By: Angela Lin (3rd Year Fashion Business Management student)
The movie The Devil Wears Prada does not exaggerate the pace of life in the fashion industry; in reality, it is a highly frenetic place in which everyone is always RUNNING! During the 2022 edition of Toronto Fashion Week, which was organized by Fashion Art Toronto, I was a member of the event support team. I can still vividly recall how pleased I was to be there. It was one of the best decisions I made in the year 2022 to send in that volunteer form, and it was one of the happiest moments of my year when I got the email informing me that I would be a part of the official team during fashion week. Both of these events made me feel like I had done the right thing.
The primary responsibility of the event support staff is to keep the main runway hall clean and in good order at all times. We have to make sure that every guest is seated in the appropriate location. Then, when the show is underway, we have to make certain that no one interrupts it by walking out onto the catwalk. When the performance is over, we have to ask every visitor to leave the room, and we typically have twenty minutes to sweep the floor, rearrange the chairs, and get everything ready for the next performance.
My favourite part is getting to know all of these fascinating, inventive, self-assured, and energetic new individuals; they are stunning, creative, confident, and active. Everyone I’ve met so far has exceeded my expectations. Especially seeing people’s smiles that have been under their masks for three years makes me so grateful for being there. Not only are people obsessed with the latest fashions, but they are also obsessed with finding new ways to express themselves. It is not necessary for people to use words in order for their clothing to effectively convey their feelings, lifestyles, and the experiences they have had in their lives. In addition, I feel that this is the secret and also the magic power of fashion.
In this century, individuals like myself, want to be seen by the world and by the people, but there are moments when we may also wish to hide and be quiet. However, if we stay hidden for an excessive amount of time, our drive for expression will dwindle until we lose the courage to show ourselves. The pandemic drove people apart from one another and from the way of life we were accustomed to leading before. People had no choice but to go into hiding for a period of three long years. But during fashion week, I realized that people are undefeatable, no matter how long we have been in this epidemic, the passion of expressing ourselves, and the courage of connecting ourselves with the world will never disappear. This was one of the most eye-opening things I learned during fashion week: the opposite happens, and individuals get more excited. Clothing is merely one component of fashion; it also encompasses a wider range of topics. I feel that Fashion is a personal thing but can bring humans closer. I am grateful to be there and see beautiful human beings come to the fashion show with positive energy and engage with each other.
This experience made me fall even more deeply in love with fashion; the way that fashion affects human nature is both romantic and strong. I cannot wait to dive into the fashion industry and be inspired. Looking forward to the April 2023 Toronto fashion week and I am already excited for it.
@Angela Lin 2022, with editorial assistance from Dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell