How can I describe it? I feel like I’m so close to putting my finger on the Canadian fashion enigma, but I am at a loss for words.
It might be anti-fashion but this phrase lacks the right connotations and confuses people. Sometimes anti-fashion is in fashion, as Joi pointed out. Ah, the paradox of Canadian fashion! Yet that paradox defines us.
Of course, I like “final fashion” even better. It’s funny how a phrase I coined for myself two years ago has never been more relevant to my point of view.
My semi-functioning descriptive phrase, the “antifashion Industry” also seems to do another intellectual two-step. On one hand it could be read as “anti fashion industry”. That is, rules apply, but conventions do not. For instance, this world hosts a cacaphony of second-tier fashion weeks. Toronto could have something very different.
I’m not saying that Toronto shouldn’t have another Fashion Week. I quite hope to be able to attend this year and do what I can to raise profiles in my own little way. But for the purposes I’m interested in, I’m trying to demonstrate that the traditional patterns don’t necessarily make any aspect of us stand apart from the international noise. I’m trying to dream up tactics that could save our industry from disappearing.
Antifashion doesn’t have weeks. It’s all the time.
The phrase could also be percieved as “antifashion industry”. That emphasizes there is an industry that produces antifashion. Because antifashion cycles last the entire length of a trend instead of a single season, the look is refined slowly instead of re-establishing every season. The details grade more subtly. Antifashion is so many different things; sports gear, high-functioning work clothing, fetish, as well as standards like outerwear. I find that people are willing to drop for the best when it’s related to their hobby, or to deal with situations that demand a highly functional garment. In these cases even those not into fashion will become extremely sartorial.
I’ve always had a dream of doing the perfect winter coats for Canadian girls. Perfect tailored wool city jackets, comfy and warm down jackets with belts… mainly all the coats I’ve dreamed of while I’m wearing Winter Coats I Hate (like, for 99% of my life). Coats I would build to last for years and years. I’d like function and slick good looks with longevity.
So yes, this antifashion thing is a big contradiction. Maybe it’s not antifashion. Maybe it’s…
contrafashion? opposifashion? defashion? unfashion?
Maybe it’s the word fashion that’s the problem.