Mass Exodus 2010

Its hard to believe that it has been four years since my own turn on the runway at my old fashion school.  Ryerson School of Fashion‘s grad show is called Mass Exodus, and its the best show in Toronto to see really exciting, unusual, and sometimes just plain weird ideas that only a fashion student would have the time and freedom to think up and proceed to spend six entire months executing.

There is usually about 50 grad collections, and these are just a small selection, in no particular order, with my comments.  I think it was one of the strongest groups of designers I’ve ever seen in Mass Exodus (curated by Sarah Casselman), and it was really touching to see them all get to take a curtain call. It really is a grand accomplishment to complete a small collection on your own for the first time, so every graduate deserves admiration and congratulations.

Adelaide Kim‘s collection is striking for its maturity and sincerity.  The items are wearable, want-able, classic and yet still novel – the use of transparent plaid organza for a jacket was a really neat concept, executed very cleanly.  Of all the collections, this was the one I can easily imagine being worn and recommended by fashion editors, who love that type of loose, unfussy, wry sophistication.

Amanda Kew Lee‘s collection was pretty much the ultimate in obsessed fashion student indulgence.  A slew of recent trends – studs, leggings with transparent panels, studs, pagoda shoulders, studs, headbands, studs – amped up to the next level.  Executed with devastating diligence, this collection is like a lovingly made time capsule, making the recent past seem like something worth getting nostalgic about just six months later.

Bianca Liu went the extra mile and designed her own textile patterns – really lovely, delicate, watery, painterly patterns that my poor photos do no justice to.  I only wish some of the tops were a bit longer – something about the proportions – or maybe its how the clothing has been combined – seems awkward around the hips.  But the overall sense of looseness, and the measured choices of colours, really made this one a stand out for me.

A2B by Jade Sullivan-Vallentyne was a playful pass on casual clothes for men.  Great jeans, hot colours, an affectionate evocation of Slater and Zack from Saved By the Bell, a snarky subversion of hipness.  Tacky and terrific.

Genevieve Pearson‘s outerwear was just so slickly executed – and outerwear is challenging to do – it looked so totally pro.  The all-blackness was a bit predictable (would have loved to see these in colours!) but the confidence and quality is just outstanding.

Romandin by Cristina Sabaiduc had the most adventurous fabrications – chicken wire and silicone caulking are what gave these garments their tremendous structure and texture, without giving away their identity as hardware.  Cristina is expanding her collection to show in FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) – I am really intrigued about how she will develop her themes further.

I didn’t manage to get a decent photo of Sofronov by Aneta Sofronova , thankfully the designer let me use these drawings (which are AMAZING) from her website.  Its truly modern menswear that nods to technological habits and interprets traditional tailoring details without being too precious about it. Neat.

The finale collection was all golden hues, and abundant clusters of raw-edged floaty fabrics by Emily Baker and Andrea Spano.

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