Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix Review: No Stitch Up

May 25, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

GOK’S FASHION FIX: Tuesday 25th May, Channel 4, 8pm ALERT ME

Continuing on from the enormous success of his first series How To Look Good Naked, Gok Wan returns to Channel 4 tonight with Gok’s Fashion Fix.

The ultra-camp fashion expert travels to West Bromwich this week in a bid to find the town’s worst dressed women before offering one lucky soul the opportunity to have the make-over of her life. Hidden in the rubble is Mandy, a 35-year-old mother of two whose primary clothing ranges from hoodies to tracksuit bottoms sending Gok into a creative frenzy as he grabs breasts and bums whilst dispensing catchphrases that wouldn’t be out of place on the Ricky Lake show; “You look hot girlfriend?; “You look fabulous! Give me a kiss!?

The format will be familiar to anyone acquainted with the ‘self-improvement-by-fashion-guru’ genre but it doesn’t suffer irrevocably from treading the same ground. What separates Gok’s Fashion Fix from similar shows like Trinny & Sussanah is Gok himself; he threatens to explode at any moment from his exhausting enthusiasm and is tactile with his subjects to the point he borders on sexually harassing them. Unlike the aforementioned duo – who I personally found abhorrent – Gok treats his candidates with varying degrees of respect and gratefully avoids referencing to their breasts as ‘tits’.

The show unfortunately resorts to poly-filler segments to pad up the hour-long running time, an increasingly common theme in TV these days. This inevitably bogs the programme down with superfluous scenes including a group of men trying on some new jeans. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t make for thrilling television.

A nice inclusion in the show – from the perspective of a hardened The Fall fan – is the arrival of Brix Smith Smart who performs the role of Gok’s fashion nemesis, arguing the case that High Street retail outlets simply cannot compete with ‘superior’ gastronomically expensive boutiques. The contest is a foregone conclusion but Brix’s presence makes for great entertainment, almost stealing the show right from under Gok’s feet with an eccentric streak reminiscent of Ruby Wax.

Ultimately it’s Gok’s charm that carries the show: he seems to have a genuine knack for putting women at ease without patronising them and appears to instil them with an actual confidence boost. Mandy’s reaction at seeing her revamped image is a delight to see and enables the show to side-step the accusation of operating on a purely superficial level. It’s by no means essential viewing and nor will it appeal to everyone but it’s undoubtedly light-hearted and good intentioned that warrants it a prime time slot on Tuesday nights.