By Ashley Cochrane
“Out of all my competitions my biggest achievement was winning Wedding Dress Wars,” says Ryan Joelson, a fourth-year fashion and design student. “I was the underdog running up against very experienced designers.”
Joelson designed a wedding dress in four days, having only ten minutes to measure the bride. The competition was televised on the Slice Network, broadcasting Joelson and his work to their many viewers.
“My work is very labour-intensive. I’m notorious for shoving 50 yards of tulle on a skirt,” says Joelson, which accurately describes his winning dress.
Joelson is a business driven fashion student who is keen to show off his work, believing that being competitive is the only way you’ll make it in the fashion industry.
In Joelson’s second year at Ryerson University his work was already being recognized. Joelson designed a four-piece outfit for the Telio Design Competition that was selected to show in the Montreal Fashion Week.
“I think that competition really fired my passion,” says Joelson. “I am very competitive.”
Not long after winning his first competition he competed in the annual Danier Leather Design Challenge. He designed a beige jacket with petal-decorated shoulders that included removable chain additions. The jacket placed top ten in the competition.
Joelson’s competitive drive to succeed in the industry pushed him to enter his work in more competitions. Fashion Cares displayed Joelson’s designs in 2012, awarding him the Community Achievement award for his work and landing him the title of Canada’s Most Promising Designer.
“A lot of people ask me how I have time for the extra work I do,” says Joelson. “But I just go for it.”
Joelson has recently submitted a proposal to Ryerson’s Communications Business Man Competition with a plan to open a custom design studio specializing in bridal and evening wear, hoping to use the potential winnings to start his own business.