The evolution of Mass Exodus

Photo by Katii Capern.

[F]or yet another year, Ryerson’s Fashion Design and Communication program had their annual Mass Exodus fashion show. This movement continues to display its legacy of innovative and creative techniques run by students, for the students—and of course the general public.

Hundreds of people filled the Mattamy Athletic Centre Thursday in support of the largest student-run fashion show in the world. They first saw the final capstone projects of fourth year Fashion Communications students at The Exhibit, where guests learned about the different elements of fashion such as jewelry and beauty products.

And when the clock struck six, the big show began.

Family, friends and supporters were seated and ready to see what this year’s Fashion Design Class of 2014 had to offer. Fashion icon, Jeanne Beker and international fashion model, Stacey McKenzie were seated in the front row with huge smiles that gave away their anticipation to see the student collections.

Canadian fashion icon, Jeanne Beker, at Mass Exodus 2014. Photo by Katii Capern.

Canadian fashion icon, Jeanne Beker, at Mass Exodus 2014. Photo by Katii Capern.

“Be inspired by our diversity,” Dean of Ryerson, Sheldon Levy added to his warm welcome.

And what a great diversity of collections it was. They ranged from plus size, to bathing suits, “warrior” wear, cultural wear, ready-to -wear, avant-garde, and men’s lines.

A total of 18 collections were showcased that night—certainly a huge chop compared to the afternoon show earlier that day, where 60 collections were shown to students from high schools near and far.

During the finale, the crowd stood to their feet in celebration of a great show by the students. The designers lit the entire room as they smiled from ear-to-ear and strut their stuff down the runway with pride alongside their showpieces.

But don’t allow the undeniable success that Mass Exodus 2014 accumulated fool you. Despite the many years of its existence, this year’s show required some serious work, creative minds and dedication on the production side of things for the students to pull it all off.

Mass Exodus 2014 is a year in the making. Both the students from fashion design and communication started their projects in September, finishing two weeks prior to the fashion show. That’s roughly eight months of planning, re-arranging, advertising, designing, scrapping the idea altogether and starting over—and that’s not a stretch.

Breanna Johnston, creator of By Nature, agrees that preparing her collection for the show wasn’t all the perfect fairytale, even with the amazing outcome of her designs.

“You love it at the start and then you get to that point where you hate everything. Then you get to see it on people and you end up feeling amazing!” Johnston said.

This year, the Mass Exodus team took a step forward by introducing their very first app. It is the first of its kind, and proved to increase awareness of the annual event. This year’s turnout testified to the app’s significance.

With the coming of this new app came long nights of planning to create recognizable design layouts to make the app easy to maneuver.

At Mass Exodus 2014, each series of designer collections was introduced with peculiar graphical videos created by students of the Radio and Television program at Ryerson. The detail of the videos offered an up close and personal look at the innovative concept of the show, as brilliant visual techniques flashed on the screens. The videos upheld the overall theme of the show, pulling everything together.

The overall achievement of Mass Exodus would not have been possible if every individuals didn’t do their part. Creative Director Ruben Cisnero Dominiguez knows a lot about working as one team to make the dream work.

“While working with our team, you have to be creative, you always have to be on time, you have to expect the unexpected, basically! It takes a lot of blood sweat and tears to have a project that is a hundred and twelve per cent.”

A collaboration of Fashion, Theatre, Retail Management, and Radio and Television Arts –that’s a lot of students—worked together to reach that over-achieving percentage goal.

This year’s Mass Exodus 2014 was an outstanding production, and the stakes are at an extreme high for next year.

Here are some highlights of the night:

Noor by Kamra Khalid

“It was four years in the making and the last whole year has been such a journey just watching it all unfold is so amazing!”

The Noor collection was inspired by the 17th century mobile era (Indian, DE raja, emperors and the empresses from the 27th century) with a touch of modern aesthetic.

LAGOM by Jessica “Min” Park

“The theme of my collection comes from Swedish origin, not too much not too little—just right.”

Park fell in love with men’s fashion after being introduced to it in third year. She balances the use of traditional fabric and box plaids with bright colours to spice up the looks of her garments.

By Nature by Breanna Johnston

“I love the randomness of nature. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

All of Johnston’s designs are all hand dyed to create organic abstract prints. Icebergs and glaciers influence her designs.

Kelly Fitzpatrick by Kelly Fitzpatrick

“My collection adds a lot of edge to an otherwise very wearable collection—Everything fits in your wardrobe and then there’s that one thing that sets it apart when you look up close.”

Fitzpatrick’s collection was inspired by Bioluminescence—organisms that generate their own light and create really bright colours.

ALANNAH LINDBERG by Alannah Lindberg

“It definitely took a lot of all-nighters to complete this collection, but it was all worth it in the end.”

Lindberg’s collection was inspired by famous paintings of Shakespearean scenes.