INTRO to The Celebration of Inclusivity in Fashion

In celebration of inclusivity in the fashion industry, Ryerson’s School of Fashion once again stresses its values and the importance of diversity in size, shape and race on the runway.

On Jan. 20, second-year fashion design and communication students at Ryerson hosted INTRO, a runway show featuring the daywear dresses they have created during the winter 2017 semester in their first year.

The show is unique in that all of the dresses showcased on the runway were either plus size or petite. These markets are usually overlooked, but the purpose of INTRO is to inspire students to continue creating work that is diverse and can reach all kinds of people.

The general requirement of designing for petite and plus sizes was established by the School of Fashion, but themes of each dress differ because they were individually chosen by designers.

“Essentially, the plus-size market is underrepresented in the fashion industry. It is very important that Ryerson stress the issue of diversity, size and race in the fashion program,” says Morgan Barrett, producer of the runway show and a second-year fashion student.

The daywear dress is the first thing that fashion students design, construct, draft and sew at Ryerson’s School of Fashion. “This project is especially important for the communication students because that is the only thing they are going to sew at Ryerson,” explains Barrett.

The event is a platform to de-stress current first-year students, make them feel welcome and help them make friends with students in the upper years if they have any questions or need some advice. “It is a place to show them that the project can be done and … some ideas that other people have done before,” Barrett added.

Photo by Amanda Skrabucha.

Compared to last year, there is a change in terms of improving the diversity issue of Ryerson’s fashion scene. However, the organizers of INTRO wish it was more visible.

“Last year, we had no plus models, not because we excluded anyone, but because no one came forward. We were hoping to have more diverse model casting this year, but it is so hard to get people out there,” Barrett said.

As proof that INTRO celebrates diversity in fashion, all of the students and models who expressed interest in taking part in the event were gladly accepted.

“There is no show at Ryerson that has ever been that inclusive and no one should be afraid to participate,” Barrett said.

All photos by Amanda Skrabucha.

Amanda Danishevsky
Amanda Danishevsky

“Beyoncé’s attitude and opinions of the society and political world, illustrated in her visual albums, inspired me. She speaks of feminism and black power movements, which I tried to personify within my design.”

“Beyoncé’s attitude and opinions of the society and political world, illustrated in her visual albums, inspired me. She speaks of feminism and black power movements, which I tried to personify within my design.”

Brittany Paty
Brittany Paty

“The inspiration for my dress was the concept of the golden age of air travel that is said to have occurred during the 1950s to 1960s. I was fascinated with the idea of an extremely luxurious and decadent travelling experience; one that whisked you away to far-off destinations.”

“The inspiration for my dress was the concept of the golden age of air travel that is said to have occurred during the 1950s to 1960s. I was fascinated with the idea of an extremely luxurious and decadent travelling experience; one that whisked you away to far-off destinations.”

Ekaterina Soboleva
Ekaterina Soboleva

“I wanted to draw people’s attention to the coral bleaching problem, since not everyone, at least with whom I talked regarding it back then, really knew what was it about. My initial inspiration was the Great Barrier Reef area and the extinction of its corals -- their colours, shape, textures.”

“I wanted to draw people’s attention to the coral bleaching problem, since not everyone, at least with whom I talked regarding it back then, really knew what was it about. My initial inspiration was the Great Barrier Reef area and the extinction of its corals -- their colours, shape, textures.”

Julia Tu
Julia Tu

“My theme was the Kamakura period of Japan, and I pulled inspiration from the samurai armour, architecture and ceramics of the period. The design of the dress is very strong and angular and I wanted to balance it out so I decided to add embroidery on the skirt.”

“My theme was the Kamakura period of Japan, and I pulled inspiration from the samurai armour, architecture and ceramics of the period. The design of the dress is very strong and angular and I wanted to balance it out so I decided to add embroidery on the skirt.”

Katrina Henderson
Katrina Henderson

“For this daywear dress, I was inspired by the stars in the galaxy along with the connection to the constellations and zodiac signs because this has always been an interest.”

“For this daywear dress, I was inspired by the stars in the galaxy along with the connection to the constellations and zodiac signs because this has always been an interest.”

Keerthi Devaguptapu
Keerthi Devaguptapu

“My theme is chameleon, and I chose that because I love the colours and the textures of the chameleon and I wanted to make a simple-yet-sophisticated dress for plus-size women. The dress has inverted box pleats on the sleeves and at the back of the dress with a peplum at the waist.”

“My theme is chameleon, and I chose that because I love the colours and the textures of the chameleon and I wanted to make a simple-yet-sophisticated dress for plus-size women. The dress has inverted box pleats on the sleeves and at the back of the dress with a peplum at the waist.”

Kiana Myles
Kiana Myles

“Designing this dress, I drew inspiration from crystalline structures. This theme spoke to me because I find crystals fascinating. Each one is unique, jagged and complex.”

“Designing this dress, I drew inspiration from crystalline structures. This theme spoke to me because I find crystals fascinating. Each one is unique, jagged and complex.”

Mihaela Stoica
Mihaela Stoica

“‘Flight or Fight’ combined my two passions: flying and fashion. The front of the dress represents the fuselage, the tabs that hold the dress together represent the propeller and both elements are intended to represent structure. The back of the dress, consisting of a large box pleat, and the sleeves are intended to represent softness as both shift through movement.”

“‘Flight or Fight’ combined my two passions: flying and fashion. The front of the dress represents the fuselage, the tabs that hold the dress together represent the propeller and both elements are intended to represent structure. The back of the dress, consisting of a large box pleat, and the sleeves are intended to represent softness as both shift through movement.”

Nailah Roheemun
Nailah Roheemun

"My theme for the project was Persia’s golden age. I was deeply inspired by the intricate geometric patterns called arabesques, so I worked with my fabric to establish a strong element of symmetry in my dress."

"My theme for the project was Persia’s golden age. I was deeply inspired by the intricate geometric patterns called arabesques, so I worked with my fabric to establish a strong element of symmetry in my dress."

Noa Lai
Noa Lai

“My inspiration for the dress was neo-futurist architecture - I enjoy working with rounded (and/or) sculptural shapes and a monochromatic palette.”

“My inspiration for the dress was neo-futurist architecture - I enjoy working with rounded (and/or) sculptural shapes and a monochromatic palette.”

Amanda Danishevsky Brittany Paty Ekaterina Soboleva Julia Tu Katrina Henderson Keerthi Devaguptapu Kiana Myles Mihaela Stoica Nailah Roheemun Noa Lai

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