JUST SAYING

CANADIAN FASHION AND SHOWING IT IN CANADA AND THE CONSTANT WHINE OF WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, WHY CAN’T WE BE WORLD FAMOUS RIGHT HERE?

POINT ONE:
IT’S LONDON FASHION WEEK. TOM FORD, YOU KNOW HIM, THE AMERICAN WHO WORKED FOR CATHY HARDWICK (WHO?) FOR MANY YEARS, BEFORE MOVING TO ITALY AND WORKING FOR GUCCI, WHERE HIS NAME BECAME GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED (BY THE WAY, IT WAS NOT WITH HIS FIRST COLLECTION THERE), SHOWED. NOT IN LONDON, HOWEVER; HE REPLICATED HIS LONDON SHOW SPACE IN LOS ANGELES, FOR THIS SEASON ANYWAY. THAT’S WHERE HIS SHOWPIECE CLIENTS ARE RIGHT NOW, IT IS THE WEEKEND OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS. JULIANNE MOORE, ACADMEY NOMINEE, FOR EXAMPLE, AN ARDENT FAN AND OFTEN SEEN WEARER OF THE LABEL, (WHO, BY THE WAY, JUST TO NAME DROP, WHEN WORKING OUT OF TOWN, I KNOW BECAUSE I HAD THE IMMENSE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH HER, SHOWING HER HOW TO SEW FOR HER ROLE IN CARRIE, SHOT HERE IN TORONTO, HAS HER MEASUREMENTS FAXED IN PRE ARRIVAL ON TOM FORD LETTERHEAD) WAS THERE, AMONG MANY OTHER BIG NAME HOLLYWOOD TYPE PEOPLE. ANNA WINTOUR (OF VOGUE, OF COURSE, NOT OF HOLLWYOOD BUT OF NEW YORK, TRAVELLED FROM LONDON WHERE SHE HAD LEFT THE SHOWS AND ANNOUNCED THAT SHE HAD COME TO SEE TOM IN L.A. AND SHE WOULD BE STAYING IN LA INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO LONDON FOR THE BALANCE OF THE SHOWS THERE (ALTHOUGH I AM QUITE SURE SHE HAS STAFF PLANTED IN BOTH LOCATIONS). IT SEEMS TO HAVE WORKED, THE SHOW HAS ALREADY, IN 1 DAY, DUE TO SPACE-AGE-TECHNOLOGY AND THE WORLD-WIDE-WEB, GARNERED ENDLESS REPORTAGE.

NOW, DOES THAT MAKE TOM FORD AN AMERICAN DESIGNER, A FRENCH DESIGNER (FOR HIS STINT AT YVES SAINT LAURENT), AN ITALIAN DESIGNER, OR A BRITISH DESIGNER? I AM QUITE SURE IF ASKED MR. FORD WILL TELL YOU HE IS AN AMERICAN, EVEN IF IT WAS ABROAD WHERE HE ROSE TO SUCH HEIGHTS. SO, THEN, IF TOM CAN CLAIM “AMERICAN” THEN A CANADIAN DESIGNER ABROAD SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROUDLY CLAIM, AS THE MOLSON BEER COMMERCIAL SAYS, “I AM CANADIAN”, AND STILL BE A SUCCESS, AT HOME AND ABROAD, WITHOUT THAT TIRESOME COMMMENT OF “SELLING OUT”, OR “WHAT A SHAME THEY HAD TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE”. KUDOS TO THOSE ABROAD, DEAN AND DAN, ERDEM, CALLA, JEAN-PIERRE, JUST TO NAME A FEW.

