Mass Exodus 2019: Emily Paulic designs dance wear inspired by The Secret Garden

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By Tyler Griffin

Graduating fashion students are busy preparing their capstone collections for the 31st annual Mass Exodus showcase on April 6 at Daniels Spectrum. Considered the largest student-run fashion show in the world, the event offers fourth-year-fashion design students the chance to show off their skills to potential employers and industry professionalsThe Eye caught up with a handful of designers before the big day to hear about their lines.

When Emily Paulic moved on from practicing dance, something she’d done her entire life, she naturally began making costume designs for her friends. Now in her fourth year of fashion design, Paulic has created a dancewear collection for teenage dancers. Her line incorporates painting and embroidery to give her designs more of a personal touch.

She also took inspiration from The Secret Garden, a novel she read when she was younger and revisited this summer. Paulic was drawn to the story’s themes of youth and innocence, but also the mystery of the garden that “creates an alternate world where she can be herself. “I like that idea for dancewear because that’s how I felt in the studio. It was my own secret dance studio.”

Paulic said the process took a lot of sketching, taking photos for inspiration and working directly with dancers so they would feel comfortable in the costumes. “I like to create as a dancer but for other dancers.” Paulic knew about Mass Exodus before she applied to Ryerson and went to it before she graduated high school. Now, she’s celebrating her own four years at Ryerson and how far she’s come with her graduating class.

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