John Fluevog at MOV

John Fluevog (left) gives a tour of Fox, Fluevog & Friends at MOV

Inspired by both Ehren’s piece on MOV’s current Fox, Fluevog & Friends exhibit and my own love of Vancouver fashion, I went to last night’s tour of the exhibit given by John Fluevog himself, An Evening with John Fluevog.

The wall of John Fluevog-designed shoes at the Fox, Fluevog & Friends exhibit at MOV

For me, the event wasn’t just about seeing the amazing fashion retrospective of Fox & Fluevog shoes—Vancouver originals since 1968—with the designer himself (and getting to see Fluevog in person); it was as much about hearing John talk about his Vancouver origins, west coast inspiration, and the vibe of 1970’s Gastown (where Fluevog got its start).

Fox & Fluevog clogs, 1972

These clogs (above), from 1972, are as important an artifact of Gastown’s trend-settting past as they are of Fox & Fluevog’s first stirrings of success. In his talk with the tour group, John painted a picture of 70’s Gastown—and his early clientele—that included “urban hippies,” “long-haired people,” and “lots of pimps and high-end hookers [with] rolls of cash in their socks.” (I couldn’t help picturing Huggy Bear as an early Fluevogger.)

Of course, today’s Gastown is just as trend-setting as it was forty years ago; along with Fluevog’s flagship store, the neighbourhood is home to some of the best high-end fashion—including current up-and-coming local designers—in Vancouver.

Inside Gastown's flagship Fluevog store at 65 Water Street

I always love seeing glimpses of Vancouver’s past, especially through our art and artifacts. Whether you love fashion or not, if you love history—or Gastown—you don’t want to miss this exhibit.

Fox, Fluevog & Friends
is at MOV until September 26, 2010.

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