I never go into an interview unprepared. If you caught my segment with Joanne Vrakas on Breakfast Television Montreal – or missed it – here are my “notes” going into the interview, part of the BT Montreal influencer series.
I must say I was flattered and honoured to be part of the series.
Anyhow, as we all know, stuff gets shortened and skipped over in a live interview. Do read the last question, about my hopes for fashion in Montreal.
How would you describe what you do?
I write about fashion on my blog and have been Montreal correspondent for Fashion magazine. I write about the business of fashion, trends, designers, store openings and closings. I go to events a lot, I shop – in fact, I am a constant shopper, and that’s what my blog is called. And in this day and age, I have to spend time Instagramming and on Facebook. I’d like to get going on writing my book – kind of a diary of a fashion victim, but I find myself too busy.
How would you describe your style, your approach?
I should have reached a point in my life at which I have a singular style, but I love everything from minimalism to boho. So you can find me in a kimono and skinny pants one day, sequins and bows and all things feminine another day, as well as simple, minimalist style sometimes. If there is one period I love best it’s the flapper era.
At what moment/when did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
I have always loved fashion but I started in journalism in hard news. By chance, I was asked to contribute to the fashion section at The Gazette almost 20 years ago, and I found my calling then.
Who influences you?
I have to say I am not much of a celebrity watcher. SJP is fun, and her new line of shoes is great. There’s an Australian series called Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries set in flapper Australia, of all places, that prompted some serious shopping.
Rihanna and Lady Gaga are a gas. Taylor Swift can dress.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Michelle Obama are smart about fashion, and Sophie has been making better choices in her wardrobe recently.
Classic icons I admire – the Hepburns – Audrey and Katherine, of course.
I admire designers including Dries Van Noten, Norma Kamali, Raf Simons, Rei Kawakubo and many more. I pretty much go with the flow, choosing styles that fit my life and my budget. Locally, I’m a fan of Marie Saint Pierre, UNTTLD, Judith & Charles and I am probably leaving someone out ….. Denis Gagnon, Philippe Dubuc (I still regret not having bought a few of his women’s pieces).
How do you think what you have done has influenced your craft/your field?
I like to think that I have earned respect for telling it like I see it, promoting the good, but not being a cheerleader without discretion. Today, journalism in general and fashion journalism in particular is under pressure. Much of what we see and read on the internet about fashion is marketing – paid for by brands without disclosure.
What trend, movement would you like to never see come back in your field?
Big shoulders, big hair, pretty much the 80s.
Where would you like to fashion go in this city?
There is so much talent, so much spirit here, but lots of problems as well. We need the industry – manufacturers, retailers, the big, powerful companies – and they do still exist – to work with the design talent. The market is tough, but as in any field, if you don’t take chances you will never win big. If some of the new talent on the scene could be mentored, helped with production, fabric sourcing, technical details, the industry as a whole would be stronger. There have been baby steps in big companies doing collaborations with designers. (Simons with Philippe Dubuc, Reitmans with Marie Saint Pierre and Martin Lim.) And there are good examples where strong companies have backed local brands (Mark Edwards with Want Les Essentiels), that go on to make international names for themselves. But all too often, the top tier designers have to leave Montreal to find success. The market here is small for sure, but the internet has opened a world of possibility. Look at SSense or Frank & Oak, for example.