BDMOTP has already written about celeb favorite Ryan Gosling and his incredible transformation from normal dude to fashion icon, otherwise known as ¨The Gosling Effect¨. We put this theory to the test in Washington D.C with young Miles, a normal guy who was transformed into a stylish, elegant gentleman via the Gosling Effect. A series of unfortunate events actually led us to good fortune, as BDMOTP had the opportunity to try a Gosling Effect makeover out in Europe with young lad Benoit.
Welcome to the Gosling Effect: Á La Française!
Oi! Life is a drag!
My name is Benoit – but call me Ben; I am 29 years old and I live close to the Belgian border in France in a small town of 17,000 souls. I work in supply, sales, distribution, and delivery of supermarket products, and one day last month – I swear by the steeple of a Belgian beer-brewing monastery – I am on the auto-route on a Friday at 9 PM driving coming back from Paris close to the airport, when a guy gets stranded running off the highway with one wheel on the bare rim – worst exploded tire I have seen – but I am right there so I help him, and bail him out; and this guy Sandro– I am not kidding you – he gives me a business card from BDMOTP, some US based fashion blog, and he invites me to come back to Paris soon to thank me, where he says they will style me, where they will pimp me out, where they will groom me, shave me, and dress me up for the day! Oi, we pimped his car all right, and it took several guys to fix that bloody tire and to get the wheel back on.
So Sandro from BDMOTP has offered to style me into becoming the French Ryan Gosling, the Hollywood actor, so that I will start to look smooth and cool and stylish, and I suppose also sexy and unrecognizable, and so that all the ladies will look at me – they call it the Gosling Effect: Changing the regular guy into a well-dressed and stylish man –, so yeah man, why not, I need some style too, and if I can skip being a hipster all together – no need for that, then why not try to go straight from the cobblestone streets in the provinces near Belgium to the boulevards and catwalks of Paris; but is it really possible ?! So oi, yes, I am coming to Paris guys, and I am now standing in the metro waiting for the train to take me to meet my stylist, but I am a little bit nervous…
They say they have a stylist for me and that she has worked for Gucci Homme—and her name is Noor, and frankly, yes, I am nervous because I am supposed to be just the regular guy – not some fashionista or hipster – and besides, what am I going to tell the stylist, and what will my friends say back at home? We are meeting with BDMOTP to go to see the barber first, and I know what a barber is all about, although I have not cut my hair in three months, and no I didn’t shave for a week, so maybe the change will be huge! But wait, what is this barber doing to me – they are calling him a visagiste homme – he is using an electric trimmer on my unshaven face giving me a goatee, and is then using the clipper to shave my hair; can someone please stop this, because I feel uncomfortable: There goes all my hair!? This barber is in one of the ‘quartiers populaires’ of Paris – in the hood, in the ghetto – where people still know how important style can be to make a difference in a man’s single life, so what am I going to do, I cannot go home like this now, it is too late, but my hair is being pimped, and I am losing it: ‘Help!’ This looks like a ‘coupe de cheveux moyen-age homme’ – a medieval man’s haircut, and I am now starting to look like, not like Brad Pitt, but more like Jean, Duc de Berry, in the year 1382, somewhere before the battle of Roosebeke…
Goodness, no, my visagiste just did my face with a small single razor blade, removing everything except my skin around my new goatee, but quickly – oh there she is, my stylist is coming to the rescue –, what is this green substance – hmm, it is Brut, the original, and it smells good but it burns my face!? I guess they thought about everything with BDMOTP, but we have to leave now immediately because we are on a strict time schedule and my stylist, she is now supposed to help me find a store where we buy a suit or a costume. But I still prefer my jeans, my sweater, my hoodie, and I need my backpack too. Which store will she enter? All these stores look expensive to me, and we have only a shoestring budget, so I will never find something decent, and I confess that after the barber started shearing off all my hair that I almost lost all confidence in this project, but that the presence of a real stylist has given me a new reason to believe; perhaps I am even up to it now! We are on the Rue de Turenne in the Marais district of Paris, and I hear this part of town is well liked by both hipsters and people with style alike, because it is well-known for men’s fashion. Welcome to the big city I guess, because they have been taking my pictures since early this morning – flash, flash, flash –; hmm, this store is called Zakoya, and my stylist, she likes the blue suit in the window for only 139 euro! Oi, we are going inside, and I think I am ready…
