The Bohemian spirit may live in the pages of Flare.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Aitken

Flare honours designers

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By Monique Beech

Getting your spread in Flare brings students one step closer to the real world of the fashion industry.

Rarely do Ryerson fashion communication students get the chance to showcase their work in Flare, one of Canada’s top fashion magazines. The Annual Flare Communications Award gives graduating fashion communications students this chance.

Student art directors organize every part of their entry from the choice of photographer to the model; to the choice of make-up and the clothing. They even foot the bill for their project. Up for grabs on April 4th are a $500 purse and a double-page colour spread, worth $27,000, in flare’s upcoming August edition.

Jonathan Aitken, who teaches the fourth-year communication design course, sifts through the entries and admires his students’ work. Strewn on a drafting table in room W60 in Kerr Hall are the 25 design entries for this year’s award.

“I think the students have done a remarkable job in exceeding the expectations of the project,” says Aitken, surveying the spreads. “They really put a lot into this.”

Aitken sets the parameters for the project but admits that he can’t predict who will win. “I’m not the ultimate judge, someone else is. I only tell them what they might improve from a layout perspective.”

Beatrice Juarez, an associate art director for Flare Magazine and one of the contest’s judges, explains what qualities she’s looking for in a winning spread.

“What we basically look for is innovation and experimentation [in the layout],” said Juarez. “Although students do have to consider the reader profile, the visual and creative possibilities are endless.”

Rebecca Tomlinson, co-organizer and fourth-year fashion communication student, hopes Thursday night will be a winner for her team. “It’s a huge deal because you get a published piece of work for your portfolio,” said Tomlinson.

One of the last year’s winners, Rachelle Dupere, went on to work as an art director for one of the National Post’s magazines.

The experience gained by fashion students through the project is invaluable to their future careers.

Tracy Nixon, a fourth-year communications student and contestant, spend $250 on her spread. “It’s expensive and you’re not even guaranteed to win,” Nixon said.

The contest winner will be announced on Thursday, April 4 at the Bay’s Bay Street Bar and Grill from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and will showcase all the student entries.

“This class is probably more competitive [than previous classes],” said Aitken. “It doesn’t mean they’re not supportive, it just means they haven’t shown each other all their work yet.”

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