We caught up with Gok Wan to discuss his 13th collection with Tu at Sainsbury's. The sassiest stylist on TV shared his top shopping tips with us, divulging who he thinks of when designing!
Monochrome is key within his latest collection, with a strong focus on shape and form. Experimental graphic prints are a prominent feature with high necklines and raglan shoulders offering a bold Bauhaus-inspired silhouette.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR SPRING SUMMER 215 COLLECTION?
The key word for this collection is 'confidence', this season it was all about creating a collection that was wearable, accessible and really clean cut. Letting the wardrobe do all the work for you and building confidence: so the shapes are slightly different to my previous collections.
I've split the collection into two this season: we've got our monochrome section with all the print, it's very clean cut and sharp but with contrasting heavy lines all over it. I used window pane checks, line prints and stripes! Then there's a softer collection which I'm calling 'yoga chic' which is slightly oversized sweats, beautiful soft grey marls. The texture from both is just gorgeous. I really wanted there to be a juxtaposition between the two collections so you can really find your confidence in a mixture of both.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE?
It's between two pieces, there's this monochrome striped twinset that I love, the older I get the more I crave simplicity in my designs and I just love the fact that all the line work is done for you: with the beautiful raglan shoulders which lengthen the neckline giving you a beautiful shape. I'm also obsessed with the fabric on this monochrome textured full skirt and top. When we found this fabric I was a real temptation to create a full suit in it, or to use it as a layering fabric on pieces but I wanted to keep it stripped back. The idea for the whole collection is that each piece does the work for you to give you that moment of confidence.
DO YOU TAKE ANY INSPIRATION FROM THE CATWALK, IF SO WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS?
I'm a massive Acne and APC fan, I really like their simplicity. When I was younger and I started out styling I was slightly obsessed with Japanese inspired designs and going as avant-garde as I possibly could. As I've got older, I've started to really appreciate simple cuts, so I look at clothes differently as well through my perspective as a fashion designer, stylist and consumer and what I think Acne and APC do really well is clean cut tailoring which I admire. But there's also these little moments where they'll do something completely off the ball which allows us to know it's a designer piece. I really enjoy watching what they do and wearing a lot of the clothes myself. I think you can't help but take inspiration from the clothes you love.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREND FOR SS15?
For my girls, this spring is all about texture. This can come through in print or fabrication. I think this will be something to watch for next season too as I think women want a little more fuss now and not necessarily through historical textures like tweed, it's all about new technology and new fabrication that wouldn't have been possible to create twenty years ago.
For me, it's all about oversized, everything is getting bigger and boxier
AT YOU MAGAZINE, WE'VE ALWAYS LOVED HOW YOU EMPOWER WOMEN THROUGH THEIR WARDROBES. DO YOU EVER THINK OF A CERTAIN WOMAN, YOU'VE MET WITH A SPECIFIC PROBLEM AREA, WHILST YOU'RE DESIGNING?
For the last 10 years I feel like I've been the luckiest stylist in the world. I've met women that have been so giving with their personal stories and I think every single time I dress a woman whether that's now on This Morning, where I'm dressing up to 10 women a week, or on one of my other shows, I learn something different from every person I speak with. Simply from them turning around and saying, "I don't like what this does to my ankle" or "I don't like what this does to my boobs!" There's obviously a common ground where women come to collectively, but every single woman will tell you something different.
I don't think there's a particular woman in my head but there's definitely a body. My girls always have a broader shoulder, a fuller bust and a smaller waist. She's always got a tummy, always got hips and a thigh and I always think of her.
WHAT ARE THE KEY STAPLES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR WARDROBE?
I think they change, years ago when I made TV shows about having a 'capsule wardrobe' everything was all about the trench coat and the LBD and I think that is still relevant but the problem is the moment you homogenise a woman's wardrobe, in a weird way, you're adding oil to fire. I think the capsule wardrobe is still there but its more of a unique approach taking into account the woman's fit and ensuring that it fits her age and confidence.
WHAT'S YOUR BEST SHOPPING TIP?
Embrace technology, use your phone to snap outfit photos whilst you're shopping. Try something on in-store, don't look at the picture and go for a cocktail or something to eat and come back to it later as you'll react so differently to the piece when you revisit the image.
WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST SHOPPING MISTAKE?
WHAT'S THE BEST BARGAIN YOU'VE FOUND?
I picked up a leather biker jacket from a charity shop in Glasgow years and years ago for £2.50 and I still wear it now.
WHAT'S THE MOST PRECIOUS THING IN WARDROBE?
Oooh that's too hard, that's like asking which child you love the most. I love my wardrobe.
WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT CATCHPHRASE?
It changes constantly, it was 'bangers' it has has been 'gorgeous' for many years. Currently it's 'get me a drink!'
WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON AGE APPROPRIATE DRESSING?
My theory is, if you're a bird you've married, had kids, looked after the fella the first 40/50 years of your life have been so manic and chaotic and painfully hard that when the kids go off to university and the husband's finally chilled out this is your time!
I don't think there's any such thing for dressing for your age, when I travel with work I'm constantly looking out for people who look incredible and recently I was filming in Florence and there was a woman who must have been in her mid-70s and she's one of the best dressed people I've ever seen. She was in head-to-toe trend and looked incredible. Fashion is all about enjoying yourself and expressing yourself as an extension of your personality, why would you ever want to limit that.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS:
Comfort or couture - for me comfort, for everyone else couture!
Style or sass
Monochrome or summer-brights
Colour pop or colour block
Neutrals or neon
Plain or pattern
Great bangers or great bottom - both, noone can ever make me choose!
Gok's new collection will be available to shop in Sainsbury's nationwide from 3rd February.