It’s been a few years since I’ve met up with Jeanne Beker in Downtown Port Hope,  and yesterday, when she and her friend Deenah stopped into town she reminded me of the many reasons I’m still in the fashion business. Looking for a starting point to launching this Blog…et voila ...enter Jeanne Beker!

 I was reminded of when I was younger, watching Jeanne covering the Canadian music scene on television.  I would watch ‘Music TV’ with my slightly older cousin and pre-teen fashion muse, Wendy, who always told me to watch all the Jeanne Beker interviews, because she has this way of  being “in” on the "cool factor" like no one else.  I remember vividly her post-disco-queen meets edgy-punk-rock-girl look, the shimmery shirts, the tight jeans, the great wavy hair; Jeanne was even more glamorous than the musicians she interviewed. I wanted to “be her” when I grew up. She inspired our early 80’s back-to-school shopping trips to Toronto, for tailored shirts and tight jeans; then a few years later for plaid pants, band tee's and turtlenecks. I can still see these specific fashion items so clearly in my mind even after selling hundreds of thousands of pieces in my store. The pieces linked to people are the ones you tuck away in your mind until something triggers it, and with total recall that piece of fabric, crafted into art, that brought you so much emotion, comes flooding back with all the details, the people and the music that influenced you in that moment.  Specifically, I was first made aware of Jeanne when I was 11 yrs old;  I remember the year because it was the same time I bought my first pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s and my first Ramones and Clash albums. Fast Forward seven or eight years, to my first Ramones concert, where I wore super tapered mini houndstooth pants and a black turtleneck at Bannister’s in Hamilton.

Clothing, like music, can bring you on a journey back to people. In the same way people, like Jeanne Beker a Canadian fashion icon, will bring you to fashion.   She IS fashion, in the most Canadian way possible; she has amazing sensibility AND she is nice.  I told her yesterday, about a time when I was at Toronto Fashion Week in line behind her waiting to get into one of David Dixon’s invite-only fashion shows with my best friend Diane. We were standing right behind Jeanne. In actuality, we were in another line and dashed behind Jeanne into the VIP line.   We quickly took the opportunity to tell the usher that  “we’re with Jeanne”  (after all, I had been following her on TV since I was 11yrs old) so we could tag along with her to get better seats. Jeanne looked back and winked acknowledging our little caper with a smile.  Still just as gracious, years later, I requested of her yesterday to smile for a picture, which she happily agreed to.  I was apologizing because I’m sure she gets so many people asking her to do that, “are you kidding”, she said, “I love it - when they ask. When they stop asking me for pictures, that’s what I won’t like ”

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She is always such a pleasure and she gladly posed for this picture with me…I’m sure I’ll remember the Saturday we took this picture in years to come; I was wearing Brenda Beddome pants and a Franco Mirabelli top.  Jeanne recognizes when a boutique has spent hundreds of hours searching and editing their buy, into a collection that tells a story and it is so appreciated.

I could not ask for a more apropos inspiration to start my Blog, reminding me that there are many days when this business is hard work, but that I’m in this business for the love of music, fashion and people - and how they are linked in a mosaic that fills our lives with vivid heartwarming pleasure.   So starts the Blog : G.Facey’s: Music, Fashion & People.

Thank You Jeanne Beker.

-Teri-Jo Collina Ashton