At 7:00pm, on Tuesday, November 19th, the doors of Toronto’s iconic Buddies in Bad Times Theatre opened to guests attending student fashion production Floraison. While the runway show would not set stage until much later in the evening, the event was reaching capacity just past the first half hour of doors open–everyone wanted a piece of the experience. The theme of ‘blooming’ carried guests throughout the decorated space, and introduced them to the event’s focus on developing healthy dialogue surrounding safe & consensual sex.
Kareen and Jeremy, the show’s project coordinators, opened the evening with a land acknowledgement;
“Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is located on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe and the Wendat, and is the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. We acknowledge them and any other Nations who care for the land (acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded) as the past, present and future caretakers of this land, traditional territory named Tkaronto; “Where The Trees Meet The Water”; “The Gathering Place”. We do not support colonial forces that undermine, distort or erase the vital role of Indigenous people around the world.”
Following as a guest speaker, Canadian Designer Hilary MacMillan delivered an introduction to her Canadian contemporary cruelty free womenswear line, Hilary MacMillan. The brand contributed to the raffle prize that evening, a jacket from MacMillan’s Feminist Capsule– a line of outerwear featuring phrases inspired such as “grl pwr”, “don’t tell me to smile” and “equal pay”. The line is partnered with Up With Women, a Canadian based charity aiming to permanently prevent at risk women from homelessness and poverty.
As the show was partnered with Ryerson’s Consent Comes First, Kelly, a representative, closed the opening with a short praise for the students of FSN 706- Fashion Event Planning, and their professor, Daniel Drak, on the execution of the event.
While the partnership with Consent Comes First is not new to the annual execution of the event, the same holds true for the venue. These elements of consistency reveal the ways in which students take ownership of the process–never failing to highlight the originality and innovation that are integral characteristics of the students of Ryerson’s School of Fashion. When speaking with contributors of the event, both the night of and along the way, it’s clearly understood how highly invested each student was in the execution of an industry level production.
Of course, what would a fashion show review be if it didn’t mention the runway? Styled entirely from Topshop, the looks were refreshing and stayed on brand. Textures and florals were interplayed to build an editorial appeal that had both sleek and sass. To close the runway you ask? Drag Performer, Miss Steak [Mats Vanderlinden] of the Towers Family and winner of Crews and Tangos Drag Race 2019, performed to a set of 3 songs that held the audience captive and reinforced an empowering sentiment.
A final thank you was delivered to the sponsors of the event, and guests departed carrying Topshop totes filled with goodies, notably from Topshop, Consent Comes First, David’s Tea and Freshii. Needless to say, Floraison has initiated a dialogue, and there’s no stopping the conversation.