Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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I like him but I hate his show

Gok Wan first graced British television screens in 2006. I remember watching How to Look Good Naked and even though it was annoying at times, overall the programme was entertaining and feel-good. I liked Gok Wan, I thought he was sweet and enthusiastic and made a good enough presenter that it kept me watching.

Then he made a few other shows which were okay. Some were good like Made in China, and others weren’t that great. But last night I probably watched the most annoying programme I have ever seen. I was actually disappointed with Gok Wan for agreeing to present, and be the face, of such a show.

Gok’s Style Secrets was awful. I like watching programmes I can rant about. It frustrates me to the point where I rant and rave like a lunatic and there is something quite cathartic about that. But Gok’s Style Secrets silenced me. I like Gok Wan, he seems like a nice guy and I think we could be friends but this show made me want to die a little inside.

The show sees Gok Wan impart his knowledge of clothes and dating to help a singleton feel good about themselves and bag a partner. It is worse than it sounds however. The fashion is given a back-seat, which is Gok’s strong point and his main claim to fame. It doesn’t seem to make much sense that this side is ignored then. The whole love/dating advice side of the show is cringe-worthy at best.

The whole ‘trying to date’ aspect is terrible, forced and appallingly acted. The first episode saw a lady consistently referred to as a ‘goth’ as if she didn’t have any other part of her personality and forced to go and talk to actors that obviously weren’t being paid enough to look genuinely interested in what was going on.

Gok Wan has always been a big pusher of being yourself and not trying to change to fit a skinny, pretty media ideal. He has promoted instead working with your shape and aiming for health more than anything. But this show seems to almost turn a cold shoulder against this six year long message that he’s been pushing in all his other shows.

This ‘goth’ girl (which was the least goth-like lady I have ever seen in my life) was told to wear colour and patterns and things that weren’t gothic at all. She was made to clean her room of the things she loved (which in fairness was kind of a good thing because her room looked like it belonged to a 15-year-old boy).

While all this was going on and she was made to look like everyone else (you can still dress for your body and remain ‘gothic’ if that’s what you like), Gok made sure to keep saying that as long as her tattoos were on show they were staying faithful to her. It didn’t convince anyone, it was a little like a car salesman saying that the car he has is the best one you can buy with the money, even though it’s older than some museum artefacts.

The show just seemed overly fake which would be fine if it embraced this fakery. However, it pretended to be a new, empowering and touching show. In my opinion this was it’s downfall. Pretending to be something, you are not while you try to pretend to be better than the industry you are a part of doesn’t work if there isn’t a little bit of truth in the message that you’re trying to spread.

Making someone walk around a bar and walking past the same person two or three times to catch their eye makes you look like a weirdo, it doesn’t secure a date. The chances of that actually resulting in romance is so slim, you may as well play the lottery – you’d be more likely to strike lucky there.

Gok Wan’s newest show is, quite simply, abysmal. The first episode Gok dressed a woman to look nice but like everyone else and so far away from her apparent ‘goth’ persona that I was half-expecting her to be given a baby pink babydoll dress. She was then told to walk around in the same outfit (only three new outfits in total, a disaster considering he’s supposed to be a fashion expert), was not allowed to actually control an online dating profile that Gok created for her (she wasn’t even in the frame) and was consistently reminded that it was the tattoos that made her special (never mind her career, family, hobbies, friends or brain), she was forced to clean her room because it could freak out potential mates (true but still, if he/she doesn’t love your likes to the point that they don’t want to be with you then they’re probably not the right person) and to top that all off the worst, and most basic, psychological assessments ever made on Earth make you want to jump out of a window.

I’m not sure what to think of Gok for spending his time being a part of a show like Gok’s Style Secrets. I still like him but I feel it’s the money rather than the genuine message of the show that has influenced his presence on the programme. It seems a shame and I think the show is fake enough to have knocked Mr Wan off his “real is fabulous” perch.


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A baby is not a fashion icon

In case you hadn’t heard, a little while ago the Beckham’s had a baby girl. They called her Harper Seven, which although I like a little, it does make the child sound like she belongs in a sci-fi movie. This little girl was always bound to be a topic of conversation for fashion magazines. I predicted, naively, for the first month or so when we would actually be allowed to see the child’s face and it was all exciting and things.

I was wrong. Apparently Harper Seven is a fashion icon. No need to read that again, it says what you think it says. A child just over a year old is apparently a fashion expert. She doesn’t even buy her clothes! I bet if it was up to her, she’d be dressed with a t-shirt on her legs and resembling more a baby that decided she wanted to wear everything than the fashionable tot you see in pictures.

I saw this image in at least seven different women’s fashion magazine websites stating excitement that Harper Seven had swapped her style from ballet pumps to trainers. My brain exploded a little.

I don’t really understand the fascination with ‘fashionable’ babies and children. More so the babies than the children. I wonder if the people that write these articles really believe that this child is a fashion icon. Articles are talking about how these kids may be setting a new trend. Do they really believe that this celebrity’s child is someone who can dress themselves properly and have the ability to decide what’s hot and what’s not rather than putting everything they can grab in their mouths?

