Queues lined up around the GFW venue for Gok Wan’s talk with Hilary Alexander OBE today. One thing’s for certain, Gok is incredibly humble.
“After 25 years working in fashion I still think OMG what if no one turns up”.
Gok credits Graduate Fashion Week for putting London on the fashion map but, he aims to represent everyone, not just those in the “hub of London”.
Hilary and Gok discussed some hot topics today regarding the boom of social media. When asked if he thinks social media has a negative effect on body image, he gave us a useful insight. “I think it’s both (positive and negative), I’ve ran a few campaigns on this. I love social media I think it’s a very powerful tool. I use social media just like everyone else; for work, for my own validation, to express myself”.
But, he is aware of the underlying issue. “There is a massive problem at the moment, I think our perception of what is a real body is completely out of whack…we don’t know what a body looks like anymore”. Tackling this problem is something that will take time. Gok shared that “we need to start policing social media, we need regulations in place”. He also believes that brands are taking advantage of this issue, “there are a lot of organisations making money out of people’s insecurities”.
Hilary went on to ask Gok for his advice on getting into the fashion industry. He believes that “the first thing you need to get right isn’t your creativity, it isn’t your designs, but who you are as a person...fashion has a terrible representation of being bitchy but infact the industry isn’t like that”.
When asked about what to wear for an interview Gok replied, “you have got to represent yourself, the clothes you wear need to be your narrative but appropriate for the job role” “be clean, washed, presentable, but always maintain your personality” and be “respectful”.
Hilary Alexander OBE ended with another tip on this matter, “don’t chew gum and don’t wear sunglasses…you aren’t Anna Wintour!”. Gok highlighted the importance of being cooperative and asking questions “I would never employ anybody who didn’t ask me about the company I own”.
Written by Chloe Ford
Photography by Nici Eberl