Ryerson University’s 57th annual Mass Exodus student fashion show went on stage at the Ryerson Theatre last Thursday, April 12 and wowed the industry and press audience with a new, shorter show format spotlighting 21 of the school’s best graduating designers. More on Ryerson’s method of making that cut below.
The set took on the look of a glamourous, turn-of-the-twentieth-century train station shed with arched entranceways, a glowing clock and stage side steam jets that caused the audience to jump out their seats every time they shot up hissing blasts of smoke. Kids from the university’s Theatre Production program are responsible for the production of the show and this year’s class deserves an A+ for their flawless and dramatic efforts.
Designer ones to watch out of the edited down roster include Joanna Fung whose Fable collection included shabby chic elements like a cozy, cropped, white, cable knit vest. Killer high waisted, pleated pants right on trend with fall’s voluminous slacks showed up in Susan Boyd’s French-inspired line and Fanny Goldsmith worked muted fabrics into sweet, A-line tunics. Vanja Vasic, the brain behind Toronto Alternative Fashion Week (the next edition is in the works for next March by the way) and partner Kevin Joubert showed off men’s and women’s looks encased in tightly packed layers of jewel toned ruffles.
A lot was made this year of that shorter show format with Linda Lewis, the Chair of Ryerson’s Fashion School (and many others) putting the blame on the fickle media crowd in her pre-show speech. Anyone working in the fashion biz (spoiled media brats included) has a short attention span so this year’s abbreviated presentation was a welcome change.
What didn’t seem right was the way the collections were edited down. Seven lingerie collections were shown, two lines were definitely geared towards the theatrical market and two kids lines had the audience in “awwws” as junior models skipped to the end of the runway. As well-designed as these collections were, they weren’t geared towards the part of the industry that most media in attendance cover.
Ryerson should divide up its industry shows, bringing in the La Senza crowd to watch the lingerie looks, the costume design community for the costumey collections and the rest of us for ready-to-wear. And if it’s good, don’t edit it out for the sake of time. Spoiled media brat attention spans can become surprisingly endless when we’re faced with inspired design.
P.S. Check out Toronto Street Fashion's blog for pics of some of this year's top Ryerson collections under the Mass Exodus Sneak Preview headings.