finding myself in fashion-jeanne bekker

i suppose this lil’ library project of mine will force me to confront my motivations over the past year or so-and once again, i have absolutely no idea how this one (of all her books) would’ve made it on to the list. other than some oft-recycled phrases (“decked out in…”), it was a smooth read. jeanne bekker is a trailblazer of a national treasure, and she confirms my suspicions about puffy, so she’s all good in my books.

“Great style is about much more than what we wear. If style was solely dependent on the clothes we choose and how we strut them, there would be many more inspiring people on this planet. While the lifeblood of this business may indeed be fashion’s superficial side, I have learned that what’s at heart of truly great style is personal behaviour-the way we move through the world. That, and the way we treat others.” (180)

“Those of us who choose to stay, and make it despite the odds, somehow aren’t ever as celebrated as those who abandon ship. And maybe it’s that lack of celebration that keeps us humble. I suppose it’s a good thing. The humility this country breeds has put it on the map, in a sense. In my mind, it’s made us a nicer, less aggressive, gentler, and generally more compassionate people. The rest of the world seems to associate these qualities with Canadians. And while I admit that I sometimes envy those who had the guts and determination to leave this country in pursuit of their dreams, deep down I’m proud that I managed to make so many of my own dreams come true while staying in my own backyard. I became a success both thanks to Canada and in spite of Canada. And I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way.” (208)

werd. special shout to tali tal on this one.

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2 thoughts on “finding myself in fashion-jeanne bekker

  1. life/style:

    “As a matter of fact, the people who have been in fashion the longest are often the ones who garner the most respect. They’re the ones with the broadest frames of reference, the most savvy, and the most experience in general. And in a business like fashion, which owes so much to history and mentorship, those who have been around a long time are revered, celebrated, and applauded for both hanging in and keeping up.” (79-80)

    “But perhaps it’s this very juxtaposition-this poignant heaven-and-hell reality-that ultimately is India, and is precisely what makes this remarkable country so incredible. It’s all a metaphor for the absolute agony and ecstasy of the human condition, and a powerful reminder of the depths to which we can sink and the heights to which we can soar.” (90)

    “The adventure continued as I sneaked them into the Christian Lacroix show and taught them the art of scamming a seat. (Wait til the last minute and nonchalantly ease your way in. If the rightful owner shows up, make a quick exit.)” (115)

    “High sartorial style and good manners do not necessarily go hand in hand. I’m not sure at what stage of life a person can afford to be so self-involved that others simply don’t matter. But sometimes, the unimaginable happens, and those of us who want to believe in the best in people are in for a rude awakening. Case in point: Sean Combs, the former Puff Daddy, now commonly known as Diddy. But I still call him Puffy.” (149)

  2. pulling strings:

    “From the get-go, I was adamant that I was to be an editor, not a designer. I may have learned a lot about fashion through sheer osmosis over the years, but I had too much respect for designers and the complexity of their craft to ever fancy myself one.” (98)

    “Of all the fascinating people I’m privileged to rub shoulders with on a regular basis, it’s the designers I admire the most. Their passion and creativity, coupled with their technical mastery and disciplined work habits, are a constant source of inspiration for me. Their sheer tenacity to come back each season and reinvent the wheel, as well as the courage they have to oppose convention and make their voices heard, fills me with reverence. While none of them may ever save the planet, they all make the world a more beautiful place.” (57)

    “But like Gaultier, he always has time. If one is patient, one eventually gets to Lagerfeld. As Ingrid Sischy pointed out, the man is incredibly generous. He talks to everyone, switching effortlessly from English to French to German. Once in a while, a reporter may get snubbed-but only because he or she has asked a stupid question. Lagerfeld does not suffer fools easily and is quickly bored by people who display ignorance. That being said, he always responds to reporters backstage, often patiently repeating the same thing over and over again. And he does it tirelessly and with great aplomb.” (178)

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