How Jeanne Beker Found Herself in Fashion: The Book and the Exhibit

June 01, 2011 2:04 PM

As the host of Fashion Television for 26 years and counting, Jeanne Beker‘s taken us onto the world’s greatest runways and into the most exclusive ateliers. Her smart, down-to-earth, almost Girl Friday approach to fashion journalism – as a host, writer and editor – has made her the fashion BFF of fans in over 130 countries.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being in her shoes, a good start  – and an excellent  lesson in dressing for success – would be to check them out in the Bata Shoe Museum Snapshot Exhibition Jeanne Beker: Finding Myself in Fashion, which runs from June 2nd to the 19th in Toronto.

The exhibit was timed to coincide with the promotion of her new book, Finding Myself in Fashion, about the ups and downs of her amazing professional and personal life, and her lifelong commitment to doing things in an extraordinary fashion.  Of the launch party at the museum, Jeanne tweeted:

WHAT an amazing time at my launch party! I am SO blessed…Nothing beats the career/family/friends combo. Work and FIGHT to have it all!!

The museum provided us with these sneak peek photos of some of the fabulous footwear that makes up the exhibit, with the back stories from Jeanne herself below.:


Jeanne Beker Bata museum shoes

1. I was determined to wear British labels for my coverage of the Royal Wedding in April, and found these divine stiletto pumps at The Room at The Bay.  The shots of colour in them perfectly matched my floral Erdem dress and Vivien Sheriff fascinator.  I stood on a rooftop overlooking Westminster Abbey on the big day. And even though I was on my feet for most of the 10 hours that I did my live reporting, mostly being shot from the waist up, I was adamant about keeping these shoes on.  Call me crazy, (I know my producers did!) but I felt these hot shoes “elevated” me to the appropriately stylish wedding-worthy heights. RUPERT SANDERSON c. 2011

2. I fell in love with these white vinyl Bata boots on a publicity photo shoot that I did for the 20th anniversary of Fashion Television.  My stylist, Alisa Krost, paired them with a black and white vintage Halston dress.  Though they were inexpensive, these boots made a great statement, and I fell in love with them, so I bought them right from the shoot.  They reminded me of the great white go-go boots I wore in the ‘60s.  BATA c. 2005

3. I got these shoes at the fabulous, now-defunct, Yorkville shoe boutique Zola in Toronto, to wear to the Toronto International Film Festival.  I attended the CityTV “schmooze” party in them, and had them on while strutting the red carpet. I loved the fact that they were designed by Patrick Cox, who was a Toronto “shop boy” who used to help dress me for The New Music back in the early ‘80s.  These gorgeous, delicate shoes definitely got the nod from the fashion crowd, but resulted in a big “ouch” in my own foot department.  I don’t think I ever wore them again.  PATRICK COX c 2005.

4. I bought these at Toronto’s “Running Room” on Yonge St., especially for my Vancouver Olympics Torch Run.  I undoubtedly took some of the proudest steps of my life in these trainers, when I did my run with the Olympic torch in Ladner, BC on February 9th, 2010.  ASICS c. 2010

5. I was inspired to buy these shoes to match a butterscotch coloured silk Lida Baday dress which I wore for the American launch of Fashion Television on VH1.  The party was held at Studio 54 in New York. I loved the fact that these outrageous shoes were designed by a Canadian, since I always felt it was my mission to promote Canadian designers.  I had a fantastic time dancing the night away at the big, splashy party.  JOHN FLUEVOG c. 1987    * The Bata Shoe Museum is delighted that Jeanne is donating these shoes to our permanent collection!

6. I first saw these fabulous red booties at the McQueen store in New York, and finally broke down and bought them as a gift to myself for Christmas, 2009.  Ironically and co-incidentally (or not!) I was wearing them in Vancouver (while there covering the Olympics) on the sad day that we learned Alexander McQueen had taken his own life, and I wore them as I did my reporting on the tragic news.  I adored Lee McQueen. He was one of the greatest design geniuses of our generation, and I was fortunate to have had a personal bond with him since I first started interviewing him early on in his career.  ALEXANDER McQUEEN c. 2009


51 Responses to How Jeanne Beker Found Herself in Fashion: The Book and the Exhibit

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