TWO FOR WAN Francis ‘Gok Two’ Lanuza (left) with famous fashionista Gok Wan when they recently met in Limerick.
Ralph Quinlan Forde
Well it had been in the air since Foxford-based architect and visual artist Francis Lanuza arrived in Ireland a few years ago. Francis, you see, bears more than a passing resemblance to Gok Wan. In fact, so frequently have strangers mistaken him for the British style guru that he has been nicknamed Gok Two (though in Louisburgh, he’s been dubbed Gach Lá!). Then, last Saturday week, the stars aligned and Gok Wan finally met Gok Two.
There were hints something was afoot when Gok Two was challenged by an OAP armed with a selfie device in a petrol station in Limerick: “Are you Gok Wan?” she demanded to know. She was disappointed do discover it was only Gok Two.
Then our friend Marie explained why the lady had been so convinced. His Holiness of Fashion and Wonder Bras was flying in the following day to appear in Limerick as part of his Fashion Brunch Club tour. An immediate scramble was made to find tickets to the event. All sold out. There had to be a way. Refusing to give up, Gok Two headed to the fashion brunch to try his luck. His brass neck paid off: HH’s entourage could immediately see the importance of enabling this ‘reunion’.
Plates and spoons were immediately fetched. A tense 30 minutes passed until Man of International Fashion and Dress Sizes Gok Wan swanned into a marquee of over 200 ladies … and two representatives from men’s haute couture.
When the eyes of styling and fame architecture and art met the eyes of architecture and art, all that was missing was Cilla Black shouting ‘Surprise Surprise!’. Gok Two was immediately ushered on stage so he could be reunited with his spiritual twin. HH was delighted meet him, and enjoyed commenting that Gok Two was ‘skinnier and three stone lighter’.
When Wan asked Two where he was from and got the answer Co Mayo, a surprised Wan retorted, ‘I was expecting Japan, Korea, but Co Mayo?’ – to much laughter from the audience.
Throughout the show Gok Wan referred to Gok Two, passing on styling tips and complementing Gok Two on his own unique style. The day was enjoyed by all involved. HH’s team were so on the ball; they were so attentive and professional.
The loveliest part was Gok Wan and his team enrolled and showcased local designer and boutiques. That was class! We heard a rumour that Gok Two might be hosting his new pal Gok Wan in Mayo in the near future for one of the Fashion Brunch events. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Meantime, Francis Lanuza – who became an Irish citizen last Friday – has recently been commissioned by Cloonakilla NS in Athlone to do a series of seven acrylic paintings and large-scale graphics for their newly constructed school building. The art will commemorate the old school building and use colours and forms to enhance the learning experience.
Ralph Quinlan Forde runs Mindful Beauty artisan cosmetics (www.mindfulbeauty.eu) in Foxford.