Meeting Gok

It's an old cliché to say you shouldn't meet your heroes. “You'll be so disappointed, they are never the same in real life.” I guess in some circumstances that's true. Not this time. It was a pretty average Thursday morning when the phone rung. “Good Morning, Rockamilly, Stacie speaking, how can I help?” I'm not going to lie, I was expecting a question about shoes. “Hi Stacie, my name is Suzie and I'm phoning from Gok Wans offices.” Sorry, pardon huh what? Gok Wan...as in Gok 'loves the female form and is the whole reason we've nicknamed ourselves Gokamillys' Wan?? Gok had seen us on social media, promoting body confidence and retro fabulousness and decided that we were the vintage boutique for the Essex leg of his new fashion tour!! I was in disbelief. The fashion guru, neigh, God, had noticed us. He'd noticed that we aren't ones to follow trends, we'll push boundaries and make big bold statements with our styling. He wanted us. Kirsty wasn't here yet. I couldn't just agree because I loved the bloke and all he stood for. Thankfully she did. Phew!! So what did we know? We knew that in just a few short months we had to dress 8 ladies of different shapes, sizes and ages in the retro, pin up look we loved so much. We knew we'd be the only vintage look on the catwalk and we knew that we had to find something to wear. No stress. The summer came and went in the blink of an eye and after what felt like a very long September, Kirsty, Emily and I had pieced together 16 retro looks, including shoes from Irregular Choice and handbags from Vendula. We were set. We were ready. We were going to Gok. We didn't have a clue what to wear. When you're going to meet a fashion God the pressure is on! All three of us bring very different things to Rockamilly and we knew this was the time to showcase how three independent women can come together in the perfect blend of retro beauty. We made our way to the Three Rivers Country club early. I mean super early! “Be at the shop at 7” Said Kirsty. 7 on a Sunday??!! We changed it to 8. Phew. We arrived, dressed to impress, representing each area of the store. Kirsty in the stunning red Chichi of London prom dress, Emily in the glam goth Outta this world dress and myself, well I decided the combo of the Dolores top in lilac, tattoo skirt and lilac petti was perfect to show a more day to day pin up look. There was no mistaking we were the vintage girls. We were buzzing. I don't think we spoke very much, nerves most likely. What was going to happen? We'd never been to a dress rehearsal of a fashion show before. We'd definitely never been to anything on this scale. After meeting Suzie, the brand manager, we were shown to the room where all the magic was set to happen. Eeeek! Now back to that old phrase that was rolling around in my head. “You shouldn't meet your heroes”. I was nervous. What if he genuinely wasn't as warm and approachable as he seemed. We needn't have worried. Gok bounded onto the stage, cracked a joke about his missing tooth and we were away. All 8 models were stunning and as promised, different ages, dress sizes and body shapes. They came out in their Rockamilly outfits, beaming, strutting, owning every inch of themselves. I'd never seen Kirsty look so proud, to see the product of all her hard work there, in the flesh being admired by someone who had such a high profile amongst so many. We made a few minor adjustments to some of the outfits, making sure they were exactly how we wanted to showcase ourselves and then let the hair and make up magicians do their thing. After schmoozing in Goks dream space (a retail area above the main stage), taking various pictures and buying a Gok umbrella (yes, really) we were asked to return to the main stage where we and 300 other women, and some men, were to have brunch and then enjoy the show. Our table was right at the front of the stage and we were lucky enough to share it with a a lady who after revealing she'd lost a whopping 21st in weight, was picked for Goks massive make over!! It was obvious all the brands felt the same way we did. We knew now that Gok loved our stylings but how will they be presented to a wider audience. An audience of women who were all there to learn a thing or two about how to dress, how illusions work, capsule wardrobes etc. “Next up...the retro beauty of Rockamilly” Said Gok. It's now!! It is now. No one panic!! Who's panicking?! AH! Out came model number 1, loving life in tarten, followed by the next in autumnal colours then the next and the next. Each outfit got the oo's and ahh's we wanted. Then it happened. “OH WOW!!!” It came from Gok and we all spun around. The outfit we'd changed, the floor length, bardot sleeve, black velvet dress we'd decided on. The model was beaming, the crowd was whooping and cheering, even whistling in places. Gok was in love with it, we were in love with it, as were the crowd, the model (Poppy), the golfers outside, everyone passing on the A13 in fact I hear the Queen herself heard the commotion caused by this incredible dress. It was a win. Everything had led up to that moment. The long hours, the worry of what was suitable, the time taken putting everything together. That moment right there was what it was all about. We'd done it. We'd brought vintage fashion to a high street fashion show, we'd displayed bold colours and shown that no matter what size you are, fitted, svelte and sultry is accessible to all. We, three women from a little boutique in Leigh on Sea, had been noticed, hand picked and with an almighty mic drop shown that indeed...One Size Fits all.

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