POINT TWO:
PARIS IS AND HAS BEEN THE FASHION CENTER OF THE WORLD FOR OVER 300 YEARS. THE FINEST FABRICS, THE SUREST HANDS AND THE MOST LOVING CLIENTELLE. LOUIS XIV PROMOTED IT TO THE WORLD, AS THE ONLY FASHION, IN HIS DAY, AND IT POSSIBLY WAS; AND THE WORLD BOUGHT IT. OVER TIME HOWEVER THE FACTS OF THE STORY HAVE CHANGED, ALTHOUGH THE MYTH HAS ENDURED. (WETHER BY THE HAND OF THE FRENCH OR THE WANT OF THE WORLD). HOW YOU ASK? AT THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY, THE FATHER OF HAUTE COUTURE, THE BASTION OF FRENCH, THEREFORE WORLD FASHION, WAS AFTER ALL A TRANSPLANTED BRIT, THERE TO SELL FABRIC. LATER IN THE 20TH CENTURY DIOR MAY HAVE CLAIMED THAT “HAUTE COUTURE NEED NOT BE DIRECTLY ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE: IT NEED ONLY EXIST IN TH WORLD FOR ITS INFLUENCE TO BE FELT”, ALTHOUGH OTHER COUNTRIES HAD COUTURIERS, HAUTE OR NOT, WHO COULD MAKE CLOTHING EVERY BIT AS PERFECT: THOSE OF THE ALTA MODA IN ROME, A HANDFUL OF DESIGNERS, HARDY AMIES FOR ONE, IN ENGLAND AND CHARLES JAMES IN THE USA, FOR EXAMPLE. LUXURY GOODS ALTHOUGH NOT WITH THE TITLE OF HAUTE COUTURE, THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT MADE SURE OF THAT. IN THE 2IST CENTURY THE FRENCH HAVE CONTINUED MARKETING THEIR COUNTRY AS THE EPI-CENTER OF THE FINEST OF ALL THINGS LUXURY (CAN YOU SAY LVMH , ALTHOUGH OF COURSE THEIR FINGERS ARE ALSO IN MANY OTHER COUNTRIE’S PIES) ESPECIALLY FASHION, AND THE WORLD STILL BUYS IT. THE HAUTE COUTURE REMAIN IN PARIS ALTHOUGH I MIGHT POINT OUT THAT ALTHOUGH THE SHOWS MAY BE IN PARIS, THE DESIGNERS AND THE TEXTILES COME FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE..EXAMPLES, HMMM, KARL LAGERFELD, THE GERMAN GENTLEMAN, IS AT THE HELM, CREATING (OR RECREATING) AT CHANEL. JOHN GALLIANO, THE SPANIARD FROM BRITAIN, BEFORE HIS FALL FROM GRACE, WAS THE TORCH CARRIER AT THE MAGIC WORLD OF DIOR. (OF COURSE JOHN IS BACK WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ITALIAN MANUFACTURING MAGNATE, RENZO ROSSO, WHO HAS HANDED HIM THE CONTROLLING ROPES AT MAISON MARGIELLA, ORIGNALLY A BELGIAN DESIGNER/COMPANY, NOW ITALIAN OWNED, WHICH PREVIOUSLY SHOWED IN PARIS, ALTHOUGH FOR GALLIANO’S DEBUT, HAS SHIFTED TO LONDON, WHERE HIS SUPPORT SYSTEM IS.)

THERE ARE MANY, MANY, CROSS BORDER CONNECTIONS TO BE FOUND IN PARIS IN THE 21ST CENTURY. IT MAKES SENSE. DESIGNERS AND MANUFACTURERS KNOW THIS IS STOP NUMBER 1 FOR THOSE OF THE MEDIA TO CONVERGE AND TO SEE WHAT WORLD FASHION (NOT JUST FRENCH) IS OFFERING CURRENTLY. ONE STOP, 5 DAYS,300 SHOWS, WHO COULD MISS. TAKE NOTE, THE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA HAVE BEEN CLAIMING FOR YEARS THAT EVEN ADDING LONDON AND NEW YORK MAKE FOR A VERY GRUELLING SEVERAL MONTH ODYSSEY, WHICH THEY, BARELY HOME, HAVE TO TURN AROUND AND REPEAT, AS IF HAMSTERS IN A WHEEL AND ARE GETTING TIRED OF IT. I WAS TOLD YEARS AGO, BY A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS, WHOM I HAD ASKED HOW THEY PICKED WHO THEY WROTE ABOUT, “WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO GO DIGGING, WE ARE TOO TIRED AND TOO BUSY, WE SEE THOSE WHO MAKE IS EASY FOR US TO FIND THEM”. SO, WHY WOULD THEY COME TO CANADA, AND WHICH CITY WOULD THEY VISIT WHEN EVEN THE DESIGNERS AND MANUFACTURERS HERE CAN’T SEEM TO FIGURE THAT OUT. GO TO PARIS, OR LONDON, OR AT LEAST, NEW YORK. GO TO WHERE THE MARKET IS. OTHERS HAVE, AND ARE BEING COVERED IN THE MEDIA AND PURCHASED BY THE BUYERS.

POINT THREE:
TO COME AT IT FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE, IF YOU WANT WARM WEATHER, AND MOST CANADIANS WOULD LOVE SOME RIGHT ABOUT NOW, IT IS AFTERALL MINUS 20 DEGREES CELSIUS AS I WRITE THIS, GO SOUTH. THE SUN WILL NOT BE WARMING THE TEMPERATURE HERE FOR SOME MONTHS.

POINT FOUR:
ANOTHER ANGLE. IF YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN CERTAIN SPORTS AT AN OLYMPIC LEVEL, YOU GO WHEREVER THE OLYMPICS ARE. IF YOU WANT TO PLAY HOCKEY, COME TO CANADA, AS EVIDENCED BY THE BEST OF THE WORLD PLAYING ON CANADIAN TEAMS.

MARSHALL MCLUHAN, A CANADIAN INTELLECT OF WORLD RENOWN, TOLD THE WORLD, DURING THE 1960’S, THAT IT WAS A GLOBAL VILLAGE. LISTEN UP…

YES, I WISH WE HAD IT ALL, BUT WE DON’T, AND THAT SHOULD NOT BE STOPPING US FROM “MAKING IT BIG”.

JUST SAYING.

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