Mass Exodus is an annual fashion event developed by students from the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University. This event has been celebrated for over 30 years for its ability to creatively showcase the work of graduating Fashion Communication and Design students to industry professionals and public audiences. Mass Exodus is guided by the School of Fashion’s principles of decolonization, inclusivity and sustainability, further focusing this year on intersectionality, body positivity and digital life.
The format of Mass Exodus 2021 is vastly different from previous years due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Rather than three to four live runway shows with large audiences, this year’s event will be produced, pre-recorded and edited, then premiered live digitally. To supplement this digital event, Mass Exodus 2021 will also produce a documentary series featuring a more intimate look at this year’s student submissions. The documentary-style series is designed to enhance the audience’s experience and understanding of the Mass Exodus 2021: Recalibrated theme, further highlighting the creative process and rationale behind their work. Finally, as there can be no physical exhibition due to the pandemic, a digital exhibition on the Mass Exodus website will accompany both the event and documentary series. Housed in the digital exhibition will be the graduating Fashion Communication and Design Student’s full collections and capstone projects.
Following a year of disruption, we have entered a state of extreme uncertainty and transformation. As a reflection of this new zeitgeist, Mass Exodus: Recalibrated will explore the ambiguous concept of utopia. With an emphasis on intersectionality, body positivity, and digital life, the 2021 Mass Exodus presentation will unfold the various layers of utopia, critically examining preconceived notions of the ideal in the process. For the purposes of this presentation, three layers of utopia will be explored– a natural utopia, a technological utopia, and a hybrid of the two. Although these three layers reflect only but a fraction of that which utopia encompasses, Mass Exodus: Recalibrated will challenge viewers to reconsider their understanding of the metaphysical, of the relationship between potentiality and actuality.
Unlike previous years, Mass Exodus will embrace the indefinite, employ multidisciplinary approaches, and leverage digital technologies to reach wider audiences in 2021. Through this presentation, we will not only recalibrate Mass Exodus, but also recalibrate the future of fashion, society, and the world in which we live.