FASHIONISTA: British style star Gok Wan does a makeover on Izaiah Cole, 5, in Auckland this week.
British fashion stylist Gok Wan looks out at thousands of fans in Westfield Manukau and asks who’d like a makeover.
Signs are thrown in the air, young people point to their mums, grown women jump up and down, some scream. Gok scans the crowd before he picks Maggie and asks her why she’s here. “I’d like to make the best of myself. I think I have a big tummy and I try to cover it up.”
“Who else tries to hide their tummies?” asks the master of makeovers.
Maggie plants a kiss on his check and trots off for her makeover. After the show, the 37-year-old star of TV’s How to Look Good Naked says he’s delighted at the response he’s had from women the world over.
“I think I’ve become a verb now, because there is a term called `Being Goked’. It’s lovely. It’s so nice to think that people actually want to hear my opinion and start embracing it when it’s a positive thing.
When Maggie finally comes on to the catwalk post-makeover wearing a navy and cream striped dress, Gok swoons over her, saying, “You look like you’re absolutely ready to go boating.”
The audience cheers. “I hate boating,” says Maggie.
Gok’s goal is simply to make women feel good about themselves.
A good starting point for women lacking confidence, he says, is to discover your body shape.
“That’s the science behind fashion and there are rules with that, because if you want to make things look optically different then you can employ those rules.
“It’s a starting point for anyone out there who’s slightly confused or has lost their way – for them to kickstart their opinion again.
“Once they get something right – and just by knowing your body shape is getting something right – it fills you with confidence, and it empowers you and then everything else slots into place,” Gok says.
And the body shape he’s seen most of in New Zealand is curvy.
“It’s lovely to see. It’s a bit of a dream for me because, as you know, I like curvaceous women. I like to dress them. Ask any of my friends who are designers or stylists, they will say the same thing: you want to be able to dress curves; it’s what makes you a woman; it’s what stops you from looking like a bloke.” And the biggest trend that’s about to hit our shores, he predicts, is the 40s look.
“You’re getting a tiny bit through, which is all the peplums and the long-length pencil skirts. Actually, I think it will fit the Kiwi physique really, really well.”