A milestone event for Ryerson University and Toronto; this year marks the 25th year of Mass Exodus, the largest student-run fashion show in the world. Everything from PR to make-up to media relations is all handled and co-ordinated by students of Ryerson to successfully put on the largely anticipated event, showcasing collections by Ryerson’s 4th year graduates of the Fashion Design program. Mass Exodus has a solid history of discovering Toronto talent and kick starting big dreams and this year, was no different.
My first fashion piece ever written was on Mass Exodus. It was 2003 and I was in 10th grade. I remember not blinking the entire show, just completely enamoured and in awe. My fashion teacher suggested I present a piece to the class on the experienced and as soon as my film developed (Pre-Instagram days!), I did. The wide-eyes of my peers, the probing questions and round of applause planted the seed of aspiration which led me down the path to where I am today; watching the 25th annual Mass Exodus alongside Stacey McKenzie in VIP, counting designers as friends and reporting for the best team in the world.
Similarly, Stacey McKenzie, Model and Guest Curator of the show, got her start in the modelling industry as a young teen walking for Mass Exodus in the early 90’s, her very first gig! “The experience of walking down that runway, solidified that this is where I was meant to be… of all my accomplishments, being asked by Mass Exodus to be the curator, is really and truly the best, as you guys (Mass Exodus) supported me from day one.”
That is exactly the kind of full circle experience this year’s graduating class hope to achieve as they have their collections work the runway. Breaking away from 25 years of tradition, this year they opted not to have a theme but instead be guided by The School of Fashion’s leading principles: heritage, diversity and innovation. In total, 46 promising designers showcased their work including our favourites: Mani Jassal by Mani Jassal, NEVERLAND by Yu Sun Kang, Fay by Ryan Joelson and A-POC-A-LYP-TIC by Brie Reid.
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman