How does someone fall in love with Canadian fashion? Well, it starts with falling in love with fashion and trends as a whole, then finding your way to Canadian fashion.
Yes, it is a process. Here's how it started for me.
You start with reading your mom's copies of Vogue, because Vogue is the bible. You learn the fashion designers' names and recognize their styles. Soon, you're discussing what X was thinking and what Y was wearing (and how, even though she’s overhyped, you kind of like Kate Moss).
Your first experience with Canadian designers, depending on when you were born, might have been Alfred Sung. He was born in China but came to Canada and gave us clothing, home designs, and Sung perfume. He also gave us Club Monaco. Yup; he's one of the reasons we all ended up owning that one Club Monaco sweat top. You know the one I’m talking about.
Oh, Club Monaco, with your stylish jeans and classic cuts. You were the go-to for fashion conscious people who didn't have a huge budget for clothing but wanted to look good. Have we thanked you for that?
The Internet arrives! More accurately, the Internet gets really big! With the Internet comes more pictures! Videos! Fashion and personal style bloggers! The fashion bloggers are soon getting fans and followers thanks to their mixing and remixing of wardrobes. Some of them also introduce you to new designers. "Oh, that's how you wear Comme des Garcon as a regular person," you say. "That's how you pronounce Demeulemeester!"
You become aware that Toronto has a fashion week – World Mastercard Fashion Week. It's not new, but before personal style bloggers and online magazines, it was an event for trade and media only.
Then you find out that the public can get tickets for a small price that will let you sit and watch as Canadian fashion designers send their creations down the runway. You revel in being there and being one of the first to see what's coming next season. Best of all, it's Canadian.
You can also take the personal style or fashion blog route. If you do it well enough and have a point of view, you'll soon be invited to attend the shows. Bonus!
In that oddly patriotic way we have about Canadian-made items, you swear you'll buy everything Canadian. Yes, even that $800 winter coat that you can't afford. You defend buying Canadian because you have to support the industry. You despair when a Canadian goes abroad to grow their business because there isn't enough support at home. Yes, that includes Erdem.
Thanks to social media, you find designers on Twitter and Facebook and find out about sample sales. Soon you're snapping Lucian Matis, Vawk by Sunny Fong, making appointments with Greta Constantine, and waiting for the Smythe sample sale. Of course, you're mixing with your Joe Fresh items, right?
Finally, you've been following and loving Canadian fashion for a while. You know now that you don't have to support all Canadian fashion just because it's Canadian -- some of it just isn't that good (or rather, sloppily sewn). You have your favourites and continue to buy them when you can. You take pleasure in knowing and finding the next big name.
Most importantly: You now hate being called a fashionista.
This fashion inspired post has been brought to you by MasterCard in celebration of the launch of Stylicity and the arrival of World MasterCard Fashion Week. From Oct 18 – Nov 3, shop with MasterCard and receive exclusive offers at over 150 Stylicity locations in Toronto and online.
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