By Gianluca Inglesi
Arts & Life Editor
This seasons LG Fashion Week featured a smart pairing of two renowned North American labels. Ryerson alumni and established designer Jessica Jensen joined the creative force of New York design star Alexander Berardi to present a collection that featured complete sets from head to hand bag. The limited edition collaboration debuted at New York Fashion Week last month and a selection of it graced Toronto’s own runway Tuesday night.
“When Jess and I met a year ago in New York I saw her bags and knew right away that I wanted them with my clothes,” Berardi said.
And the collaboration did not go unnoticed. The seamless pairing of Berardi and Jensen’s pieces translated to the audience as a unified look that is ready to wear.
“It was such a cohesive collaboration that it spoke to the fact that it’s about more than just another bag or clothes, it’s a whole lifestyle that’s being represented,” Jensen said.
Berardi agreed to Jensen’s request to bring his collection to Toronto this season making his line the first from New York to do so.
“It’s the second biggest fashion week in North America, bigger than LA, bigger than Montreal so I thought why not. And it felt great,” Berardi said.
Jensen has been in the industry for ten years but began her career at Ryerson University in fashion design and will always remember the lessons she learned from notorious fashion professor Alice Chu.
“You learn to pay extreme attention to detail. She is a disciplinary and you don’t realize at the time how important those minor skills are that extend into every minute of your day,” Jensen said.
And Ryerson is still an active part of Jensen’s career. She reaches back by always selecting Ryerson students as interns and employees and was sporting a team of them for the show that night.
“I know that they can do everything I can do and have maybe even learned a few new tricks with changes in technology,” Jensen said.
“They’re a constant inspiration and refresher. It’s a win-win situation because they can learn from me and I always learn from them.”
The two embraced and sighed with relief that the show went off without a hitch, and they both compared the endeavor to a school project with late nights and last minute finishing touches done just before the due date.
“We’ve all been up for two days. We had last minute touch-ups last night and Jess was sewing non-stop.”
Photo by Jordan Campbell