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Fashion Television departing in immaculate style

After 27 fabulous years, Fashion Television will be leaving us forever. It’s the end of an era as we mourn the loss of one of Canada’s most influential television shows.

Jeanne Beker

Fashionistas everywhere, let’s take a moment of silence. After 27 glorious seasons, Fashion Television, that haute institution of Canadian television, is going off the air. Though the show has made it its duty to acquaint the average Canadian with the world of international fashion, it has sadly become a bit moot in an age of countless pervasive fashion blogs all giving us the goods on what’s hot, not to mention all the fashion houses cheaply live-streaming their shows across the internet to anyone anywhere and at any time. Viewership of FT was extremely low leading up to this announcement, unable any longer to compete with the much more cost-efficient and instant modes of transmitting fashion info.

But it’s still so sad. Fashion Television‘s impact on Canadian culture has been undeniable. Even if you weren’t a fan of the show, that theme music is instantly recognizable, likely bringing anyone back to a time of sitting on the couch with the family as an FT promo ad played during a commercial break for whatever CityTV movie was on that night. If it hadn’t been for Fashion Television, who knows how long it would have taken for Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs to become household names in even the most fashion-illiterate Canadian homes. FT made the mysterious and often intimidating world of fashion totally accessible and something that Canadians could get excited about.

A great deal of credit for that fact must be given to the program’s incomparable host, Jeanne Beker. For 27 years, Jeanne Beker, hand clutched around her trusty microphone and feet clad in nothing lower than a 6-inch heel, has nearly broken her back bringing us in-depth interviews with some of the international fashion world’s most prominent figures, as well as backstage access to some of fashion’s most exciting events. She’s taken us all over the world, giving us glimpses into countless cities’ varying and always thriving fashion scenes. Her passion for the fashion industry is utterly infectious, and any viewer of FT was instantly made accutely aware of how deeply she cares for what she does. Fashion Television has made Jeanne Beker a Canadian icon and the last word in Canadian fashion.

The fact that Canadian fashion — once an all but oxymoronic phrase — even exists is in large part thanks to Fashion Television. Because of the way the show helped shape the nation’s appreciation for the fashion world, countless would-be Canadian fashionistas and fashionistos grew inspired to confidently and excitedly pursue careers in what was an otherwise unfamiliar industry. Out of this grew what is now a burgeoning Canadian fashion scene, growing faster every year. Canadian designers are slowly but surely carving out a place for themselves on the international fashion map and are garnering plenty of attention with events such as Toronto Fashion Week and shows like Project Runway Canada. Without Fashion Television, we’d all still be wearing nothing but fleece and denim. Unironically, of course.

The departure of Fashion Television indeed marks the end of a great era in Canadian culture. And while we’ll miss Jeanne’s enthusiasm and that anthemic song, we can take comfort in the fact that, with every pair of Louboutins we see walk past us on Canadian soil, Fashion Television did its job.

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