BandMark recently met with Mode & Design Festival spokesperson Vanessa Pilon. This lively, passionate TV personality brings rhythm & light to our belle province. Let’s jump right into it!
1- When FMD approached you to be their spokesperson what was your initial reaction?
Surprised and intimidated at the same time as I have not been directly involved in fashion before. Once I understood the mission in making the festival accessible to the general public and to develop a link between its creators I was ready for the challenge.
I strongly believe audiences should feel welcome, discover, and get inspired by the world of fashion creators.
2- What are some fashion trends that for you are the biggest turn off? turn on?
We’ve evolved in a world where faux pas aren’t that relevant any more. When I was young people would tell me black & blue don’t go together. We all perceive things differently. I love to wear socks with my sandals; To me that’s not a faux pas lol I like to judge for myself if something looks right or not because it’s something personal. Come to think of it I’m not a fan of Crocks; They may be a comfortable thing to wear in the country but that’s about it!
3- On your bucket list you had shaving your head for a good cause. What others do you have in the short term?
I’d love to have the courage to be an entrepreneur. In television you’re given a voice which is a form of power but often you’re at the end of the decision line. I’m involved in with a jewelry company where I see the ins & outs in running a business. I’d love to eventually have my own fashion line. Hmm and start a family… have both at the same time!
4- You’ve been on a # of popular shows like Salut Bonjour, Vrak Attack to name a few. Do you see yourself producing or being part of one outside of Quebec?
Lately, I’ve been involved in the contemporary art world and opportunities have presented themselves in New York, London to name a few. In a niche market like Quebec it’s easier to become popular. I believe though that I’m now ready to take the leap into a larger market with more possibilities.
I’ve always liked to be challenged and discover new horizons. Kurt Vonnegut once said “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down”.
That being said my entrepreneurship & family goals may have to be put on hold!
5- Who do you look up to the most in the fashion industry locally & internationally?
At FMD, I was particularly impressed with CoolKoala show. She is reeeally intense and what she creates and assembles works. One item that particularly stood out had glitter and was written ‘state here’ on it with lots of really nice colourful prints. I could totally see myself wearing it at a red carpet event.
Also, colorful wax clothing from Africa. I spoke to the designer Niapsou and asked him if he could see me wearing some of his collection. His reaction was it’s about sharing fashion styles. The world is open now. I don’t believe in culture appropriation in fashion.
And let’s not forget the talented students from Lasalle College that had some very diverse and impressive pieces… Veteran Roxanne Nicky, how she works with fabrics and continuously re-invents her fashion line… New comer Rob Chamaeleo, sparkly, colorful and sporty attire. Relaxed with a twist of high fashion. We have a great community of creators!
Internationally, I’m really inspired by Iris, American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon (Vanessa shows me her picture). Look at this lady! Everything she puts out is a work of art and it works… never dresses the same way twice; a genuine trendsetter. To me she is the personification of style.
Bonus! One I felt I had to ask 😉 We all need to unwind. What are some of the things you do to stay grounded and chill?
I have a dog who has needs and grounds me. Also, meditating is part of my every day morning ritual. It keeps me centered, helps me not take things personally, make better decisions and being present. Even after this interview i’ll be breathing and getting back to a meditative state. I do that a lot.
You can catch Vanessa Pilon hosting a new TV series “Switch tes Fripes” which is about developing a style and image that’s 100% authentic to you. It airs in September. This Fall she will also be on the popular web show Vlog looking after the artist interviews. Last but not least a new fashion show for TVA in September to be announced next week!