Let­ter from the edi­tor

THREE JEW­ELLERY DE­SIGN­ERS COM­PET­ING IN THE BIRKS X ET CANADA JEW­ELLERY DE­SIGN CHALLENGE WERE GIVEN THE SUR­PRISE TASK OF STYLING THREE MU­SI­CIANS WITH PIECES FROM BIRKS. IT WAS THEIR SEC­OND CHALLENGE IN THE COM­PE­TI­TION. JASALYN THORNE WON THIS ONE AND THE O

Fashion (Canada) - - CONTENTS - NOREEN FLANA­GAN, EDI­TOR-IN-CHIEF FOL­LOW ME ON TWIT­TER AND IN­STA­GRAM @NOREEN_FLANAGAN

For this month, I thought I would peel back the ve­neer a wee bit to give you some BTS in­tel on how this is­sue came to­gether. Let’s start with the cover. It’s the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble for a photo shoot to be an un­com­pli­cated af­fair, but the odds are in line with one find­ing a Birkin bag at Win­ners. Most of the time, there are lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges, sched­ul­ing con­flicts and cre­ative dif­fer­ences that need to be del­i­cately bro­kered. And then there are some cover shoots that are sim­ply cursed. That was the case this month.

The orig­i­nal plan was to have Dua Lipa on the cover of our mu­sic- and love-themed is­sue, but three hours into what had al­ready been an epi­cally com­pli­cated shoot, she had to leave our set be­cause she felt un­well due to a bout of strep throat. Ear­lier that day, she’d had to can­cel her Mon­treal con­cert—so let’s just say the mood on set was a lit­tle raw. “When I ar­rive at the stu­dio in the af­ter­noon, it feels like I’m walk­ing into a fu­neral,” writes fea­tures edi­tor Greg Hud­son in “Dua Lipa Doesn’t Have a Cold, Ex­actly” (page 53). “The air is charged with the si­lence that erupts af­ter some­one un­in­ten­tion­ally says some­thing too real. Lipa is lean­ing against a ran­dom au­to­mo­bile. The pose could al­most be mis­taken for sul­try, but when you look closer, you re­al­ize she’s lean­ing against the car for sup­port.”

In this line of work—as in life—it’s ad­vis­able to have a Plan B. We didn’t have a cov­er­wor­thy shot that would have made any­one happy—most of all Lipa!—but luck­ily we still had to shoot our fashion ed­i­to­rial “The Friend Zone” (page 79) with Cana­dian mod­els Meghan Col­li­son and Jan­ice Al­ida. The im­age by pho­tog­ra­pher Max Aba­dian is stylishly rock ’n’ roll with a cap­ti­vat­ing ’90s vibe thanks to styling by our fashion edi­tor-at-large, Zeina Es­mail. #Phew.

Be­sides glitches—which are of­ten un­avoid­able—there are al­ways mo­ments of pure joy when we put this mag­a­zine to­gether each month. Spend­ing a day on set with the women to my left was one of those mo­ments. We were shoot­ing three Cana­dian mu­si­cians for “The (Em)Power(Ment) of Love” (page 58) by Jess Hud­dle­ston. Their un­cen­sored pas­sion for their mu­sic and their un­en­cum­bered free­dom to ex­press them­selves were in­spir­ing. They were also cre­atively open to be­ing styled by three de­sign­ers com­pet­ing in the Birks x ET Canada Jew­ellery De­sign Challenge. Spend­ing a day with women who are do­ing what they love— while em­brac­ing all the in­evitable set­backs—is pow­er­fully mo­ti­vat­ing.

Another high­light this month was read­ing the mood es­say “Dusk in Fe­bru­ary” (page 72) by Cana­dian nov­el­ist Anne Michaels. In her piece—which has noth­ing to do with mu­sic—Michaels elo­quently and sub­tly cap­tures the pro­found bond be­tween two peo­ple who are en­gaged in what she aptly de­scribes as the most dan­ger­ous kind of love. It’s not what you think—in fact, it’s the kind of love that is of­ten dis­missed as un­com­pli­cated yet in­volves sur­ren­der­ing “to the deep, loyal grief of lov­ing some­one more than one­self.” In other words, it’s a ro­mance that could in­spire a haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful and iconic love song.

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