I think I am starting to like this, all the attention, so let them take all the pictures they want – who doesn’t love the limelight? I am trying on that blue suit she selected, where is the mirror? Ah there it is … I’ll be darned if I look good after all this! So, Ryan Gosling, ey? I DO look good, first time I noticed a mirror in my life, and first time I am noticing not just myself, but my STYLE as well, I guess they call mirrors Venetian glass for good reasons, because yes, leave it to the Italians, they always have style, and because now I too, Benoit, have some serious style – I even have a STYLIST, and her name is Noor, and she has worked for Gucci Homme. I bet you even Ryan Gosling does worse than this. Word! Here is my main man now, an expert sales associate who is dressing me up while my stylist is helping; this is like having a second stylist, and I know I am ready: So yes, I say bring it all on and dress me up, measure my suit, knot my tie, wash my face, comb my hair, re-sizzle my frizzle, pimp my ride, shine my shoes, and hey, why not a manicure! Paris here I come! No more beer for me, I’ve got two stylists and one barber and one photographer, and that must be at least one more thing than which Ryan Gosling can account for – so from now on today it’s going to be mojitos, coladas, caipirihnas…
I am leaving it all behind bro: Robert Pattinson eat your heart out, because this is still a better love story than … – I swear by a good pot of moules frites marinières – your new Dior commercial doesn’t fly because you cannot act, because you are no Ryan Gosling, and I am not acting this part for I have a classy stylist, ey, I got two, and I even have a visagiste – so no need for Dior – or any other fancy brand name – with fancy camerawork and prancing pretty girls like entourage to make a good guy into a real man – I AM a real man because all you need is STYLE, a friendly stylist, a simple barber, a sales associate – and the Best Dressed Man on the Planet.
Indeed it was very nice of BDMOTP to arrange a black Mercedes to get me back to my hotel, because the Paris Metro can be dreary, a drag, and dangerous. Now where is my backpack? Ah here it is, there is plenty of space on this backseat, and I love the car, it matches my suit! Dior with all their black and white images can make my day – because my photographer he says he will be rotoscoping some of today’s pictures ; they have been flashing that camera all morning long all over me: I have become the unlikely character out of a novel by Philip K. Dick, my image, my move no longer existing on screen, camera, or photo, but drawn on paper only, a drawn image of an image of a form of style – I have been ‘rotoscoped’; and nothing else remains. Pimped and rotoscoped into the French Ryan Gosling! So let’s take a ride and get back to the hotel, now that I have found the STYLE which makes it possible to turn my own image into a cartoon character – I am the road runner, and I am off!
You know what? I never knew cigarettes tasted so good with Mojitos, and now I am going to have to give up on beers; but I am glad to be back and that this fashion deal is over and done with; yeah, I was nervous at first and I did not really want to lose my hair or want to change, but in the end I did, and now that I have found a style of my own and I love it. After the shoot and the styling we tried to enter a fancy hipster hamburger place in the Marais but they refused us entry because it was five minutes to twelve and they only open up at noon. Normally I would have never done this, but due to my newfound confidence and style, I was decided to tell them off for not letting us in and for leaving us standing outside to wait in the cold for no good reasons. Because, you know, style is timeless, and style waits for no one, and my own style is so special, that if it ain’t good enough for you, then I will simply turn around and go somewhere else where they will like it and where they can appreciate me for what and who I am:
‘Why ? Cause I am Benoit, the Ryan Gosling à la française!’
Oi! Let’s have a smoke …
Stylist & Visagiste (barber): 100 euro
Shoes : Bata 80 euro
Tie : Virtuose 10 euro
Shirt : Franco Nero 29 euro
Costume : Zakoya 139 euro
Belt : Zakoya 20 euro
Glasses : Ray-Ban Aviator 179 euro
After-shave : Brut 6 euro
Story & Photos by Sandro Joo.