Fashionbeans Exclusive Interview with Mark Heyes

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting GMTV stylist Mark Heyes at Bristol Fashion Week, hosted at the Mall Cribbs Causeway. After studying at the Glasgow School of Art, Mark went on to immediately start working in television with a job at channel 4. Since then he has continued to style for magazines, newspapers and television, becoming the resident fashion expert on LK Today and featuring in the Guardian’s 100 most influential people in the fashion industry.

Within a few minutes of chatting with Mark I could tell he was an extremely friendly, lively guy, one with a clear passion for his job. Read on to hear what he had to say on this seasons Menswear trends, the future of the Alexander McQueen label and his love for Tom Ford…

Mark Heyes Interview

Q: How do you feel that events like Bristol Fashion Week make fashion more accessible to the mass public?
I think in particular with Bristol fashion week, nowhere else in the country really does anything like this with such a high production value. The production value that’s put in here is way above anything you see at London Fashion Week and, I know it’s a very different scenario, but I think it just makes it a bit more assessable. Everybody comes, they treat it as a day out, we tell them about all the different fashion trends and it just makes it more assessable. Also, it does have quite a high fashion element to it, it’s styled up quite hardcore really. We have a brilliant style team and I love what they do and they can really go for it. I’m a bit jealous actually because I don’t get to do that at GMTV!

Q: What Menswear trend do you feel have definitely transcended from the catwalks to the high street this season?
Some of the city shorts and also playing around with proportions I’ve seen a lot of. Whether it’s shorter shorts, shorter trousers, shorter jackets, all the guys seem to be accepting that. The one thing that hasn’t seemed to come down is transparency. I’ve got a couple of pieces from Dior and a Dolce and Gabbana transparent shirt and I haven’t found anything else like it on the high street. Obviously the whole kind of Military vibe is very strong and people accept that. I think a lot of it comes down to money, in the sense that people are scared to go all out and make a see through shirt because how many people are going to wear a see through shirt? Whereas a military jacket, they know people will wear that.

Q: Do you think that it’s a good thing that some trends do stay to the more high end designer market and that not everything filters down onto the high street?
[Hesitates] Ermmm… yes I do. I know it’s bad of me but I love having something that I know is special and feeling like I’ve gone all out. I bought a Dries Van Noten African print shirt for this season which no one else has got and I’m quite glad at the fact that say, river island, haven’t done a copy of it. They’ve got elements of it but they haven’t gone all out. So yes, maybe that’s the inner snob in me but I’m sure we’ve all got one somewhere!

Q: What would be your one key item for menswear this season?
I suppose my key item, and I’d love to buy it but I just can’t, is the Dior Homme transparent jacket. I can’t do it, its ?1,900 pounds and it’s a one season piece, it’s not going to last. That to me is the ultimate, if you can get away with wearing a transparent item without looking like a giant puff who’s going down to G-A-Y, I think if you can carry that off it’s great, so that’s my key item.

Q: You mentioned Alexander McQueen during the show, how do you feel his influence has affected the fashion industry and how would you like to see his brand develop over the coming years?
As far as his brand developing, it’s an odd one; no one really seems to know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if it is going to carry forward or whether the Gucci group will just end it here. There are upcoming new designers who I think Gucci would be interested in taking on, so as to where the brands going to go we will just have to wait and see. We just saw his A/W collection over in Paris and it’ll be interesting to see how that filters down into the shops. In terms of him influencing fashion design, even places like Next are starting to do skull motifs so I think he’s definitely a big influence at the moment and people will always back reference to him. He was literally an icon.

Q: Which male celebrities do you think are style icons?
Tom Ford, but maybe that’s just to do with his face really? [laughs]. I do like the way he cuts a suit and that kind of debonair feel that he’s got going on.

Q: How do you think people can get a high end London Look in more rural areas?
In all honesty I think everything’s available to everyone now, especially with all the online stores that have really unusual pieces, so I think it is accessible. I think the problem is that in London you can wear whatever you want and no one cares, so therefore you’re more willing to experiment. I know what it’s like, if I go home to Glasgow to visit my parents there’s certain things I won’t wear. So I think it’s more down to self confidence, it’s accessible to everyone if you’ve got the confidence to wear what you want.

Mark Heyes

Mark started his fashion career by studying Graphic Design at the Glasgow School of Art.

He got a job on She’s Got To Have It for Channel 4 immediately after graduating, having done fashion styling for newspapers and magazine whilst at college.

In his spare time, Mark likes to make his own clothes. He also goes to the gym three times a week.

Mark has a new book, titled ‘Get the Look’ which is out on the 5th of April 2010, the perfect treat for any fashion loving women in your life.