Aliza Rizvi at work on her design. PHOTO: LINDSAY BOECKL

Mass Exodus

In Arts & Culture1 Comment

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Work on Ryerson’s annual fashion show is well underway. In the next installment of our behind the scenes series, Tara Deschamps takes us on a tour of the show’s production

Long after classes have ended and the sun has gone down, fourthyear fashion design student Aliza Rizvi fi nds herself hunched over a sewing machine in her studio.

Rizvi has been working since September on her menswear collection set to debut in April at Ryerson’s annual Mass Exodus fashion show.

She says late nights are normal for the 59 designers whose work will be shown.

“Most of us are here at every possible spare minute, sewing 24/7,” she said. “Some of us live here, although we technically aren’t allowed to sleep here.”

Fashion student Devlyn van Loon says so much time goes into the show because designers have only a few months to develop a concept for their collection.

In September, designers begin to sketch the fi ve outfi ts they will each show. They also make mock-ups of the garments in cheap materials. Around December, the sewing begins.

Creating a collection is not only time-consuming but also costly.

The silks and chiff on material that fashion student Andra Bogdan uses to create feminine dresses for her Yggdrasil line come with a hefty price tag. By the end of the year, she estimates she will have spent $10,000 on materials and tuition for her program.

With three outfi ts, some adorned with crystals, still to be made, Bogdan’s costs will increase.

“The jewels are really expensive so I can’t aff ord to make mistakes,” she said.

Designers aren’t the only ones hard at work on the show. Fashion communications students like show producer Daniel Drak are preparing everything from the models to ticket sales. Their main priority is integrating this year’s Lucid theme into every element of the show.

“Over the course of the year we work on building the theme into a brand which means developing the logo and the style guide and marketing Mass Exodus to the public,” Drak said.

In the coming weeks, Drak’s team will be coordinating the show’s lighting and sound with theatre production students.

Following an open casting call, models will be selected and makeup trials and fi tt ings will begin.

“Our wardrobe committ ee will go through all the designers, get familiarized with all of the collections and analyze the garments to make sure they fi t with the set,” said assistant producer Marsha Robb.

“We have an extravagant set this year and we need to make sure that the garments can actually walk through.” It is only when the models walk the runway that Rizvi and the other designers will fi nally be able to get some rest.

But as Rizvi said, “we lose sleep over it but it’s worth it.”


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