Seneca News

Models get help from Professor Zoran Dobric
Models get help from Professor Zoran Dobric and second-year Fashion Arts student Sharic Bui during a fitting session on Sunday, April 22 at Newnham Campus.

April 24, 2018

The runway may be shorter and the setting more intimate, but this year’s Redefining Design is bigger than ever in just about every other way.

“Not only do we have a large group of talented student designers, we have more diversity and more industry people attending. The fact that we are on campus this year also means we are more open to the Seneca community,” said Gitte Hansen, Chair, School of Fashion.

For the first time in more than 10 years, the signature event that showcases the final collections of the graduating Fashion Arts class is taking place at Seneca, with two shows scheduled for Thursday, April 26 in the Great Hall at Newnham Campus.

Since its early days — the show has been running since the 1960s — Redefining Design has evolved to focus more on the individual designers and their visions, including different techniques, textile fabrication and sustainability.

“There’s a lot more freedom for self-expression,” Hansen said.

One collection, for example, explores the geometrical forms that can be created with paper pleats and origami. It’s a technique Nagat Bahumaid, the designer, said she has never used before.

“I wanted to translate what I could do on paper with fabric and create avant-garde fashion that’s creative and wearable,” said Bahumaid, who moved from Ottawa to attend Seneca after completing a bachelor’s degree in human rights and law.

“There have been so many sleepless nights over the last four months because I’m pushing my own boundary with new things to challenge myself. It hasn’t been an easy journey.”

Another collection, by Carla Nina, is inspired by the kimono, the traditional Japanese garment.

Nagat Bahumaid, third-year Fashion Arts student
Nagat Bahumaid, third-year Fashion Arts student, sews an accessory piece for her collection, Mountains and Valleys.

“My idea was to create a fusion of the kimono with modern minimalist fashion styles that focus on the originality and craftsmanship within my own textile printing,” said Nina, an international student from Indonesia.

One of the biggest challenges she faced was designing her own textile printing using a technique involving drawing artwork by hand and manipulating it digitally to fit the fabric width and length.

“My professor taught me the process of creating prints by combining traditional and digital methods and how to choose and adjust colours that work well with different types of fabric,” Nina said. “It was such a valuable learning process.”

Carla Nina, third-year Fashion Arts student
Carla Nina, third-year Fashion Arts student, works on the portfolio of her collection, Curved Lines.

About 185 outfits from 50 students under the tutelage of professors Jennifer Dares and Zoran Dobric are featured in this year’s fashion show. The large-scale production has been months in the making.

Led by Professor Brian Wickens, a team of 14 Event Management — Exhibit Design students planned, organized and designed everything from the runway to seating arrangement and visual projections. A professional staging company designed the set and lighting.

“Imagine a wedding where you have one bride and one dress. This is 50 brides and hundreds of dresses,” Wickens said. “It’s organized chaos.”

To transform the Great Hall into a fashion mecca, classrooms around it have been turned into dressing rooms and a lounge for more than 40 models from local agencies.

The models will be dressed by the student designers with the help of 10 stylists from local hair schools and 16 Cosmetic Techniques and Management students.

Professor Brian Wickens works with students
Professor Brian Wickens works with students Myrline Saint-Fort (left) and Christina Lonth.

“Most of what we do backstage is not seen, and if the event is done well, that’s a good thing,” Wickens said. “We are the behind-the-scenes group of magicians that somehow make the whole event come together.”

Graduating Fashion Arts students
Professor Jennifer Dares looks through a rack of outfits created by this year's graduating Fashion Arts students.