William Gao is relatively new to the red carpet, but that hasn’t stopped the nineteen-year-old Heartstopper actor from getting down with his style in a way that most people under 20 wouldn’t dare. We’ve seen him in a Count Dracula-style caped fit, rocking a pink tailored number complete with a gigantic mock rose and tonight, he has demonstrated more of his left-field style at GQ Men of the Year in association with Boss, where he managed to stand out in a sea of men in their finest black tie.
Gao was in attendance to toast his co-stars and GQ cover stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor, who were honourees at the event, but he still managed to come into his own. “It’s really exciting to be here with the boys,” Gao told us ahead of the event from an undisclosed location in Manchester, where he is closing week nine of Heartstopper series two filming. “I’m excited to finish the project, the second series will really excite fans.
“It’s my first GQ MOTY, and it’s a great opportunity to wear something great. For me, fashion is all about self-expression, especially as I’ve grown in age and confidence.” For his own fits, Gao looks to the fashion industry’s favourite show pony Harry Styles, while he credits the Beatles documentary Get Back as a big inspiration. “George Harrison and Paul McCartney were a real vibe,” he tells me. “I think it’s time people bring back their sense of cool guy style.”
On tonight’s red carpet Gao wore a full look from German label Boss, which was seen earlier this year on the über-brand’s catwalk. The full fit comprised an oversized Eighties office room-style blazer, baggy slacks and a subtly sparkled shirt. “I had a few outfits that I was given the option of wearing, but this one just felt right,” Gao explains, telling me that he chooses to wear things with a subtle edge, emphasising his love for the subtle shiny effect on the shirt.
With that in mind, Gao is slowly, but surely carving out a style that is as exciting as the show that’s made him a household name. “My style is changing with every season, with every year I grow older,” he explains. ” Watch this space.