Stanley Carroll to be honoured at Western Canada Fashion Week after 35 years as a designer

An Edmonton designer will be honoured for his Outstanding Industry Contributions as part of Western Canada Fashion Week (WCFW) on Thursday, Sept. 14.

That’s fitting for the Dutch-born Stanley Carroll, who is marking his 35th year designing his eponymous men and womenswear.

“I can only presume it’s as much about me having been around so long as it is about the credibility of my work,” Carroll said modestly.

We’ll politely disagree. After all, Carroll has been showing his work here at home — and abroad in places like Antwerp and Amsterdam — for 3-1/2 decades, maintaining a presence in Edmonton the entire time, even as he skipped back and forth to Europe.

As early as the 1980s, his work began appearing in this newspaper and in Canada’s fashion magazine of record, Flare. You can see some of those pieces in the multimedia retrospective that will show on Thursday at the ATB Financial Arts Barns (tickets for Thursday evening are $25 and the show starts at 8 p.m.).

Carroll’s new collection will also show at the Arts Barns as part of WCFW, on Thursday, Sept. 21 (8 p.m., $25). And this one, he said, is a departure from anything he’s done in his career to date.

The new line, “Superstars,” he said, is a reaction to the “ever-changing world around us,” including — but not limited to — the current political landscape.

“There is a sentiment worldwide where you see a strong sense of ultra-nationalism — it’s not uniquely a U.S. thing. It’s reflected everywhere. So for people to pretend that everything is fine, or to behave as such … To go around pretending that everything is hunky dory (doesn’t make sense),” said Carroll.

“(I’m trying) to come up with a way to at least get a dialogue going, and say ‘Hey, what can we do to change it?’ Being quiet or not saying anything is just not enough anymore.”

Carroll’s way of saying something is, of course, through his collection.

“My tool — my vehicle — is designing clothing. And it sounds, of course, horribly tacky that by giving someone a different dress to wear I’m trying to change the world. But that’s the only tool that I have at my disposal. As a designer, you become if not a social commentator, then at least a social observer.”

Of course, art is often a response to the changing world, politically and otherwise. Carroll references the direct correlation between Margaret Thatcher, for

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Lifestyle

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