Exhibit – Politics of Fashion – Fashion of Politics

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When you choose your outfit in the morning, do you ever think about the statement you’re making? Sure, what we wears tells the world about who we are, but what about consciously choosing to make a political statement to the world? The latest exhibit at the Design Exchange is all about people who do just that – and the clothes they’ve worn.

Politics of Fashion – Fashion of Politics, guest curated by Jeanne Beker, is really a two-part exhibit. In the first section, political statements through fashion are laid out semi-chronologically, starting with the 60s youth-quake in Britain and the raising of hemlines as a means of self-expression and creativity.

Issues such as the Vietnam war, sexual freedom (the topless swimsuit by Rudi Gernreich), homosexuality (Bowie’s boots, Klaus Nomi’s tuxedo, RuPaul’s corset for the MAC VivaGlam campaign), and racism (a selection of pieces by African-American designer Patrick Kelly, who intentionally incorporated imagery of racial stereotypes into his designs, as well as pieces from the 1998 collection of varying length chadors by Hussein Chalayan) are all represented.

Various western sub-cultures and their “uniforms” are also prevalent, with a vast selection of Vivienne Westwood pieces from the 70s punk era, as well as pieces demonstrating the mod and skinhead styles that were worn at the time.

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Wait now… people lined up to get into a grocery store? And they weren’t even giving away anything good like a free turkey? And there wasn’t anything like a natural disaster or an alien attack about to happen? Toronto really has turned into a city of consumer-driven sheep, hasn’t it? [The Grid]

I am utterly over the cupcake trend to the point of annoyance. And I never got into the Star Wars thing… but this cupcake is allowed to exist because it cracks me up. [My Food Looks Funny]

Why we’re all over the daily deal sites and why you should support local indie restaurants, just because. [Bon Appetit]

Nutty as a…? Grandma Deb’s might be the benchmark of fruitcake, but I’d still pit mine against all comers. (Actually, if you can get your hands of a piece of fruitcake from the recipe Chef John Higgens used at Buckingham Palace – THAT’S the benchmark of fruitcake.)[Toronto Star]

The interesting history of Vernor’s gingerale. [Serious Eats]

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Some Toronto bars have taken up brewing their own beer – with great results. [Open File]

I gripe sometimes about living in a building where I have no yard and no balcony. But then I read pieces like this and remember just how gross it was to live in a house and have to smell someone else’s BBQ stink wafting over the fence. [CNN Eatocracy]

Looking to lose weight – avoid the diet soda. [Toronto Star]

And this is what happens when you sign a contract with a discount coupon company and then ignore all the clauses – like the one that says to not do the same deal with another company for 90 days. I don’t think anybody has any sympathy for The Butchers and the coupon mess they got themselves into. [Toronto Star]

Okay, seriously, what restaurant manager doesn’t know that they have to allow service dogs? That’s always the excuse trotted out in situations of discrimination – and, no, you can’t know the law and then discriminate because there are too many dogs, either. [The Consumerist]

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Duck, Duck, Goose

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of foie gras. Part of my job requires that I generally eat what is put in front of me, and I’ll eat the stuff if I have to, but it’s never something that I’ll make an effort to search out.

Despite having an opinion on just about everything else, I actually have no opinion on the issues surrounding foie gras production. On the one hand, it seems weird and cruel, but on the other, those duckies sure do come running at dinnertime. I figure it can’t be any worse than the conditions that most of the western world’s meat is produced in, so any issue I have with fois gras would be more to do with farms that are more of a factory setting instead of a happy organic free-range kind of place.

Peta has recently issued a challenge to chefs to come up with a “faux gras” product, offering a $10,000 prize to the recipe that most closely resembles the real thing. Now sure, it’s Peta, and they can’t let it go without getting in a few jabs, calling foie gras the “delicacy of despair”, but the reaction to the contest has been just as childish.

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