Mass Exodus – meet the young women behind Ryerson's BIG fashion show: Lauren Schwenker

4th year fashion design student.

Most valuable thing you’ve learned at Ryerson?
I’ve really learned how to work in a team. Often it can be very difficult for a number of creative people to collaborate together, at Ryerson you have many of your assignments in teams. It’s easy to want to do your own thing to exactly what you had in mind but in reality there are always going to be other people to work with and compromise with. I think this is a good thing to learn and get used to before going out into the work force.

Best spot in Toronto to shop?
As a student I can most often be found at Value Village or Zara which tend to be within my budget. Other shopping that I love but frequent much less would be places such as Jacflash, Teatro Verde and TNT.

Favourite hangout spot on campus and why?
On campus i can always be found in the sewing labs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy hanging out other places but just that the work we do as fashion students requires us to be in the lab all the time. For a small break any location that sells coffee will do.

Leading up to this show must be pretty stressful. What was the most grueling aspect of it?
Prior to the show you worry about how other people are going to present your garments. As a design student we have no control over the planning of the show or the presentation itself, this can influence the perception of a garment greatly so almost everyone worries about this. This year the theme is In Bloom, since my collection’s theme is also flowers I feel as though it will be a pretty good representation of my ideas.

How do you de-stress in Mass Ex Madness?
Hanging out with friends is always great, friends that can make you laugh are the perfect de-stressers

What’s the first thing you plan on doing once all of this is over?
Sleep. As well as hang out with friends, especially the ones that plan on moving away. It’s always a little sad when something ends, many people that I have grown close to over the years are now moving away to pursue their dreams. They will be missed.

Do your parents like your designs?
My parents are incredibly supportive. I could not have even done this collection without them. I would say that not only do they like it but they could probably take a little credit for it due to how helpful they have been, even if it was just being my sounding board during a ‘fashion crisis’.

If you could design an outfit for a dead celebrity who would it be?
Easy, Audrey Hepburn. She is the epitome of grace, elegance, femininity and being memorable, all of these are things that I try and emulate with my collection.

What would you dress him/her in? Do you think it would be an improvement?
I don’t think I could improve Ms. Hepburn, if anything I believe she would improve my garments. With her long legs and tiny waist she would perfectly suit a long gown nipped in at the waist or the dress with the shear organza skirt that is in my Mass Exodus collection.

Who is your number one style inspiration
For this particular collection my style inspiration was actually a statue of a mythical person. Victoire de Samothrace is a statue of the Nike goddess of victory located in Paris. I was inspired by her femininity and beauty but how at the same time she was so bold and strong. I related to this statue because I felt the completion of this last year of Ryerson was my own victory.

How would you describe your own personal style?
Tailored femininity. I can always be found wearing pinks, or bows or flowers, much like my collection. While I love these elements it can be easy to overdo them. I always wear them in small quantities so I don’t look like I’ve stolen Barbie’s wardrobe.

What is your fashion dream job?
I would have to say a designer at Marchesa. Marchesa is my favourite line, it is feminine, elegant, and one of my biggest inspirations. Designing beautiful gowns everyday would be the most perfect job.

Is your future in Toronto?
I love Toronto and plan on staying here. I am not sure where my future is but I owe so much to this city. It inspires me everyday, has given me so many opportunities and friends. I am very flexible but at this moment in time I can’t picture living anywhere else.

1 Comment

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