Mass Exodus at Ryerson School of Fashion

by Elli Stuhler
It’s rare that a fashion show has everything; but Mass Exodus, the Ryerson School of Fashion grad show did. Literally, everything. From 80’s Miami party boy to animal skulls to ski suits to Little Red Riding Hood. It was weird. It was awesome. 

Not to mention the set, a giant sinewy white tree with glowing lights hanging from its branches to illustrate the theme “In Bloom.” It was enough to make Jeanne Beker tweet, “it’s a shame we didn’t see more of this level of theatrical fare at LG Fashion Week. These kids are HOT!” 

Well tweeted Jeanne, couldn’t agree more. This year, the show presented several firsts. The runway, which boldly stretched over the middle seats in the front section of the Ryerson Theatre, was the longest in the 60 years in show of the Ryerson School of Fashion. It was also curated by an industry professional, Sarah Casselman, fashion market editor of Fashion Magazine. She had the arduous task of selecting 25 of the 54 grads to show their collections off for an audience of the fashion mafia, Ryerson Faculty and, of course, everyone’s parents. The end result was a diverse pinch of variety, which after all, is the spice of life. Here are some of the high lights:  

Desire Bara-Assi Inside Wants Out
Fashion is all about worlds colliding (i.e. leather and lace, east meets west, classic meets the future). Bara-Assi is exception to this convention, but stretches it a little with its sheer weirdness: Bo-Beep meets dominatrix. It sounds inappropriate and maybe that’s why it stood out. Flowing white skirts, recalling pastoral frolicking, were juxtaposed with black straps harnessing the bodice of each piece.  

Jennifer Woodall Folklore
Little Red Riding Hood is probably one of the creepiest fairytales, chock full of sexual and menstrual symbolism. While Woodall’s collection didn’t really play on said symbolism (in an overt manner, anyways) it incorporates the embedded eeriness through a presumably fake wolf skull as a mask and gapping jaws of the canine killer. It also portrays the lavishly dressed hunter and conceptualizes the forest in a magnificent tutu, embellished with a necklace made of twigs. 

Emily Baker & Andrea Spano Fiore
Fashion grads have the option of doing a solo collection of five looks or a duo collection of seven. Baker and Spano’s collection of eveningwear was saved until the very end ending the show with a bang. Each piece was a masterpiece –if I do say so myself- screaming couture in its golden-hued pallet. While utter glamour was the first thing that came to mind, the second were the all nighters and caffeine jitters that were required to pull of such an elaborate collection. For these two ladies, as well for all the other designers graduating this year, the past seven months were well worth the impressive results. 

Congrats to the class of ’10. Now, off to the real world!  

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