We enjoyed a full house on Sunday, October 15th at the Royal Ontario Museum as we launched the new book BEHIND THE SEAMS, 40 years of adventures in fashion, music, and art from the swinging ’60s onwards. Written by fashion designer Marilyn Brooks with Peter Jennings, the book was well received and sales were brisk. We enjoyed the company of many friends from years gone by. Customers, fashion designers, models, hairstylists, writers, photographers, former employees, and friends are but some of those who joined us. It was a gathering of many old, friendly faces.
As she walked to the podium after being introduced by the ROM’s Senior Curator of Fashion Costume, Dr Alexandra Palmer, Brooks received a well-deserved standing ovation. Over 40 years as a pioneer in the Canadian fashion industry, a long-time champion and mentor of young talent, an active fundraiser for numerous causes, and now the release of her memoirs telling her story, this was Brooks’ moment. The warm wishes and recognition by those who had gathered to share this special moment were felt by us all.
Brooks then took us on a trip down memory lane. Her delightful presentation highlighted some of her fashions throughout the decades, from the 1960s to the 2000s when she retired. Fashions and photography, the likes of which are not seen today. Trend-setting, over-the-top, fun, sexy and comfortable. We watched as the styles changed from decade to decade, and how Brooks continued to make her personal mark on each.
After the presentation, Marilyn was joined by Canadian television personality, fashion editor, author and newspaper columnist with the Globe and Mail, Jeanne Beker; former editor-in-chief of FASHION and former Toronto Star fashion editor, Bernadette Morra; and executive director of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, Susan Langdon. Moderated by Dr Alexandra Palmer, the panel went on to entertain the audience with candid and amusing stories about Marilyn Brooks, the Unicorn, and fashion.
Brooks signed books at a reception in the Rotunda following the panel discussion. The lineups were long, the faces were happy and the mood was buoyant as guests shared their own stories and adventures about the Unicorn, Marilyn Brooks and Canadian fashion.
It was a moment in history. An event to remember. And days later many continued to bask in the glow you feel when you’re sharing time with someone as dynamic, creative and engaging as our Miss Brooks.