Photo: Jacob Thielen

Rye student showcases Toronto’s fashion scene in capstone project

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By Julia Vit

Fourth-year Ryerson fashion design student Helen Saygan showcased three fashion collections by new Toronto designers in her interactive fashion show FOCAL.

The two-hour event was Saygan’s capstone project and was held in the Alumni Lounge in the Mattamy Athletic Center on April 7.

The works of designers Mona Water, Paul Garcia, Adrian Moyo, Jason Williams and Averjay Gonzales were showcased. Saygan designed the outlay of the fashion show which consisted of three main pedestals in a pathway — where viewers could walk to each station for a closer look.

What made this show different than others was the dominant theme of technology used throughout. Saygan designed a FOCAL app, where information on the originality, design, materials and care were outlined for each outfit. Touch screens stood up in front of the platforms, allowing guests with an interactive walk from and to each platform.

“You see a lot of people at fashion shows missing out on amazing looks when they take time to take good photos. The app allows the audience to better enjoy the event. Since images of the clothing are provided through the app, this cuts down photo-taking time,” said Saygan.

A spotlight was also cast onto the models posing on elevated rectangular platforms. The DJ played a series of urban techno and R&B music, which laid a cool and calm backdrop for each collection.

One of the designers Mona Water showcased her fashion line titled Majestic Wisdom.

“I wanted to recreate an unlikely combination of West African and urban fabrics. Most of my collection is comprised of sea blue tie-dye materials from West Africa, black pleather, black fringe, and gold zipper detailing,” said the 22-year-old designer.

While Waters’ collection was inspired by femininity and African print, designers Williams and Gonzales centred their line Queue around Japanese, utilitarian, and military-inspired style.

“We pull a lot of inspiration from thrifting and take a technical and minimalistic approach to design,” said Gonzales.

Williams said “designers like Matt Hardy heavily drive [them] to create top quality pieces.”

The Queue collection includes a combination of cream-coloured cotton materials, structured and sleek-edges, and lightweight, breathable fabrics.

The final collection in the show was designed by Garcia and Moyo.

“We first started with designing a simple collar. Floral prints, stripes, polka dots made up the collar design. Now we created a men’s and women’s line of basics that are layerable, so that a person can stand out in a neutral way,” said Garcia.

One of their inspirations, according to Moyo are lines like POLO,

The versatility of Moyo and Garcia’s collection was showcased in a series of sweater pullovers, white polo-inspired pants and tennis skirts, paired with simple tees. The mostly-white materials were splashed with pops of neon colours.

“I think that this event proved to myself that fashion is something I belong in. The app, the barcode scanner, the walk, the lighting- it was great to see my ideas come to life,” said Saygan.

She is working towards continuing in the program of fashion design and dreams of becoming a fashion event planner after graduating from Ryerson.

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