Style and sustainability joined forces Saturday night, Nov. 17, at Ryerson University’s second largest student-run fashion show: Urban Revolution.
The encompassing mission of the show was to collaborate the creativity of fashion and the entrepreneurial side of the business, both while promoting a greener future for the Canadian fashion industry. Students participating encouraged designers to further develop their location on the fashion map while creating eco-friendly fashions.
Eco-aware designers, 16 of them in varying years of study at Ryerson, created pieces that would reduce their carbon footprint by being both conscious of material waste and creating durable pieces that can be worn repeatedly.
The runway was held in a room in the George Vari Center for Computing and Engineering, where 23 models walked. Ambient lighting and appliqué leaves decorated the walls, while white gift bags were left on each attendee’s seat. Most prominent was the centerpiece at the top of the runway, which consisted of stacked, junkyard tires wrapped in aluminum foil; an abstract representation of our metropolitan city. Electronic remixes, with the occasional spur of Bob Marley and Aerosmith, served as the backdrop of the event.
Student designers showcased as few as one look, while others showed multiple. All outfits, however, were notable for their use of innovative materials. Pieces were made from old sailboat sails, rope, fair trade tencel, organic cotton, natural dyes and recycled fabrics. Most articles were also biodegradable. Sharlene Robertson, second year fashion design student, said that “there were challenges, I can tell you that!,” especially when it came to finding appropriate fabrics. She eventually chose tencel, muslin and pieces of an old sundress to create her look.
Second year fashion design student Alexis Venerus chose to repurpose fabrics. This caused her some grief, as she realized that the coat she was repurposing did not have enough material to fulfill her original designs. “I’m definitely going to think about waste and consider fabric usage a lot more,” she said, though. Venerus worked on her six pieces for about two months, crediting Red Bull for her ability to make it through this busy time of year while preparing for the show. Even so, “It was definitely worth it,” she said.
The fashion show lasted just over an hour, including an intermission. Following this was an hour-long networking event for student designers to make contacts with those in attendance. Urban Revolution was put on courtesy of SIFE Ryerson, which had partnered with the School of Fashion during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The show had 15 sponsors and donors, including Start Me Up Ryerson and American Apparel.