Zainab Zaman, Life Reporter
Cherith Burke was visibly nervous — but excited — as she waited for her fashion collection to walk down the Humber College runway on Tuesday.
This is her first show, her designs inspired by the Trinidadian bridal gowns designed by her aunt and her grandmother. Her road to the present, however, was a long one.
“After defeating cancer my passion for fashion started,” said Burke, a young Toronto-based fashion designer of Cherith B Designs, who survived Hodgkins Lymphoma.
As the spotlight hit the runway the music began, the crowd was transported to Toronto Fashion Week as the models flaunted in their gowns. G Building at Lakeshore campus was transformed into a room full of creativity, diversity and talent.
The annual fashion show, with this year’s theme called the Elements of Humber, was organized by fourth-semester Fashion Arts students at Humber College.
“I investigated the event and I was very interested to join, my looks will show the beauty of a women and her femininity,” Burke said.
Jennifer Dawson, program coordinator of Humber’s Fashion Arts program, said designers collaborated with students planning and hosting the show.
Designers included Shelli Oh, Kyle Gervacy, Brosche Bridal and JM trends.
“I hope that the students learn everything that goes into a world class fashion show, including budgeting and the collaboration of cosmetics, spa music and media students,” Dawson said.
Matthew Nyman, the founder and creator of Matty’s Fab Avenue, said the Walk It Out is very professional and creative.
“The fashion show is a perfect example of a hands-on learning experience, it’s all about the students tonight,” Nyman said.
The first half of the show started with the theme of air, the looks included white gowns and flowy dresses. The second half of the show was called fire and earth, the looks were bolder, more edgy and unique.
Rachel Levlant, a student dealing with model relations for the show, said everyone should support local designers and students.
“All of our funds are going to Youth Without Shelter, which is our program’s main priority and it means a lot to us,” Levlant said. “Everyone has worked so hard, I am so proud of our team from model relations, cosmetics, hair and media.”
Alumni, students and professional models walked down the runway at Lakeshore Campus on April 9.
“We wanted to make our show as welcoming and diverse as we could possibly make it, whether it’s cultural, ethnicity and size,” Levlant said. “Our goal for future fashion shows is to promote body positivity and diversity through plus size models.”
The fashion show helped students understand the time management required and the pressures of a staging a professional fashion show.
“Time management is very important and interacting with the models, media and management team is what helps put on a perfect show,” Dawson said.
Roger Gigerich, the Regional Director of Fashion Group International, said the fashion game will always keep evolving.
“What I love about these shows is that students prepare for their future, you never know whose showing up and what responses they may get,” Gigerich said.
“At the end of the day, we are in the entertainment world, guests want to be enjoyed and want to see something new,” he said. “The beauty of fashion is that everybody is dressed up and excited, I hope students get that takeaway of seeing the industry coming together.”
The fashion industry is a collaborative effort involving students from media, cosmetics and spa participated at the event.
“It’s not just hair, not just designers or PR, it’s the full gathering that excites the room,” Gigerich said.
Burke said the fashion industry is constantly evolving and revolving at the same time, “a lot of outfits that are trending are mostly from the past.
“With the use of social media, it’s easier to spread our looks around the world, you can become a small designer or a huge designer and have the ability to make a big impact,” she said.
The capstone event was supported by the media school, professional photographers and event managements students.
Alvina Cassiani, the dean of the Business school at Humber, said students will gain a first-hand learning experience.
“It’s a learning process and we have to partner with industry, and we seek to help local designers showcase their spring wear,” Cassiani said.
“It’s all about teamwork and understanding where their careers will take them, the fashion show is the beginning of the end for the students,” she said.
The fashion show was an opportunity for students to create a portfolio of their work and show potential job.
Isabel Burnett, a final year Cosmetology student at Humber, said knowing she put in her best work “is really rewarding.
“I can take photos of my makeup on models and hopefully look to get a job,” she said.
Jimilia Isidore, a Fashion Arts and Business student, said she is more interested in the business aspect of fashion.
“I already know how to cut and sew, I would love to learn more about marketing and advertising fashion,” Isidore said.