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Fanshawe Fashionista - Designers: help push Canadian fashion beyond touques and snowshoes

Jennifer St. Denis | Interrobang | Opinion | January 30th, 2006

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
My roommate got back from Europe at the end of the summer 2005, and was raving about his new pair of jeans that were covered in ink, paint splatters, tears and dirt. Most moms wouldn't approve of purchasing denim that had looked like they were ready to be tossed out, as these jeans came with all the grease stains you could think of, in a wide range of colours. They were all the rage in the UK at the time, but that exact look, with all of the toppings hadn't yet made it to retail stores in our neck of the woods, and are just introducing themselves now.

So why is it that Canada has to wait months, or even years, to get it's hands on killer, cutting edge fashions? Japan is light years ahead, and the designs out of Milan are just mind-boggling. Watered down versions will eventually flutter across our borders, but by then, is just like secondhand goods.

So what contribution does this beautiful country have to the fashion industry? Well, we do have some fashion designers that leave their mark, such as George Diavolitsis, a former Londoner who has a clothing line called Brand--O that has attracted such celebrities like Kim Cattrall from Sex in the City, and Seth Green from Austin Powers. But it's not too likely for Canada to be home to a large number of top designers. Let's face it Canada — we are seriously lacking on the up-to-date list, and I think we need a wake up call.

It's one thing to pull of a look really well (and as Canadians we certainly can do that) but it's another to have conceived the notion that paint splattered on denim will catch on, or polka dots are back in.

Just like the cyclical pattern of life, fashion encompasses many of the same qualities. What was once out will (unfortunately, in some cases) eventually come back in, and what one side of the globe is sporting, will eventually make its way around until the look is exhausted.

So for once, I think that Canada should be on the map for something other than hockey and maple syrup, and prove once and for all that we are a fashion conscious and creative nation with much to offer to the artistic world. There are a few from the frigid temps who slide through the cracks and are competing against some of the top names in the industry, but certainly not as much as we can be, and not enough to showcase the Canadian fashion and design talent that we have.

So for all of you aspiring designers out there, now's your chance to get creative, be inventive and put this nation on the map, and destroy the notion that we are simply a follower and not a leader, eh?
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