I’m not a mum but I have babysat and looked after enough babies to know that even a child that likes choosing their clothes (an older child’s trait rather than a one year olds) still picks things based on the colour. Or how much it looks like their favourite cartoon character’s clothes rather than how fashionable the item is.

To have an adult magazine telling us that a child under five years old is our new fashion icon is ludicrous (this word is a little bit silly but I feel it is suitable for such a silly idea).

These celebrity children do not dress themselves. Their parents dress them, or their nannies. Whatever. The point is, these kids are not fashion idols. Even if they had decided their entire outfit to perfectly match their parents or the event they are going to they are still not fashion idols. Fashion does not really exist for a baby. It’s something that doesn’t really enter a person’s radar until they realise that they shouldn’t use very, very tiny handbags with Disney characters on them.

A grown, sound-thinking person would never happily exclaim that their brilliant outfit choices which they are receiving countless compliments for is thanks to Suri Cruise or Harper Seven, who inspired the whole thing. That doesn’t happen. If it does, and someone can find me a fully grown and completely mature human that bases their look on someone under the age of ten then I will jump out of a window. Or eat a hat. Or kiss a spider. Actually maybe not that last one.


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SHOES!

When I feel good about myself for having achieved something (like finishing my penultimate essay – YES!) I like to accentuate the good feeling by doing something fun for me as a little reward. Obviously I’m inside, slightly smelly with unbrushed hair, not wearing a bra and what can only be described as ‘indoor clothes’ because they are, frankly, ugly so there are limitations to my reward. It could be anything from having a treat (which usually revolves around eating half a New York cheesecake) to watching something I love (like the latest episode of Desperate Housewives) or just browsing the internet for 10 minutes.

Today I finished my penultimate essay completely and have sent it off. Go me. After my own band in my head had sang me a song of congratulations I decided to reward myself as per usual. The fridge is empty so no cheesecake. I’m up to date on Desperate Housewives so no catching up on my favourite show. Internet it is. I have shoes on the mind at the minute as I need a new pair for my Summer Ball and graduation this summer so it seemed a logical choice. Now I am cursing my pathetic bank statements for not being able to buy £700 a pop shoes. Okay I wouldn’t spend that anyway unless I was rich enough to have bubble baths everyday but you get what I mean right?

Although I can’t buy these glorious shoes I can save them to a lovely folder on my computer aptly titled ‘Epic Shoes’ – creative I know. And because I’m feeling so proud of myself for completing the penultimate essay of my university life and a little smug at doing so so far ahead of the deadline, it makes me want to share my good feeling. Which I’ll be doing so today in the most materailsitic way I know how, because my brain is too tired to be profound, with a gallery of glorious shoes. Enjoy.


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Rails, cheap rails, are not a replacement for a wardrobe

This rant will be short as although I haven’t posted in a week, it’s the boys birthday and I have some things planned for him. Emergency struck a few days ago though (first world emergency).  I’ve just found a little time to vent a few feelings and heed a warning to anyone wanting to purchase a rail in replacement of a wardrobe.

Don’t.

Yes they are cheaper and far easier to build. They also look quite pretty if you have lots of nice, colourful clothes of various textures and matching hangers (but that’s just my organisational skills coming into play there). However if you are anything like me and have too many clothes a rail is just not feasible.

Really not great for me unless it's reinforced steel...

I have been owner of a rail for three months now and my rail has shown to me that it is more flexible than I am. So not only am I developing an inferior complex due to a rail but my clothes are also requiring ironing more often than I care to think. It does mean some added excitement is given to my life and the boy is continually practising his DIY skills. The other day I went into the bedroom and realised my rail was leaning very heavily to the right. So much so it was now a diagonal rail rather than a horizontal one. This has happened before but to the left. You never know what you’re going to get with a rail.

My clothes don’t seem that heavy. In fact, I have the rail leaning against one wall for extra support because I feel, like me, sometimes it just needs that extra propping up. But also because the metal tubes used to hang my clothes on look so weak that I can practically hear their screams of horror when I put clothes onto said rack.

Rails don’t really have great storage, not surprising I hear you say but hear me out. I figured I could put lots of things at the bottom of my rail and have it look like one of those beautiful photos that you see on tumblr, fashion and home magazines.

Kind of like this...but more full and with less sophisticated fashion

I actually suspect the rail in that image and my rail are related somehow. Maybe both descend from the IKEA factory. Sadly but realistically I own more than 15 pieces of clothes. Sadly but realistically I own more clothes than I need. And as sad and true as it is, my rail is just not ready for my clothes habit. Maybe if the rails were reinforced and used better screws and pegs and those plastic things that screw one thing to the other thing then maybe, just maybe I could fully convert from a rail to a wardrobe. But right now my rail looks like it’s completely ruined, forever wonky like it’s drunk on exhaustion and too much on it’s frail frame. My clothes are piled high on the bed which probably means that they will become a carpet (SOB) tonight or that I will have to sleep on the sofa and the boy on the floor. Either way the future doesn’t look bright.

Damn rail. It’s no replacement for a wardrobe. It just brings you constant storage insecurity, twisted fingers (from tightening and re-tightening bolts), a new need for swearwords and a cold sweat of desperation when you realise that it is not possible to store clothes on a mangled rail. People be warned.