My first activity of The In Their Shoes Project is heading into the home stretch and I have such gratitude to the students who have been so gracious about having me in their class, to the many staff at the university who have talked to me about empathy and to all the staff, family members and friends who have been so supportive and encouraging. The sewing is basically done as all the design students needed to submit all the pieces in their collection this morning before noon.
I stayed up last night – until after midnight (very late for me) to finish two final things – a fix of the neckline in outfit #5 and the hand hemming of the full skirt of outfit #3. This morning I packed up all the outfits in garment bags, labeled them and loaded them into the car. As I took them down to the designated room others were coming from all directions, some carrying hangers, and some pushing rolling racks as two semesters worth of work from 70+ students was accumulated in one room in the lowest floor of Kerr Hall south.
I saw some students in the lab on Friday evening finishing things up after weeks of sleepless nights and long stints in the design lab. I am very happy to share with them the sense of relief and accomplishment that comes with actually finishing the final garments and handing them in. This week each student will make a presentation to industry representatives such as buyers. They will talk about their collections, their inspiration, their target market, the pricing, etc. I will have the opportunity to sit in on a few of these presentations so I can share some more about this in another post.
Besides the presentations the students are also working on finalizing and submitting names of the team who will help them showcase their collections in the runway show on April 1st. Each student can have an assistant and must recruit 5 models and find someone to do hair and make up for their models. Here is a little about the team that will be helping me…these are all people who have agreed to come to the venue at 6 am. on the morning of the show and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
I have recruited an assistant to help me backstage with things like steaming garments, dressing models, etc. The School of Fashion suggested that we use a third year design student…this is such a great idea to give them a taste of what they will be doing next year when it is their turn to create a capstone collection. Shannon Rudy who is a third year design student (and the daughter of my husband’s friend) has agreed to help me. Check out Shannon’s website here.
For hair and make up I have the very talented Mila Cleverley of Haartek Salon located in the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor. So happy that Mila has agreed to do this for me…she is my own hair dresser and an amazing colourist. We have talked and have a plan that includes high pony tails, heavy black eye liner and red, red, red lips. I think she is almost as excited as I am about the show.
The folks who had to agree early on to doing something that they have never done before are the ones I am most indebted to – the individuals who will serve as models and wear the clothes that I made down the runway. They are:
Susan Vercruysse who oversees undergraduate recruitment at Ryerson and whose personal style I have long admired.
Patrick Williams, a fitness specialist working in athletics at Ryerson…I have been working with him for over a year trying to get my own health and wellness in order.
Idil Omar who works in the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson…if you have taken a tour of the DMZ a it was probably with Idil.
Hamza Khan who heads up the Student Affairs creative team at Ryerson and is an expert on social and digital media.
And finally Nella Brodett, a business student and former varsity hockey player.
They have all signed model agreements, photo releases and endured endless discussions with me about shoes.
There are a few more details I need to confirm regarding accessories but we are mostly ready to go for the sold out afternoon show on April 1st.
I am beyond excited to see the creative decisions that my fellow students have made and will make with respect to models, hair, makeup and accessories as they attempt to bring their creative visions to life. It is really quite amazing to me that we are finally at this place. I have only great respect for the amazing talent, commitment and perseverance of our students and tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to have had this experience with them.