For Mass Exodus, the world's largest student-run fashion event,The Eyeopener has done profiles for a handful of fourth-year fashion design and fashion communication students participating in the show. Design students, who've been developing their collections since September, will be presenting their five "looks" on Mass Exodus' runway while fashion communication students will have their pieces featured in the exhibition. To participate in the runway show, students must be standards of quality and modesty determined by a group of three to five professors. The students' collections must also follow the fashion school's main principles of "innovation, heritage and diversity." Besides these rules, however, students are given creative freedom to create their own unique, individual collections.
Abegail Usman is participating in Mass Exodus by promoting her clothing brand BNDTT. Inspired by the topics of controversy and rebellion within social activism, Abegail's brand's purpose is to create an alternate communication channel through clothing, in order to disseminate current and pressing social issues. Always motivated to stand up for what she believes in, Abegail was inspired to create a movement and align this goal with fashion to create a strong, long-lasting impact on others. Consisting of high quality garments with bold texts and graphics to emphasize controversial topics, BNDTT is simultaneously blurring the lines between art and activism. In previous years Abegail's worked on the Mass Exodus production team as a member of the sponsorship and hospitality committee, yet states both Jeanne Beker's involvement and the personal promotion of her brand add to the excitement of this year's show. By: Hayley Adam
Ally Graden will be participating in Mass Exodus by displaying her final capstone study Cased: The Other Body. Through an exploration of applied social psychology and abnormal psychology, Ally's capstone explores the relationships between the impact of the fashion industry and the often disregarded discussion regarding fashion media exposure and its impact on mental wellbeing, particularly people with depression and anxiety. Through the exhibition of Ally's capstone, her goal for Cased: The other body is to communicate to broadened fashion audiences in hopes to advance an understanding in the implications of their work in the industry. The exhibit will investigate the question: "What effect does mainstream fashion representation have on the psychological wellbeing of individuals who self-identify as suffering from clinical depression and/or anxiety disorders?" By: Hayley Adam
Aleni Rayanne will be making her Mass Exodus Debut by displaying her clothing brand SPECTRUM. Targeted towards trans identified individuals, SPECTRUM provides clothing that challenges traditional retail approaches by offering professional and formal wear to this underrepresented and often excluded market. Beginning after witnessing her trans-identified friend struggle to find suitable clothing, Aleni was inspired to create SPECTRUM with the hope of promoting a brand that values strength, pride, diversity and inclusion in an accepting and supportive environment. Aleni said she hopes her brand shows people the importance of inclusion and diversity within fashion, opposes heteronormativity and opens both retailers and consumers up to opposing typical retail traditions. As an LGBTQ activist, Aleni additionally hopes to be able to speak up for the trans community while simultaneously making SPECTRUM a reality. By: Hayley Adam
Sam Heichert and Samantha Tablada, better known as "The Sams" are two best friends with a shared talent and style for creative expression. For their exhibit, Sam and Sam will be showcasing an alternative publication called alt Magazin, a website with a post-internet aesthetic. Heicher and Tablada have combined their mutual love for design, fashion, and technology, and through these pillars, conceptualized new ideas made possible by the web. For example, a rejuvenation of current fashion media can be produced through popular web media such as the .GIF media file. By engaging users in their publication through interactive media such as animation, user discussion boards, and live feeds, Heichert and Tablada aim to find readers interested in exploring possibilities of existing technologies. By: Anika Syeda
Jacqueline Charrier's Art Deco architecture-inspired jewellery line, Vestige, sheds light on an uncharted region of fashion: a combination of upcycling and durability. Jewelry fashion begs the question: "Can fashion be durable yet entirely sustainable?" Exploring quality versus environmental impact, Vestige jewellery is completely sustainable. All of the pieces are made from up-cycled copper from pipes, wires, etc. and stone from up-cycled tiles. Charrier's final product aims to be both fashionable and sustainable. "Vestige," the word meaning a trace of something that is ceasing to exist, pays tribute to the idea of a relic or heirloom that will live on through generations. Charrier also decides what she would advertise about the brand based on consumer feedback. The entire collection of twenty four pieces will be displayed for sale at the show in The Showroom. By: Anika Syeda
Drawing from her own interest in fashion and feminism, Jeanine Brito knew how beneficial it would be to read a magazine featuring a far more diverse selection of beauty. Brito is exhibiting her art direction concept for Sophomore, a magazine she is producing with Ryerson Fashion alumni Kiersten Hay and Stephanie Rotz. In an unapologetically feminist attitude, Brito's work seeks to inspire fashion in readers without inhibiting them to limitation inherent in what Brito calls a "patriarchal concept of gender." Disillusioned by the glamour of the fashion industry, she became uncomfortable with the idea of conforming to an idealized image of beauty. This narrow ideal that marginalizes trans women, women of colour, queer women, disabled women, plus-size women, and many more is challenged by Sophomore's diverse creative expression. "I could not devote my career to an industry that is based on telling people that they are not good enough," she said. By: Anika Syeda
