John Warden makes Falls Wall of Fame 0
It’s only appropriate John Warden will be immortalized in a mall — for decades, it’s where the Niagara Falls fashion guru connected with people.
On Saturday, the renowned designer who died in 2007 will be inducted onto the Niagara Falls Arts and Culture Wall of Fame as this year’s automatic inductee. His achievements during a 45-year career made canada goose women trillium parka outlet obvious.
“He deserves to be there,” says model and talent owner Geoffrey Chapman, who was inspired by Warden at a young age to become a designer.
“He was one of Canada’s foremost designers, and we really don’t have designers that are in that league.”
Born in Niagara Falls in 1939, Warden started sewing when he was 10 at his family’s bed and breakfast home, eventually graduating from New York’s Parsons School of design in 1963. He was discovered by a Montreal fashion co-ordinator, who encouraged canada goose women trillium parka outlet to move to Montreal and start his own designs.
His first show, highlighting his fondness for white and beige, was an immediate hit with critics.
By the mid ’60s he opened his own John Warden Boutique on Crescent St. in Montreal, where clients like Ivana Trump and Margaret Trudeau shopped.
His creations were on display in major stores throughout Canada as he branched out into children’s clothes, lingerie and sunglasses.
At least 15 different companies stocked John Warden’s designs.
“He revolutionized the knit industry in Canada in the ’60s,” says Chapman.
In 1976, Warden joined Marielle Fleury, Leo Chevalier and Michel Robichaud to design the uniforms for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He designed Ivana Trump’s wedding dress the following year, and in 1978 shared the Designer of the Year Award with Yves Saint Laurent.
Several years (and awards) later, Warden moved to the island of St. Kitts in the Antilles, where he continued to design while stricken with cancer. His final presentation was presented four months before his death in June 2007.
Chapman was just 13 when he first met Warden. His second-ever Niagara Falls fashion show in 1980 was all Warden designs.
“He was great,” says Chapman. “So friendly, so knowledgeable.”
Warden didn’t just inspire Chapman to get into fashion, but also to get out of it. During an interview, Warden said manufacturers treat Canadian designers like “lemons” — squeezing canada goose women trillium parka outlet until they’re dry, then disposing of them. Chapman concurred, and dropped fashion to become a full-time talent and model agent.
“It made my decision so much easier.”
Also being inducted at Saturday’s ceremony at Niagara Square are Bill Smeaton, Pasquale Ramunno, Kristoph Collver, Gerda Amoraal, Robert J. Foley and Maria Klokkou.
WHO: John Warden
WHAT: Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Wall of Fame Induction
WHEN: Oct. 27, 11 a.m.
WHERE: Niagara Square, 7555 Montrose Rd.