By Michelle Betts
Photo byELLE Bright Photography Ltd
Gok Wan, award winning fashion stylist and TV host, launched his new fashion and style event in Sussex last Saturday. At One Size Fits All Gok, in his own inimitable style, hosted two catwalk shows, held a body shape masterclass, a trend analysis, and a Q&A session, taking questions from the 350 strong audience.
Two local Horsham businesses joined Gok on the catwalk to showcase outfits from their current collections. Deja!, located in Park Place, and La Vida Boutique, in Stan’s Way close to Piries Place, were invited by Gok to join him and his team of stylists at the inaugural One Size Fits All event in Brighton. Gok is keen to support the British High Street and with One Size Fits All, sets out to champion and celebrate local and independent brands, while empowering and supporting women.
Deja! and La Vida Boutique each put ten catwalk looks together to walk Gok’s catwalk and the looks went down a storm with the audience! With ooh’s and aah’s as the models showcased each outfit, people certainly showed their support for these local Sussex businesses. All the looks can be seen on their Facebook pages, @dejahorsham and @lavidaboutique.
Gok said he’s ‘the biggest fan of the British High Street, no one does it better than the Brits’. He went on to say ‘there is so much incredible talent dotted round the county, small independent boutiques to showcase.’
These two Horsham boutiques epitomise Gok’s sentiments. Deja! opened it’s doors in 2017 and has gone from strength to strength. Owner Angie Maskell has three exciting lines in her ladies fashion boutique, DEJA! Fashion, DEJA! Boutique & DEJA! Plus. She also offers free styling sessions & alterations. Angie’s ethos is all about instilling confidence and she aims to make it a fun experience too! You can pop in on a Saturday to enjoy a glass of bubbly while you browse the latest collections.
Angie said after the catwalk show with Gok, ‘Saturday was an amazing experience with fun and laughter plus informative masterclasses a great opportunity for us to showcase our Autumn/Winter collection. Gok Wan’s enthusiasm and support for independent retailers was greatly encouraging in these challenging times. Long live the great British High street!’
La Vida Boutique is celebrating its 20th birthday this year and specialises in affordable luxury in ladies fashion and accessories. At La Vida Boutique fashion is about attitude, not age! The range is constantly evolving, as owner Donna Camera only buys collections in limited quantities allowing La Vida customers to enjoy unique pieces separating them from the usual high street crowd. This is part of the La Vida difference and allows the Boutique to stock very individual products that reflect your personality. Donna’s personal shopping service is a particularly popular service, and as a fashion stylist herself, she styles clients for different events and occasions.
Following the La Vida Boutique outfits showcase with Gok, Donna said ‘Gok Wan was an absolute legend. Hilariously funny & down to earth but also incredibly knowledgeable & passionately inspiring. He is a wonderful supporter of independent boutiques like La Vida Boutique on the High Street, and this event is an amazing way to show his commitment to this. I was delighted when he told me he’d love to work in my shop as he loved the prints and the styles from the Boutique! What a fabulous event to work with him on.’
With the latest figures showing on Britain’s top 500 high streets,1,234 shops shut in the first half of 2019, the High Street needs champions like Gok to encourage people to go out and support their local retailers like Deja! And La Vida Boutique. So instead of looking online this weekend, head out to your local Sussex High Street and visit your shops. You never know what you might find and there are some fabulous people waiting to meet and help you in those shops. If we don’t support our local retailers, we won’t have a High Street left to visit.