The City: Arts and Culture
Ryerson University is located in the heart of Toronto, and subsequently provides limitless exposure to innovative artistic and cultural events that complement your educational experiences, including the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Toronto Fashion Week, Art Toronto, Nuit Blanche, Fashion Art Toronto and Luminato. Surrounding the campus are numerous artistic institutions, including The Bata Shoe Museum, Design Exchange, Textile Museum of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), many of which regularly feature fashion-related exhibitions and programming.
Interdisciplinary Nature of the Program
Fashion Studies allows students from diverse undergraduate backgrounds, who share a common interest in fashion, to discuss and debate the fashion system from various perspectives and disciplines. Engaging with students with backgrounds as varied as psychology, philosophy, gender studies, history, art, design, art history and business (among others), allows students to gain a well-rounded view of fashion.
Faculty research in the School of Fashion is interdisciplinary, with a focus on humanities, social science and creative approaches. Faculty members regularly present their current research at international conferences, publish and produce creative work and are strengthening the discipline of Fashion Studies by continually contributing groundbreaking research to the field. Faculty research interests include: The History, Theory and Material Culture of Dress, Issues in Ethics and Sustainable Fashion, Fashion and Feminism, Fashion and Art, LGBTQ Identity, Representation and the Body, Gender, Identity and Consumption Practices, Human-centred Design and Wearable Technology.
The Ryerson Community
Ryerson is a distinctly urban university with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and research. It is the most applied-to university in Ontario relative to available spaces and has approximately 2300 masters and PhD students (more info). The School of Fashion is part of the Faculty of Communication & Design, which offers seven graduate programs and one PhD program where creative and scholarly disciplines intersect. It is also home to both the Fashion Research Collection (FRC) and the Fashion Zone. The FRC includes over 3000 garments, accessories and ephemera dating back to 1820 that are available to support on-site object-based research. The Fashion Zone is Canada’s incubator and accelerator for fashion-inspired businesses. In May 2013, the School of Fashion began a program to help fashion students and alumni to get their products to market. By applying fashion concepts and skills to different industries, The Fashion Zone helps to launch fashion start-ups and redefine the constraints of Canadian fashion.
Student Initiatives: Organizing Exhibitions, Symposiums, Lectures…
Many of our students have taken the opportunity to organize or participate in exhibitions, symposiums, conferences and lectures during their time at Ryerson. Funding is available to those students wishing to pursue additional opportunities relating to their areas of research. In the past, students have attended conferences in Hawaii, New York, Chicago, London, Australia, and Paris and have participated in or curated exhibitions at the Textile Museum of Canada, The Bata Shoe Museum, and the Design Exchange. Additionally, the MA Fashion program is linked with the Communication & Culture program. Together, Ryerson and York University offer a joint graduate program in Communication & Culture, which hosts an annual symposium that MA Fashion students are encouraged to apply to.
Seminar and Studio Environment
Small class sizes nurture and encourage lively discussion and debate, while providing direct access to instructors for critical feedback. As well, students gain experience lecturing in front of an audience by presenting articles and/or creative projects that relate to their research areas and interests.
We strive to pair students with faculty members who share common research interests. If necessary, we will look outside the School of Fashion department to other Ryerson faculty, depending on the student’s intended project. In the past, students have had supervisors and second readers from psychology, philosophy, English, sociology, and business.