Heavily influenced by Scandinavian and Japanese art, Jenny Carriere's fourth year capstone, Epicene, explores the fusion of minimalist art and androgyny. A coffee table book consisting of fashion editorials, her work looks to showcase the nuances of minimalism and gender perception. Epicene looks at how the worlds of minimalism and androgyny — art and fashion — coexist and adopt each others' principles. Through photography, Carriere highlights characteristics of minimalist art and application of such to the social perceptions of gender. Carriere's project discusses the androgynous aesthetics' level of dependency on minimalism. "I don't think one has to have the other to exist," Carriere said. "Androgyny, to me though, is elevated through the introduction of minimalist principles." She will be showcasing her work at the exhibit. By: Anika Syeda
Andrea Tait will be showcasing her capstone research project at the Mass Exodus exhibit. Her film, Foreground, is a short documentary about the millennial generation and the workplace inside creative industries. Investigating the expectations that millennials have regarding the workplace whilst uncovering the values of their generation, it consists of a series of interviews with nine individuals pursuing creative careers varying from architecture to singer/songwriting. Picking the topic for its uniqueness and relevance, she was inspired by today's youth that are unafraid to find uncommon jobs, freelance and start their own businesses. Tait has recently been involved in Mass Exodus last year, having been the liaison between the production team and fourth year students and been part of the collections and coordination team. "I try to dip my toes in all the faucets of the industry to really get a sense of what my strengths and weaknesses are." By: Sarah-Jayne Canlas
Casandra Debartolo is showcasing her final capstone, entitled g r e y, for her Mass Exodus capstone project. g r e y, is a brand that focuses on exploring the activities that drive masculinity and femininity. Creating a design and marketing a retail location that is free of gender barriers, g r e y focuses on the basics and foundation of clothing, which allows customers to express themselves through styling, fit and colour. She said the g r e y effect occurs when an idea that seems to be something so simple, so black and white, but becomes complex once you immerse yourself into it. Debartolo was inspired from her own personal aspirations to work on the promotional and communications side of the fashion industry. She said, "I think when we shop, we do not often shop for something that looks masculine or feminine, but we look for attributes in our clothing based on our needs or activities we participate in." Debartolo is currently a Senior Brand Ambassador for Michael Kors. She has also been a Beauty and Style Intern for Faze, a Toronto-based magazine. By: Sarah-Jayne Canlas
Originally from South East Asia, Hannah Clarke's capstone project called Fabric & Social Identity focuses on whether or not textiles can represent social identity at a given time period. Bringing current textiles to consumers and having a do-it-yourself element in the mix, the chosen textiles decided after research portray fashion trends from 2010 to 2020. She believes events like wars, space travel, women's rights movements, "fit culture," and technological development can affect what fabrics are used in fashion. "In plain words, it's Ikea Fashion. You essentially build your clothes." Clarke interned for Dear Frankie, a loungewear/lingerie Toronto-based company where she rebranded the company and made their current logo. Additionally, she interned overseas with Hinge Publications Incorporated in Manila, Philippines and Blue Glue Bikinis in Bali, Indonesia. By: Sarah-Jayne Canlas
Hayley Chato will be going "back to basics" with her project CANDINAVIA at the Mass Exodus exhibit. CANDINAVIA is a coffee table book which is specifically a unique guidebook on Scandinavian minimalism and lifestyle, and how to apply their way of life to the North American way of life. Chato said, "A lot of it has to do with my interest in reducing rampant consumerism and living a more back-to-basics, conscious life," looking to dissolve the more-is-more mentality in America. Chato said she's chosen to write a book because of her love for typography and digital illustration. She has interned at a fashion magazine and has done live illustration at Holt Renfrew. Chato also does digital illustration and graphic design freelance on the side. "We're pulling out all the fashion guns before our last hurrah," she stated. By: Sarah-Jayne Canlas
Claudia Song is capping off her four years at Ryerson with a project called Wear Confidence. She says believing in your outfit and yourself is the key to enhancing your look. Her approach is unique because she emphasizes using what's inside to enhance oneself rather than promoting something external. Claudia's campaign is composed of posters that are shot with non-professional models; their faces and bodies are not re-touched. Typography posters with core values to build a healthy self esteem will circulate through social media and posted around campus. Claudia currently works for Holt Renfrew as a national merchandising intern. By: Emma Cosgrove
An expert on Kanye West exists, and her name is April Tran. After months of research she's concluded that the musician's work fits Leo Tolstoy's philosophical vision of "good art." Her capstone Bound analyzes Kanye's discography in the context of Tolstoy's theory, which looks at the transmission of genuine emotion through art. Tran likes to use tangible pieces in her work; one component of her project is a printed lyrical analysis of Kanye's discography on acetate, punched together with a Chicago screw. She has experience in graphic design and art direction, having worked with the Toronto Star, and is currently part of the Holt Renfrew creative team. By: Emma Cosgrove
Though bridal wear is dear to her, Anna Naim thinks the wedding industry is homogenized. She's trying to stir the pot with her capstone project, The Deconstruction of the Wedding Dress. Her emphasis is on redesigning dresses so they are more functional with unique silhouettes that allow for self-expression. One of her many designs has been sewn together and used with avant-garde bridal accessories in a photo shoot for her brand's Lookbook. Anna has worked at bridal shops Rivini and Kleinfeld, as well as at countless bridal shows. She participated in Mass Exodus last year as part of the casting, hair and makeup team.
By: Emma Cosgrove