Some of Mass Exodus 2013’s production team. From left to right: Stephanie Rotz, Trista Capitano, Kristina McMullin and Rachel Garbutt. PHOTO: NATALIA BALCERZAK

An exodus from the old Mass Exodus

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By Jackie Hong

It’ll be the biggest moment of their Ryerson careers: the collections they’ve been working on all year will be worn by models walking down a gleaming runway with hundreds of audience members looking on, judging and applauding each design.

Every year, fourth-year fashion design students put their collections on show at Mass Exodus, but a new idea is keeping everyone on edge: they won’t know whose collections will be part of the evening portion of Mass Exodus until the day of.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also frustrating,” said fourth-year fashion design student Evate Gewargis.

That’s not the only thing graduating fashion design students have to deal with. This year, designers have to choose their own models, makeup and hairstyle – a responsibility that used to belong to third-year fashion communication students, and time is running out.

“We have about two or three weeks left, and I still have to do two full outfits,” Gewargis said.

Mass Exodus 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the largest student-run fashion show in North America. This year, the show will be moving from the Ryerson Theatre, its home for the past 20 years, to the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

“It definitely brings our annual show to a much larger production value, and puts Mass Exodus into a bigger spotlight,” producer Kirthiga Rajanayagam said.

This year, unlike previous years, there is no theme. Instead, there’s only a tagline of “The End Is Only The Beginning.” Communications director Rachel Garbutt said the change meant finding other ways to tie the show together.

“This year’s show is inspired by the energy of light through a prism as it refracts and bursts into shards of colour,” Garbutt said.

To unite the collections, designers were given “guiding principles” of heritage, diversity, and innovation. Also new this year are over 300 models that will be walking down the runway. In the past, models would wear two or three different outfits over the course of the show, but not this time.

“You will have never seen the hair, you will have never seen the makeup, you will have have never seen the model,” assistant producer Kristina McMullin said.

The casting team created a “database” of models for the 51 designers taking part in the show to choose from, another first, which addresses complaints from previous years that models didn’t fit their clothes properly.

“A lot of surprises are in store, and many will only be revealed on the day of the show,” Rajanayagam said. The finer details are under wraps, but the audience can expect a “futuristic, post-apocalyptic vibe.”

“This is going to be one hell of a show,” said Rajanayagam.

Tickets for the show, which begins April 11, go on sale this week.

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