DCSIMG

Gok Wan's gonna squeeze you in to shape

GOK WAN never stops. Not even for one minute. In the 12 years since the 34-year-old fashion guru started styling, he's built up an enviable celebrity client base, worked for the likes of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The Face, People Magazine US and with photographers including Rankin and Mike Owen.

He's got his own TV series, How To Look Good Naked and Gok's Fashion Fix under his belt. And he's got another one on the way. He's now writing his second book, How To Dress, and he's just launched his first body sculpting underwear range. No wonder he works 80 hour weeks and yearns for a day off to see his family. And sleep.

"I am f****** knackered," says the TV stylist, when he finally arrives for the interview, nearly an hour late, sandwich in hand. "Oh my god, this has been the craziest f****** day ever. Do you mind if I nip out quickly for a fag before we start?"

The How To Look Good Naked star was in Edinburgh at the weekend for a special live edition of his hit Channel 4 show and to unveil his lingerie range. But before he even has the chance to escape for a well-earned cigarette break, he breaks into chatter about his favourite subject: fashion.

"I just love the shops and the style here," he enthuses."Tartan is making a comeback, as is tweed, and the fling fashion is bang on trend – Scotland is where it's at. It is a lot colder up here but the style is just as hot. Glaswegians can get quite dressed up and Edinburgh is much more understated.

"I've been to Edinburgh before and I've filmed here a few times , so I know my way around. In fact, I got my best ever bargain here. It was this vintage leather jacket I bought in the Grassmarket. It is the jacket everyone comments on and all the celebs always ask me about it. Danni Minogue loved it."

Throughout his career, Gok has worked with a number of celebrities, including All Saints, Damien Lewis and Vanessa Mae. But it was his job as host of How To Look Good Naked, which launched in 2006, that made Gok a household name.

"The fashion industry's approach and opinion has changed in the years I've been styling," he admits. "And the way women are viewed has changed too. The whole size zero thing has gone and real women don't want to see this. Also the rise of discount clothing, as well as celebrity wear in the high street."

When it comes to dressing women, Gok stresses that it's not about the clothes. "Everything comes down to confidence. If women don't feel confident then they won't shop. If you feel more confident about yourself you will always look better – you will accessorise more and take more pride in how you put things together."

And putting it together means the difference between being stylish and getting it wrong.

"In the UK we have one of the best high streets in the world. But what so many women tend to do is not commit themselves to one trend during the season – which ends in a bit of a mishmash. For the majority, you've got to commit to one trend to really make it work."

Gok is a fan of control lingerie and in his opinion it's the foundation to every outfit. "If you bang on underwear that makes you feel unattractive, it doesn't matter what goes on top," he adds.

So it was only a matter of time before he launched his own range. But he almost never did.

"The (SimplyYours] guys approached me and asked me if I wanted to do a range, and initially I wasn't sure. I thought about it – and the fact I've worked with all the other underwear brands for years and magic underwear is really, really ugly. You're not going to pull in it.

"So what I decided I wanted to do is create a range of underwear that is really sexy but tucks you in, lifts you up and gives you the silhouette you want – magic underwear that does the trick but which also means that girls can still go home and have sex.

"I was involved in every single stage. Because I was putting my name to it, I wanted it to be perfect.

"It's taken a year to get off the ground and a lot of effort. I'm proud of what we've achieved. Because of the way it's been designed, you won't get a massive ride up or overhang."

The result is a sexy vintage lingerie range – just look at these fabulous pictures – in silky fabrics and sensual colours, paying homage to the 50s. The range is available in sizes eight to 20.

"I wanted something which went back to a time when women's bodies were most celebrated and, for me, that was the Forties and Fifties. The feminist movement was making an impact and women were realising that they could do more than bring up kids.

He suddenly remembers his need for a nicotine fix. But before he rushes off, he remembers his next venture.

"I'm working on my book which is coming out at Christmas and a new show called Naked Beauty, which is a spin off of Naked. It's a contemporary beauty pagent – we're looking for women with balls. Hmmm, can you imagine?"

With that he's off. Not before he stops for a kiss, a quick grope and the promise that some shapewear lingerie will go to the News offices. "Not that you need it," he winks.

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page