Along with a group of media, we waited patiently at the Specsavers store on Queen St for the star guest to arrive, having fun trying on pairs of glasses from the huges range of frames on offer at the store.
At last the guest of honour arrived, impeccably turned out (as always) in a black suit, fashion-forward square black frames, and not a hair out of place. Gok gave us an exclusive trend briefing on the hot trends for spring/summer in fashion and eyewear. Read the fashion guru’s trend tips here.
The first thing that strikes you about meeting Gok Wan is that he is so nice! He’s very funny and down-to-earth, with a self-deprecating sense of humour. You get the sense he is being natural, rather than putting on a persona for the media or for the cameras. I as lucky enough to be the first to sit down with him, to find out his thoughts on style, and whether he thinks Kiwis are fashionable…
What do you think of New Zealanders’ fashion sense?
Ahhhhh… (pauses.) Well, if I’m really honest, I think you either do it really well or really badly – and that’s me being incredibly honest, and I think that’s probably because I’ve spent a couple of days running around trying to find out where you guys go shopping, and you’ve got really limited stock here, really limited. Unless you’ve got a load of cash to go to the boutiques, you’re going to struggle. I purposely went out looking for ‘High St’ fashion, and I can’t work out why you haven’t got shops like H&M (UK & US fashion chain retailer) – you know, those massive, massive brand stores. But what I think you do well here is that you have no problem expressing yourselves, which is great! People work with what they’ve got. I forget sometimes how spoiled I am in London, having it all at your fingertips, and it’s not like that here. But there are people who really get it right. You have some really great dressers here, who really stand out so that’s a plus.
Why are glasses sexy?
I think glasses are sexy because they are unexpected. I think they have had such a bad rap for a long time; really since the seventies we’ve had three decades of not celebrating eyewear. And now, the whole of Europe has gone crazy for glasses in the last couple of years, because of the unexpectedness.
Who do you admire style-wise?
From a men’s point of view, I think Johnny Depp is brilliant. I was lucky enough to meet him once, he’s amazing. He didn’t have a clue who I was though! I just sat there and slobbered all over him – you can’t help yourself. And Sarah Jessica Parker is lovely. I presented the Sex and the City 2 premiere this year, and she was great. She rocked up wearing a Philip Treacy hat and Alexander McQueen, and you just go, ‘wow. You’re amazing’. She just works it.
What’s your number one style rule, and your worst fashion crime?
My number one style rule is dress before your body shape before trend. And my worst fashion crime – probably my eyebrows. I over-pluck the bastards! It’s one of those things you start when you’re young and you just can’t stop.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
Probably that I hate designer clothing, because I present ‘Fashion Fix’ (Gok's TV show about looking good without breaking the bank). But that’s not true – I adore designers. I collect clothes, and I have done since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.
What’s next for Gok Wan?
My autobiography. I’ve just finished writing it. In fact, tomorrow morning in the hotel room I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it. It’s been one hell of a journey! You’ll have to let me know what you think of it, I’m really nervous about it.
Editor Nat and Beauty Bible editor Gracie with the one and only Gok Wan!
Check out Gok Wan’s Top Tips for Fabulous Frames, courtesy of specsavers.co.nz.
– Natalie Cosgrove