September 1, 2009

John Fluevog, BC finance ministers, budgets, and wearing brand new shoes


It is a rite of Canadian politics. Finance ministers carefully choose their shoes, usually brand new, as a signal of the government making a fresh start.

Recent BC budget speeches and the ministers who must present them have received a lot of shoe attention.

Carole Taylor, as the finance minister for Budget 2007, was lambasted by the NDP's Jenny Kwan for wearing a pair of $600 Guccis. The criticism of Taylor was quite unfair. She's quite the clotheshorse. She was also my former uber-boss as the president of the CBC back in the day.

I loved talking fashion with her in the halls of the CBC (I know, I know, we could have discussed the future of public broadcasting instead) and let me say this: denying Carole Taylor a pair of Gucci's is like denying the Mona Lisa gold-leaf on her picture frame. It's kind of cruel.

Even so, Taylor showed a degree of acumen by wearing resoled red patent Jimmy Choo's in the next budget. How's that for thrifty but stylish?

Unfortunately, I think she picked the wrong pair to refurbish. The patent was far too hard on the cameras. Colour depth is always the way to go with red either with suede or a vegetable dye.

In her last budget, she honed her political/fashion radar perfectly. She wore green Teapot Darjeeling pumps with vamp string lacing by John Fluevog (left, in cherry).

Yes, Taylor snookered her critics. How could anyone complain about a finance minister buying BC - let alone Canadian.

This year, expect current minister Colin Hansen to wear nothing that inspires economic confidence. Instead, he donated 100 children's shoes to the Salvation Army, spending $4000 out of his own pocket.

What are the semiotics of that gesture? Does giving shoes to a charity inspire economic confidence? Today's budget looks like it will be a stinker. Kind of makes you miss the $600 Guccis, doesn't it?

If you want to know what the lovely designer Melissa Cartwright of John Fluevog thinks Colin Hansen should wear, listen to my fall Fluevog shoe preview which aired yesterday on CBC's On The Coast with host Stephen Quinn.

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