Once again, Toronto Film School took centre stage at Fashion on Yonge, an annual event that celebrates Fashion in the Yonge Dundas business area held on Sept. 20 at College Park. In addition to showcasing the hottest looks for Fall 2018, Fashion on Yonge featured the work of three talented Toronto Film School Fashion Design graduates, Michael Estes, Sandra Büeler and Fernan Lianne Wulff.
Michael Estes’s design epiphany came in 2015 when he constructed an Optimus Prime costume out of CBA foam for Halloween.
“As a kid, I was always creating different things from everyday items that I found around the house—cardboard, paper, and other recycled products—to make toys for my brother and myself,” he says. “But when I completed my costume, I was proud of myself for constructing something out of an idea and transforming it into a physical object. That’s when I knew costume design was what I wanted to do.”
Michael enrolled in the Fashion Design Diploma where he excelled. He was part of the team who won the Creativ Festival, a Toronto-wide design school competition. As early as the second term, he began an internship with Canadian fashion designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine. He had also volunteered his time as lead costume designer for several student music videos and films. “It was getting a bit hectic with all the work I was doing, but it was all worth it in the end.”
Michael graduated in May 2018 and was the valedictorian of his program.
You can follow Michael on Instagram @mestes84
SANDRA ANGELA BUELER
Sandra Büeler was born and raised in Switzerland, where she spent a lot of time with her younger brother, role-playing the characters they made up in their minds. By the age of 10, she started drawing those characters and the clothes she wanted them to wear.
She quickly realized she wanted to create fashion, but the fact that she would have to learn how to sew discouraged her. Instead, she attended the Schule für Gestaltung Art School. After graduating at the age of 16, she continued her education with an A-level qualification in the designer specialist class. During that time she won her first competition for street paintings, an image showcasing the critical use of technology and pollution – an inspiration that still accompanies her today in many of her designs.
After graduating in 2010, Sandra worked for Nord-Süd Verlag as a children’s book designer, and Zehnder Druckerei, as a media designer for newspapers and magazines.
In the meantime, Cosplay, a hobby she started in 2008, became a passion and she enjoyed sewing her own costumes. She realized that sewing was not as scary as she thought it would be. However, learning-by-doing was not enough for her anymore. While still working as a media designer, she also took a course to learn the basics of sewing and pattern drafting. With that deep passion for books, movies, stories and the joy of bringing characters to life, she finally knew what she really wanted to do in her future.
In 2016 she left the comfort of home, family and friends behind, and moved to Toronto, Canada, to study Fashion Design at the Toronto Film School. During her time at Toronto Film School, she interned with Canadian design label Greta Constantine and, collaborated on several short films with the school’s Film Production students. She was also hand-picked to be part of the school’s three-person team for the Creativ Festival, a fashion runway competition. They won first place for their themed outfits celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary.
You can follow Sandra on Instagram @sandra.a.b
FERNAN LIANNE WULFF
For Fernan, Lady Wulff fashion is her way of expressing herself and the place she finds confidence.
When Fernan was five years old, she used to play with her mother’s sewing machine, making little clothes and handkerchiefs for her Barbies.
“I fell in love with making clothes. One day I sewed through my finger, but even that didn’t stop me. I went back to sewing once my finger healed,” she said.
Fernan received a mini toy sewing machine as a birthday gift and was so pleased with it that she spent most of her days and nights in a corner of her room she called her studio. She created many mini doll dresses, bags, and accessories and showed them to everyone who came to visit.
“It gave me such fulfillment. That’s when I realized I had a great passion for fashion designing and that it’s what I want to pursue as a long-term career,” Fernan said.
Fernan moved from Accra, Ghana to Toronto, Canada in 2016 to study Fashion Design at Toronto Film School, where she gained professional experience.
“Growing up, I used to be so shy, I could barely look anyone in the eye, not even my parents,” she said. “But when I sew, I can be myself. I forget the space I am in and feel I am in my zone, where I can freely express myself, and come out of my shell. Designing and sewing bring me peace.”
With Lady Wulff, Fernan hopes to unleash her shyness through her designs, to create and make clothing that lets all women feel effortlessly beautiful, sophisticated and confident from within.
You can follow Fernan on Instagram: @lady_wulff