Safra

Toronto fashion out: London, UK fashion in

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, In the Know on February 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Despite the emotional roller coaster I experienced while living in London, I couldn’t help but be enamoured by its thriving fashion energy. It is the land of excess –  in a lot of ways – but it’s also an open platform to explore your style identity. Every street corner, every strip hangs on a cultural limb- and that includes fashion. So it is no surprise that  all my favourite fashion magazines – and designers – with the exception of France, are British.

Today, I came across an article on British Vogue announcing a new designer collaboration with the beloved UK-concept brand Topshop. The lucky craftsman happens to be David Koma – a designer I have profiled  on this blog:


David Koma for Topshop via Susie Bubble

and a favourite by the likes of Beyoncé and Girls Aloud front woman Cheryl Cole. I didn’t get to read the article in its entirety, but today, while having lunch, I came upon a piece in i-D by Sarah Mower, an acclaimed fashion journalist and Ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council. I’ve not finished the article yet, but it was an elaboration of the speech she made during the spring/summer 2011 NEWGEN awards late last year.

The article came after a 12-page layout of models all wear young, fresh designers.  The pages highlighted pull quotes from buyers and the like within London’s high-profile fashion world. But what caught me was when Ms. Mower said  the industry in London is known for its keen ability to “share and help one another.”

It may seem like a contradictory to provide a negative review on the film “Dressed,” but the problem that I have with the film is that it’s a director’s bandwagon attempt to cash in on a trend that has already come to pass. Not only that, it doesn’t help the hundreds, if not thousands of young hopefuls who need help furthering their fashion careers.

This is, by far, not the first time Topshop has collaborated with new designers. There are a stream of them:

Christopher Kane (three times)

via Frillr

Mary Katrantzou

Meadham Kirchhoff

Mark Fast

Jonathan Saunders

via fashionologie

Kate Moss for GOD’s sake

And a slew of others lesser known ones.

*All other images courtesy of British Vogue

A lot of times, it seems as though every city under the sun supports new talent except  Toronto. Mind you, we do have the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the Fashion Design Council of Canada (if you have thousands of dollars and should be “Toronto”), and a lot of local local publications show their support. We’ve made an attempt at Project  Runway, it’s true. But it’s not enough.  Not when Canada’s freshest talent, such as the aforementioned Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jean-Pierre Braganza, Calla Haynes and Thomas Tait choose to cultivate and carry on their careers in cities that much more expensive than be here. Our department stores, on the other hand ‘showcase’ young designers once they’ve received accolades elsewhere, and seem up for collaborations with even other fashion stores, before taking up  homegrown talent.

Do I digress? No. For I too seem to find it much easier to get on in London, despite its faults, than in Toronto. But maybe it is not Toronto’s fault. It’s simply underdeveloped on the fashion front. And, as it turns out, the problem extends well beyond fashion. Canada, writ-large, is an underdeveloped country. And, as it turns out, this city is going down the gravy train. So, as it seems, there’s no where else to go, if you want to ‘make it’, but…  out.

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