By Nicole Schmidt
Ryerson School of Fashion’s event planning class chose to challenge themselves with DISTRICT, their annual fashion show, by selecting Toronto as the theme for their production.
As if trying to embody the essence of a city as diverse as Toronto wasn’t hard enough, students have to tackle the project on their own, according to professor Eugenia Lista, who teaches the course.
“It’s so natural to look at a professor to answer questions, but I’m just there as a guide,” she said. “It’s up to them to look inside themselves and each other to answer their questions.” Shaylyn Oxner, this year’s project lead, says the show is more than just a fashion show.
“[It’s] got theatrical aspects to it and everything ties back to the streets of Toronto,” she said. “It all comes together to put on a really cool experience for the audience.” The show, called DISTRICT, will feature beat boxers, break-dancers, drummers and other Toronto street performers as well as the designs of approximately 40 students. The garments are primarily eveningwear, with the exception of a few readyto wear pieces. But there is a wide variety of gowns – from simple dresses to more elaborate.
“There are some [dresses] that are really theatrical, they go above and beyond just typical eveningwear,” said Oxner.
Kim Leckey, a third-year design student, created a unique, corset and skirt combo for the show.
Many students designed more than one piece. Hamish Thwaites, a second-year fashion design student, created two dresses for the show, spending more than 80 hours making his sketches come to life.
“This dress is the first time I’ve had an idea and didn’t know how to make it,” he said. “There was a lot of trial and error, but eventually I ended up with a final product that looked exactly like what I had imagined.” Thwaites designs are a combination of evening and ready-to-wear styles. One of his dresses is made of a sheer nylon, a fabric expected to be very in for 2013.
DISTRICT debuted Tuesday at the Berkeley Church.
“The show is going to be amazing,” said Oxner. “I don’t know exactly what to expect but I think its going to be better than my expectations.”