2012 marks the first time in 4 years that I've attended the Interior Design Show here in Toronto. Pregnancy, Post Pregnancy & Stomach Flu of epic proportions all conspired to keep me away. I was looking forward to attending after a four year absence.
Nothing changed in four years.
Nothing at all.
Okay there were a few exceptions, but on the whole, it was the same ol' same ol'. As per usual, best part was seeing friends/colleagues that I hadn't seen in a bit and meeting new friends and colleagues thanks to so many Social Media connections. Fabulous.
Here are my observations: Booths have become so out of control expensive, small businesses, artisans & tradespeople can not afford to show at IDS. Only big brands and with deep corporate products can afford to be there. This is beyond depressing to designers who want to be challenged, amazed and inspired. The group that runs the show - needs to do better. They need to work harder in my estimation and come up with pricing strategies that encourage new booths at the show.
Point #2: The Interior Design Show is Canada's chance to show to the rest of the world, what makes Canada fabulous in terms of Design. I feel that the guest speaker series never focuses on Canadians always on people from outside of Canada and then that becomes the 'Main Event' so to speak. Canadian Talent is showcased on the weekends when open to the public, but why is not celebrated amongst the designers themselves exactly? Also, showcasing the same Canadian Talent over and over again like a circuit - same faces from the Home Show Circuit too... really? Is that the best we can do year in and year out? It's like one PR firm with the same stable of design types they just mix up the combination. Same viewpoint, over and over again. Also I'm sure all booths were told to use Orange. Umm... it was EVERYWHERE. Talk about beating the masses over the head with the same message. I'm sure the memo read: "Only accessorize with Orange or you can't get in to IDS." I mean it was kinda embarrassing and hardly trend setting. Even brands we've come to expect to WOW us didn't. Underwhelming - thank goodness I didn't have to pay to get in or I'd ask for my money back. I know that people worked hard to make it all happen and that that is no easy feat however, in a recession if you want designers to support you, support the home team. Capiche?
There were however several booths that made me gasp. In a good way. The night of the Gala, I mostly gasped at the horrendous fashion sense that was put on display. I just needed a camera crew & my fabulous friend Daniel B - @RevDaniel on twitter to sit there with me and we could have had our own Fashion Police Meets Intervention Canada. Check my tweets from Thursday night and well... you will see that I observed a new trend in Toronto called Eastern European Mail Order Bride Chic. There was even a Fox (A FULL FOX) worn by some woman. Ummm.... no words.
2013 Interior Design Show... Call me. I promise, Orange will not be a factor even if you call it Tangerine Tango.