By Steven Noble
“A tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.”
It was a quote from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi that inspired the concept behindtheknow dresscode fashion show presented by three Ryerson student designers last Thursday. Fashion students Irene Stickney, Niamh McManus, and Cat Essiambre gave up sleep for three days to get everything right for their first show.
Overcoming a DJ calling in sick, paranoia of random blackouts and designers no-showing, know dresscode, which featured 10 designers and 15 artists, transcended mere vision to become a reality.
Stickney, a first-year student, said that the driving force behind it all was pure will.”Our manifesto was we’ll do it because we can.The only thing stopping us is ourselves,”she said. Despite financial shortages, the organizers managed to put the show together the way they envisionned.
“The crazy thing is that we were able to do all this with next to no budget whatsoever,” McManus, a second-year student, said. “Everything was put together with volunteers, it’s just amazing.”
The three students have been designing their own clothes for years (Stickney has even sold a piece to Avril Lavigne), but know dresscode was their first time organizing a show. Still, as they gave their models and their outfits final preps before the show, no one would have guessed that the coordinators were in fact rookies.
The air at Xpace gallery in Kensington Market was thick with jazzy house music and burning incense; affordable drinks stimulated the ambience as the buzzing crowd traded hugs and laughs. As go time approached, the audience gathered at the runway like a swarm of bees to the hive. Cat calls and glowing faces gave proof that they were all there for the same reasons: good people and great outfits.
The hip, trendy crowd gave the know dresscodeinaugural fashion show a flare that was an important factor in the show’s success.An hour after doors opened, Stickney gushed to a friend, “everyone looks so hot!”
Fifteen artists contributed to the venue’s minimalist feel by adorning the warehouse’s high, white walls with their paintings and photographs. As the Sutherland models took to the stage it became apparent that sex appeal and female empowerment were themes inherent in the designs.
Copious amounts of shake-that-ass show-em-what-you-got attitude were incorporated into the designs with a touch of retro and a dash of tomorrow defining what’s hot for today. The show’s mascots were pug dogs who were a little hesitant around the crowded runway. But the models adapted quickly, picking up the teddy bear-like pups and carrying them like accessories.
Bottom line: pink is still in, but black is necessary to give it an edge.”We didn’t want our designers to all be doing the same sort of thing-but we wanted it to fit together as a part of the overall theme,” Essiambre, a first-year student in the trio of coordinators.
“Wear whatever you want, as long as it’s you.”