Friday, May 7, 2010

Critical Mass Speakers Series - Robin Givhan and Jeanne Beker

Hot Docs Fest is on in Toronto right now. This year the festival added a new series called The Critical Mass Speakers Series, that pairs three high-profile critics in the fields of music, architecture and fashion with Canadian media personalities for three 90-minute conversations about the latest trends and ideas fuelling their field.

Tonight at Hart House (in the beautiful University of Toronto), The Washington Post's Robin Givhan had conversation with Toronto's legendary Jeanne Beker of Fashion Television.

The discussion was very interesting to listen in on. I can definitely see how Robin Givhan can be controversial. Some key points I thought were interesting:
ANNA WINTOUR/VOGUE She worked at Vogue for 6 months; she said there aren't a lot of black people working there; maybe insinuating that the black population is underrepresented in the fashion industry? Robin also mentioned that Anna Wintour does a lot of great things for up and coming designers.

PLUS SIZE MODELS As North America's population gets fatter our models get skinnier on the runways; possibly a symptom of our denial. She believes designers are partly to blame for no body diversity on runways; they have an image of what they want their customer to be; how they want their clothes worn and it usually isn't your everyday American. Robin also stated that most consumers feel a sense of entitlement because of the accessibility of the fashion world nowadays and that is why they complain about the sizes. They do so because they think it is worth it; before they didn't because there didn't think there was a point.

BLOGGERS There are some good bloggers and some bad bloggers like magazines. She believes they add to the 'fashion conversation' but there is trouble in not knowing who's blogging. She also believes bloggers take away from something but I couldn't make it out on my camera when playing back because the audio sucks lol (I'll update if I figure it out). She touched on designers sending things to bloggers.

That was my first time attending something like that and I found it very intersting and thought provoking. Next time I'm going to bring a list of questions!


  1. Yes, I agree Elizabeth, the discussion was truly thought-provoking and also full of humour. I enjoyed the discussion a lot and was happy to see that the interaction with Jeanne Beker worked wonders.
    I didn't see you there because... I actually don't know you (yet..). Any hints? Are you on Facebook. If you are,just send me a request; my name is the same.

  2. :) I'm on FB I deactivated but am reactivating it probably this weekend! Ok I will add