Pulling Fashion Television’s Plug

In the week since Bell Media announced FashionTelevision was cancelled after nearly 30 years on the air, the reactions have been a mix of shock and reverence.
The lack of pomp and circumstance around its ending is no surprise in this day and age. To simply disappear seems common in Canadian media. (Remember Canadian Idol? Highest rated show in Canada ever?!) And formality?! Please. Jeanne Beker’s tweet broke the news.
FashionTelevision gave the masses access to fashion when it was only granted to a few. I understand why Jeanne and her microphone were no longer considered the force they once were. These days all kinds of media, bloggers and designers themselves are sharing the behind the scenes before the scene even begins.
But aren’t there still fashion stories to tell?
Other networks seem to think so. Television has begun to move beyond the design-driven, often catfight-ridden stories, found on the likes of Project Runway. Fashion is a business and shows like All On the Line and Fashion Star are shedding light on that. For the uninitiated, All On the Line features Elle magazine’s creative director Joe Zee rescuing designers in the midst of a crisis, helping them identify where they’ve gone wrong, and mentoring them through the changes needed to take their label in the right direction. Each show ends with a presentation to a select retailer whom Joe feels are the right fit. And after all, with his experience and connections, Joe knows best. (I’ve met him. He does.)
NBC’s Fashion Star gives a roster of independent designers a chance to be discovered on a national scale. Each week they work with their mentors – designer John Varvatos and celebrity designers Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie — to create and present a single item to reps from three national retail chains: H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The real drama is when the retailers bid on the items. They might make an offer, they might not. They might bid against each other to nab it for their store, as it can only go to one retailer. In any case it’s the designer who truly wins if they get a deal — that item is produced and immediately appears in (American) stores.
Side note: Having seen a winning item at a Manhattan H&M recently, the reality was a watered down version of what we saw on the runway, but nonetheless….
The point is, the business of fashion is not just a business. It can be entertainment. It’s a shame Bell Media – which owns the CTV network that carries Fashion Star in Canada – felt that a show with 27 years of storytelling and international audience couldn’t tweak their coverage to address fashion’s changing tides. Hopefully the FT brand that still stands can continue to represent fashion as an industry, and of course, fashion in Canada in a compelling way. Because right here, right now, that’s all we’ve got.
UPDATE: Jeanne responded to the article via Twitter shortly after posting….

“@theFList Good story Leesa! Have no fear. I’ll make sure Bellmedia’s fashion/style coverage lives on as FT brand evolves”

It’s Official. We’re Throwing a Party.

They say the only constant in fashion is that everything changes. The same can be said about fashion weeks in Toronto. Between a new venue, new designers, and new restrictions on which shows are available to the public, there is plenty of change to LG Fashion Week’s Spring 2010 calendar.

One more change to your fashion week….

Join the F-list Monday through Friday, October 19 – 23, for The Official. It’s fashion week’s biggest party all week, every night at Maro in Liberty Village. We kick off a new season of Designer Spotlights with up and coming designers like Abel Munoz, one of Canada’s few haute shoe designers. Enjoy fashion installations, beauty bars, footage from the runway shows care of Fashion Television, guest dj’s and MORE! Every night is different and always open to the public.

And since Maro is around the corner from the LG Fashion Week tents, we’re throwing out the red carpet for all of fashion week. No cover if you show your LG Fashion Week laminate!

DOORS OPEN 8PM NIGHTLY….stay all night and strike a pose for the cameras! (It’s fashion week, of course there will be cameras!)

Here is just a TASTE of how we kick off our first official Official!

Monday, October 19
Dress to Kill magazine Toronto launch party
Designer spotlight with 2009 TFI New Labels winner, Faren Tami
CLUB RED installation by Aria Boutique
DJ Daniel spins the tunes into the late night

Tuesday, October 20
Designer spotlight with knitwear designer, Heidi Ackerman
Designer installation with IT Showroom featuring Zoran Dobric, Carrie Hayes, Katya Revenko of Desperately Different & Karamea’s MIchelle Turpin
Party all night with DJ Barbi

Log into the F-list for daily schedule updates!