Ryerson's Mass Exodus ushers in next wave of Canadian design stars

Arthur Mola

What do Jeremy Laing, Lida Biday, Todd Lynn, Joeffer Caoc, Erdem Moralioglu, David Dixon and Brian Bailey have in common?  They are all alumni of Ryerson University’s esteemed fashion program.  While these boldface names preside over signature brands (with Lynn, Laing and Moralioglu wisely showing their collections in New York and London), there is nary a design atelier in Canada that does not employ the talent of a Ryerson graduate.  With that in mind, the Flare team took in Mass Exodus, the annual showing of the top collections from the graduating class.  While there was plenty of spectacle–think Fritz Helder (a graduate of Ryerson’s theatre school) serenading in-house Lagerfeld Ladies–we kept our eyes on the creative catwalk offering.  With many outré ideas on display, what we found most compelling were the designers who married precise vision with flawless execution–a perfect fit doesn’t hurt either.  So who caught our eye?  Cristina Sabaiduc’s Romandin collection stood out. We learned from Laing prior to the show that she has been his longtime intern.  You could see his influence in her ability to meld modern architectural lines with unique handcrafted fabrics.  Other notable debuts included Cara Cheung’s embellished Balmain-esque peices, Jen Ottenhof and Genevieve Pearson’s smart outerwear and Kim Barr’s eco-bridal collection for Lilly Nichols.  The show ended with Emily Baker and Andrea Spano’s ornate formalwear in a beautiful natural palette. And with that, class was dismissed.