them dearly
but when I look at my mum and dad’s fashion they really do wear clothes that truly represent
how they feel that day. So if dad wants to be in his tracksuit bottoms, his flip-flops
and his socks (I can’t actually believe I’m saying this) then he will wear that
and he will feel very comfortable. But if we think about the psychology of fashion,
that’s absolutely the right thing to do because if you start dressing for other people
and you start dressing only for occasions, you’re always going to feel uncomfortable.
And let me tell you right now, Mama and Papa Wan are never uncomfortable. There’s enough
jersey in their wardrobe to make sure of that. So the best piece of fashion advice from a
celebrity? Well actually this wasn’t advice that I was given, it was more of a feeling.
I was lucky enough a few years ago to host the world premieres of the Sex and the City
films, 1 and 2, and of course I interviewed SJP. And SJP for me is a massive fashion icon.
She does what she wants to do, she’s in full command of her outfit and she really
enjoys fashion. And the second film I interviewed her and she was so certain about what she
was wearing, she was so sure that she was wearing the right designer, she was so sure
that her incredible, massive, over the top hat was absolutely right for that premiere.
It made me think to myself, actually it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re a celebrity
or whether you are a ‘real’ person. As long as you take full ownership in what you’re
wearing, then you are never ever going to get it wrong. And those people that criticise
you for what you wear are only people who don’t truly understand your passion for
fashion. So my best piece of figure-flattering advice
is find your confidence. Now I know that’s really easy for me to say but trust me, I
come from a world where there was once in my life where I couldn’t stand my reflection.
I didn’t understand my body and it took me a long time to actually work out what is
body confidence? And it comes from absolutely within. If you understand your body, and if
you work out the parts of your body you want to show off and you don’t want to show off,
let me tell you right now, you’ve just found the best accessory in the world. And that
is self-confidence. My best piece of advice for anybody that wants
to work in fashion is to, number 1, develop your personal style, understand what you think
is beautiful, understand what you think should be on the cover of magazines or on models
or even in your sketch pad. And the second piece is never ever burn a bridge because
our industry is worth billions and billions of pounds every single year, and there are
hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that are working in this business.
You don’t know when you’re going to need any single one of them. So build up your contacts,
build up your taste, and go out there and don’t be afraid to be a little bit fearless.
Because fashion, I believe, is one of the biggest art forms in the world. And art is
all about being fearless. Ooh it’s a tricky one. How do you develop
your style? I think that you have to be really really organised. I often say to my women
create some kind of catalogue, a portfolio, a book of any images that you see in the magazines
or online, download them or print them off and create a mood board of all the stuff that
you like. And it can be anything. It can be sportswear, it can be classicwear, it can
be suiting, it doesn’t matter. And all you’re doing is you’re starting to build up an
image of what you want to look like. Er, the second thing is that: take all your clothes
off, stand in your underwear and look in the mirror. And this is very important because
you’ve got to understand your body shape because not all styles in fashion are going
to suit absolutely everyone. So understand your body, work out – ok if I’ve got a
small waist and I’ve got big-ish hips, I know that 1950s is going to be absolutely
wonderful on me. Equally if you’re straight up and down you know you can go for a 1920s
look. Um, so, understand your body. And number three, I think, is about, again I always say
this but it’s about finding your confidence, understanding what you like and being a little
bit courageous in trying new things. So the simple rule is, if you go out shopping, instead
of buying just one pair of jeans, buy one pair of jeans and something else that maybe
you wouldn’t have looked at before. Try them on, see if you like them. You never know,
you might surprise yourself. There we go guys. Well I hope my top tips
have inspired you slightly whether you want to work in fashion or you just don’t know
what to wear today. I’ll see you very soon. I’ve got to go now because I’ve got more
styling up to do.