When I envisioned the first time I would sit front row at Fashion Week, I expected it to be a pinnacle moment in my career as a fashion journalist… not after entering the wrong show. As myself, Editor in Chief Nabra Badr and Art Director Sarah Man attempted to find our seats at A3-8, there was a sense of calm over the runway. Until a voice came over the PA system asking everyone to move to the front row, for the show was about to start. Front row? The epitome of blogger influence, face engulfing sunglasses and fringe bobs? How did I get here?
We quickly turned to one another, and reached the consensus that we were definitely not where we were supposed to be. As if sitting next to Jeanne Becker wasn’t a dead give away.
The Fesvedy show had been running late, and we had been running early. But where was everyone else? It surely was not due to the talent of the designers, who gave subconscious homage to Alexander McQueen’s SS10 Plato’s Atlantic collection.
As we exited our BOGO experience of a runway show, I questioned the future of the Toronto fashion industry. The cancelation of World MasterCard TFW affected no one more than the student population of the city, instilling the fear that the city which curated their talent was a semi-permanent home. That if one wanted to flourish on the world fashion stage relocation was necessary to one of the four capitals.
I could not shake this question, until people started pouring into the Toronto Star warehouse. As the line to check tickets elongated, with it looping back around the front and out the door, I realized this is Toronto fashion: the next generation.
A show conceptualized around “heritage, diversity and innovation,” everything the Ryerson School of Fashion is, and everything Toronto fashion should be.
I had the opportunity to talk to the Co-Producer and Fashion Editor of RAD Magazine, Nadia Ebrahim about the experience of the production process.
“It all comes down to Ryerson at some point," shared Ebrahim, “that is where all of our talent is, and its young and new designers, and providing the best platform to support them and get their work out there."
She moved on to explain how the presentation was not only a unique opportunity for the designers who created the garments, but also for the students who were given the chance to organize a show at an on-par caliber with industry professionals.
"To see from a production standpoint how they put on shows, and to be able to have the opportunity to work alongside them and really get that in better idea how to work at that kind of level is a great experience,” Ebrahim said.
Now, more than ever, we need to ensure the up and comers have the opportunity to showcase their talent. The Ryerson graduates claimed their right to be apart of the Toronto fashion industry. The collection-including asymmetrical frayed denim ensembles, political and ironic text embellishments, contrasting furs, nudity and gender fluidity-caused a standing ovation upon the sea of designer sneakers and five inch heels.
Written by: Maxine McCarthy
Photography: Che Rosales