Gok’s Clothes Roadshow

I have to admit, I don’t really get fashion. I’ve no idea what looks are ‘in’ this season, I just go into shops, find the nearest garment that doesn’t have oddly-placed sequins, anchors, smiley faces and/or military style frogging on it, then scarper as quickly as I can… usually to the nearest pub.

Luckily for me and all the other fashion challenged ladyfolk in the UK, Gok Wan is here to advise us on what we should be wearing to best disguise our various bumps, lumps, bulges, tums, bums, thighs and all the other features society (and Gok) thinks that women shouldn’t flaunt.

Never mind that he himself looks like the lanky lovechild of Sue Perkins and Moss from the IT Crowd, he knows what’s best for us ladies. He should do, in fact, given he’s been prodding our collective, misshapen-cardigan clad forms since 2006’s How to Look Good Naked.

This latest Gok-vehicle sees a slight change to his usual format. Instead of getting lots of plump ladies to take off their clothes and lie in a fleshy pyramid while he points at their bits like an Abu Ghraib prison guard, he’s now ‘on tour’ – visiting a variety of cities in order to revamp wardrobes and stage a fashion show. There’s less of a focus on nudity (I barely saw a single banger) and more on dressing people. Makes sense, really, given that it’s a programme about… well, clothes.

The makeover element of Gok’s previous shows is still present, but in a much speedier form. He picks on four social workers who dress in dull, bleak colours and hastily remodels them into a sassy, glamorous ‘Scouse and the City’ foursome, dragging them away from their desks and into John Lewis to turn their heads with jeggings, shoulderpads and other ‘fashion-forward’ things.

Sorry, but shouldn’t they be working? I’m not saying that distracting an entire team of social workers is an entirely bad idea, but… well, if the next Baby P case is in Birkenhead, we’ll know why.

They’re a lovely bunch though, and they seem genuinely moved by their stunning new evening looks – so much so that it might have been an idea to focus more on the transformative process. Instead, the programme seems to be trying to fit too much into too little space: as well as making over the social workers, he also finds time to sort a morass of Scouse ladies into four different groups (top-heavy, pear-shaped, hourglass and boyish) like a bitchy version of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

What did you get? Slytherin?
No… ‘fat arse’

He’s also challenged to revamp and customise high street clothes to resemble expensive designer fashion labels, going head to head against self-styled ‘Fashion Expert’ Brix Smith-Start, a woman so annoying she makes the bloke from the Go Compare adverts seem like some kind of beloved national treasure, like Judi Dench or that meerkat from those meerkat adverts.

She gawps, titters and preens her way around London’s poshest shops like a botoxed Paris Hilton, looking for examples of the latest fashion trends: English Heritage (which seems to mean wax jackets and wellies rather than, say, the horrors of colonialism), Camel (beige) and Alpine (sticking Toblerones to your face).

Brix thinks nothing of grabbing an overpriced cardigan here or a thousand-quid dress there, whereas poor Gok has to make do with the prole-offerings of Top Shop and the like. In front of a gaggle of shopping centre gawpers, he hacks bits off jackets and dresses, sews on trims and baubles and – most notably – sticks a couple of gold hairbands to a model’s shoulders.

He’s surprisingly adept and the results are striking. However, the resulting outfits are still around the £500 mark, a bit much for your average recession hit shopper. I think teaching people to revamp, recycle and customise clothes is a great idea, but if it had been up to me I’d have made Gok trawl charity shops and bargain bins instead.

However, although the format is a bit rushed, it’s fairly interesting to watch. My main gripe is that there’s nothing remotely original here: all we’re getting is a mash-up of Gok’s Fashion Fix and How To Look Good Naked with a Changing Rooms-style against-the-clock challenge thrown in:

‘I have to give four people a makeover, customise some clothes, build a catwalk and host a fashion show in a week! Golly gosh, how will I cope? All I have to help me is a production team, lighting experts, a host of runners, fixers and researchers, a tailor and a construction crew.’

Want a challenge, Gok? Try making me over. I’m currently sitting here with a box of Alpen tied to my head, I’ve made a jacket out of National Trust brochures and stapled diamante alice bands to my eyebrows, but no one thinks I’m at all fashionable.

In fact, I’ve just been sectioned.



About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

2 Responses to Gok’s Clothes Roadshow

  1. Cyril Ingrid says:

    Interesting, I am sure the cameras were all over the place

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Yes indeed. In fact, Gok sellotaped two of them to a model’s shoulders. He was going for the ‘Media’ trend.

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