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Fashion Television show suspended

April 12, 2012

Fashion Television is suspended after 27 years bringing us fashion from the world's top runways. The show's host, Jeanne Beker, is pictured here interviewing Cindy Crawford in 1997. (Image courtesy of Bell Media)

This morning we woke to the news that after 27 years, Fashion Television– the beloved television show that pioneered video coverage of fashion runways around the world- is suspended.

The news are somewhat of a surprise: even Host Jeanne Beker wasn’t expecting it and Tweeted, “This dream is over”. After all, Jeanne Beker’s presence at every big fashion presentation in town here and abroad is now just a fact of life, and finding the program airing on television- no matter what the hour- seems integral to our programming.

The show’s suspension (which we expect will lead to a cancellation) is likely due to poor viewer ratings and competition in the marketplace from fashion houses and magazines reporting their shows with instant live streaming. We’re also hearing that bloggers (like us) are part of the demise- but we’d like to argue that.

Host Jeanne Beker has been a role model to many young women here in Canada and elsewhere who dreamed of a fashion career and hungered for the coverage of what designers were creating in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, New York. FT was the place to get served what we craved- art that moves, identity that can be changed with an easy turn in the change room, and the human body reshaped and imagined over and over again. Fashion’s ability to empower, communicate and celebrate were part of what made the show so  poignant- to experience a designer’s vision and expression of a moment in time. Fashion Television captured designers’ take on culture in the now- no matter how far and outlandish.

Jeanne Beker with Karl Lagerfeld

Interviewing John Galliano

Jeanne’s mic helped us sneak into the most exquisite fashion houses: the extravagant and magical haute couture that but a few could ever witness on the runway, let alone the Parisian finishing salon, and the industry’s rebels, emerging talent and most brilliant innovators of our times- all framed within the backstage clips of the world’s buyers, editors and social decision-makers. Fashion Television was beyond fantasy and above all, it supported in many of us a passion for fashion that was strong and worthwhile no matter how absurd the idea of a fashion career seemed.

Interviewing Linda Evangelista in 1999

Over the years, Jeanne won awards, the show became syndicated in 130 countries and a network to host it became part of the evolution of the public’s interest in fashion news. Jeanne became a guest columnist in major publications, published books, launched her own fashion labels and worked with individual labels to frame their wares for retail success. Her charm, intelligence, determination and industry knowledge distinguish her as one helluva gal.

Here’s to you, Jeanne- thank you and thank you and thank you!

(And FYI, we’ll be watching the re-runs and looking forward to your next move- after all, Bell Media is saying that there are new projects on the way involving Jeanne- let’s hope they’re even as half as spectacular as Fashion Television.)

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