From ball gowns, bodysuits and bustiers, to capes, corsets and kimonos – Toronto Film School’s Fashion Design graduates recently strutted the glamorous results of 18 months worth of “stress, tears and sleepless nights” down the EMERGENCE 2019 runway.
The May 27 fashion show at Artscape Wynchwood Barns – which featured 144 cutting-edge looks created by a talented team of 34 fashion design graduates – saw the fulfillment of what, for many grads like Meloney Walters, was a lifelong dream of seeing their designs brought to life.
As a kid, Walters used to cut up her own clothes to make garments for her dolls – a passionate hobby of hers that drove her grandmother “crazy.”
Fast-forward four decades and a TFS Fashion Design Diploma later, and Walters can now boast having showcased five dresses from her Nine To Nine line during a real, live fashion show – for her, a childhood dream come true.
“Seeing the collection walk down the runway, it means everything,” Walters said of her EMERGENCE 2019 experience. “I’m in my 50s and for a moment I didn’t think that it was going to happen.”
TFS Senior Director of Education Paula Shneer called making that dream come true for Walters and her fellow grads a truly “collaborative effort” – one that involved a multitude of faculty and students from TFS’s many diverse programs, all working together to bring EMERGENCE 2019 to life.
From the Marketing for Fashion and Entertainment students who assisted with the fashion show’s production, front of house and social media, to the Graphic Design students who created the fashion show’s poster, to the EMERGENCE promo video shot and edited by Film Production faculty and students, and last, but certainly not least, the talented team of Fashion Design graduates, led by Keith Richardson, who worked tirelessly to make the show a success.
“I want to congratulate these students for their hard work, commitment, and passion – they really do live in the studio for 18 months, she said, noting that TFS’s Fashion Design Diploma is comprised of technical skills, the business of fashion and, of course, design.
“Most students enter the program without having sewn or created a pattern – well, wait till you see their fantastic accomplishments.”
Working with everything from fur and feathers, to plaid and pleather, the 34 designers who showcased their collections at EMERGENCE 2019 drew nothing but praise and applause from both those who lined the runway and those who tuned in to the fashion show over social media.
Designer Zarin Rashid, who flew in from Bangladesh for the big show, said the 20-hour flight to Toronto was well worth it to be able to see her collection hit the catwalk.
“It was worth it for everything I had put in for this collection and…all the hard work that went behind it,” she said of witnessing her designs – which ranged from a white bustier with flying scarf, to a blush kimono with slip dress – showcased at EMERGENCE 2019.
“I’m very emotional right now – it felt amazing.”
“Being young, on TV you always see these fashion shows and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s so amazing! How do I even get there?’ But now, like, I’m there,” Aziz said seeing four looks from her HAYAL collection hit the EMERGENCE runway.
“All those tears, all that stress, all that work, sleepless nights – they’re all on that runway.”
Added Chiagozie: “I can actually legit say now that I’m a fashion designer, you know?” she said, after showcasing three looks from her Saint Hilary collection at EMERGENCE.
“It’s not just in my head anymore. It’s out there in real life.”