5 Reasons Why the Canadian Fashion Industry Isn’t Thriving

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The Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards in Toronto were one of the best fashion events I have attended in Canada.

Early in February I was very lucky to fly to Toronto and attend the CAFA awards. I was also honoured to be part of the nominating committee of this incredible event. I’m dedicating a week of blog posts to this, as I think that Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards are an an important, exciting event in Canadian fashion and something we really need to nurture. Let’s call it Canadian Fashion Week here at Searching for Style, and let’s start with a list about why we really, really need a body like CAFA sorting out the Canadian fashion industry. Here are 5 Reasons Why the Canadian Fashion Industry Isn’t Thriving. (P.S. Notice lack of talent isn’t on this list…because we have a ton of it.)

1. There’s no official governing body. All countries with successful fashion industries have a central governing body, that is non-profit, who manages the industry and its events with the goal of ensuring the brands are properly promoted. For example, there’s the CFDA and the BFC. Canada doesn’t have this, and as a result, there’s no one truly supporting the brands. I am hoping that CAFA will become this missing link.

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Vancouver Fashion Week is a company that runs shows to make money – with hardly any buyers or press in attendance.

2. Most fashion weeks are about making profit. When I moved to Vancouver from London, I was confused about the number of people who pay to go to a fashion show. Why would someone do that? Fashion shows are overrated, and I suggest you consult this article to understand why. Anyway, the fact that a lot of these fashion weeks were about making money from ticket sales meant two really annoying things. Firstly, it means that people expect a SHOW. When you pay $25 for a glass of cheap bubbly and a fashion show, you don’t want it to be over in fifteen minutes. So, they do ridiculous things like hire dancers in between “sets” (yes, sometimes there are sets) and stretch out the show to last an hour. Guess what? For those of us who actually HAVE to be at the show, it is work. And I like my work to be done as quickly as possible.

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Press Release of the Month: Crop Topping for Coachella

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Subject Line: Crop Topping for Coachella (I’m hard pressed to think of a worse festival fashion press release email subject line.)

The Product: I hope you feel inspired with outfit ideas for Coachella! (This is quite obviously a festival fashion/Coachella pitch, and I suppose there is nothing wrong with pitching crop tops since apparently they are in fashion.  But, like many PRs, this one didn’t bother to read my website and learn that I loathe crop tops, Coachella, and festival fashion.)

The Details: “With Coachella around the corner, I wanted to share some Crop Topping with Coachella looks.” (Since when is crop topping a verb? I’m trying to think of some other ways to put the verb ‘crop topping’ into a sentence. “I saw a girl crop topping with a flabby stomach and I threw up a bit into my mouth.” Or, “Crop topping is only legal if you are on the beach, next to a pool, under the age of twenty, or on stage.”)

“When the sun goes down and the parties start, Cover your crop and go with an effortlessly chic look.” (I guess this PR also missed the day at school when they taught you not to capitalize the word after a comma.)

My Thoughts: Despite the poor grammar and Coachella theme, this release would not have made it onto this column if it weren’t for the TERRIFYING (and totally pixelated) images included in the release. This girl looks like she needs to be transported to the nearest eating disorder unit and put into acute care. Or maybe she has just spent a week in the desert, “crop topping it” and had no access to food or water.

Ridiculousness Score: 5/10. This isn’t nearly as bad as the handgun handbag or the pro-life adventure romance novel, but if I ever see the words “crop topping” in my inbox again, well, I think I will throw up. Ironically, if I throw up enough, I might just be thin enough to start “crop topping” too.

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Love: The Blaise Boot

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I never thought I would ever post something nice about an Ugg boot but my life in the Swedish countryside has forced me to rethink my wardrobe. I’m in and around the house most of the day, and when I pop outside, it is either to play with the kids in the yard, run an errand, or walk the dog. It doesn’t rain much here, so I don’t need rainboots, and I am desperate for something comfortable that I can slip on and off. I love that these boots are warm and they look like biker boots. Yes, I know that the diamantes are a tad on the tacky side but since I’m living in a town of less than 20 people with average age of 60, it doesn’t really matter if my boots have a bit of bling.

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I guess country life has changed me a bit! Or maybe it is just April Fools ;-)

In case you are wondering, here is what I am really wearing every day in the countryside, and to be honest, I’d rather walk barefoot in subzero temperatures than put an Ugg boot on my foot.

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Beauty Brief: Jason Aloe Vera Moisturizing Creme

jason, aloe cream, moisturizer, beauty products, body care, beauty brief, organic beautyI have never been so dry in my life. I think it is something in the air here, it is not cold (in fact, the weather has been marvellous) so I don’t know if it is the Swedish winter air or the house we are living in, but whatever it is, I am DRY. Oil was not doing the job, I needed a heavy duty cream that was inexpensive (due to the daily amounts I’d be using) and that was natural (as I try to avoid parabens, etc…)

I found this Jason Soothing 84% Aloe Vera Moisturizing Creme at Copenhagen airport a few weeks ago and it has been my skin saviour these past few weeks. It’s thick, creamy, absorbs well, and mostly organic. The price is very reasonable ($8.99 a tub in Canada.) Also, it is in a pot so I can scoop up as much as I want and none is lost in a tube or pump. I’ll be picking up another tub on Sunday when I am at the airport.

And on that note, I’ll be traveling for business over the next few weeks. It is going to be a short, busy trip but if you want to know what I get up to, follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And if you want to know what my business, The Sleep Shirt, is getting up to, then follow us on Instagram. We post lots of nice photos of nightwear, dream beds, and midnight snacks.

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Love: The Gap

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The Gap Spring 2014 collection.

My attempts at living a minimalist life aren’t just about buying less, but are also about buying smarter. When I decided I wanted to massively reduce the amount of things I own and buy, I also decided I needed to stop buying things that weren’t produced by ethical companies. It is quite extreme to make a statement like that, but I am trying to be realistic. Ethics don’t need to mean everything is made by a fairtrade women’s collective in Africa. It can mean an independent retailer, a company like American Apparel who gives their workers paid holiday, or a brand who manufactures in a country that whose minimum wage is a fair living wage.

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