Ryerson Fashion Week

Ryerson Fashion Week 2008

From April 6th to April 10th, Ryerson opened its doors to the fashion community by hosting Ryerson Fashion Week, a five-day event featuring Canada's most style-conscious young designers and communication students.

Surprisingly, this exhibition was Ryerson's first full-fledged fashion week featuring three spectacular shows: Original Sin, Ignite and Paramensia. This year emphasized the importance of environmentally conscious clothing.

Although there were three events that ran over the course of the week, there was no competition amongst the productions as each brought something unique to the experience.

"I don't think you can compare the three fashion shows because they're all really different," said Caroline Swystun, a third-year fashion communication student.

If word-of-mouth was any indication of how superb the show would be, then this year's show had gotten people talking. Last year's show was an amazing array of talented designers and this year's show was sure to please.

I made my way to Ryerson to see what the commotion was all about.

At first, I was off to see Original Sin, featuring the bold and creative designs of the second and third year student fashion students, which helped to kick-start the week.

Here are just some of the lovely designs that came down the runway. I was very impressed by the bold designs; each piece was meticulously crafted and sprinkled with personal flare. I cannot wait until these students are featured at Mass Exodus, in the following years. They did a stupendous job and everyone involved should receive a well deserved pat-on-the-back.

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Photos for Original Sin by Eugen S.

Next, I went to Ryerson's Engineering Building to visit Ignite, an annual showcase created by graduating Fashion Communication students.

"Ignite stands out from the other two shows because the production is not a fashion show," said producer, Christine Wilkinson.

Upon entering, I was a tad disappointed by lackluster display. In previous years, the set-up was more elaborate and there were plenty of students, on hand, to answer questions. Walking between the cold displays lined up row by row in the stark white room, I couldn't escape the feeling that some them were hastily thrown together.

"While some of our students will be displaying garments they've designed, the majority will be displaying graphic design, web design, magazines, videos and other presentations related to fashion communication," she said.

On the other hand, some of the display boards were magnificent and showcased the real creative prowess and endeavors of some of the students. Notable mentions go to Stephanie Craig, Ricky Kruger, Kimberley Chung, Lewis Robinovitch and Anna Robertson, whose magical work stood out from the rest.

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I simply loved the raw and gritty aspects of design that left me mesmerized.

To end off the week, I attended Paramensia, which left me hanging onto the edge of my seat. Paramensia based on the distortion between fact and fantasy showcased the collections of fourth-year graduating students and was produced by the third year fashion communication students.

According to Laura Shaddick, a third-year fashion communication student, who runs the casting, hair and makeup for Mass Exodus, "the theme is quite creepy and more unique and kind of outrageous compared to previous years."

Obscure, thrilling and jaw-dropping seem to be the words that come to my mind when describing this year's show. Below are just some of the many pieces featured at this year's Mass Exodus:

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Mass Exodus has earned a solid reputation and draws crowds of over 5000 people from high school students to entertainment and fashion insiders.

Some of Ryerson's many successful Fashion alumni were in attendance. The designers include: David Dixon, Joeffer Coac, Arthur Mendonca, Anne Hung, and Tanya Watt, Art Director of Flare Magazine.

Here is a glimpse of the finale, if you were not able to see the show:

For photos of the 79 collections featured in this year's show, take a look at the amazing photography by Peter Balinski at Canada Digital.

Overall, Ryerson Fashion Week was a great success and the culmination of an amazing array of talent and the creativity from the next generation of Canadian fashion designers.

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