Ryerson Folio September 12, 2012
09. Happenings and Listings 12. Portraits at Ryerson 16. Musings Sarah Nicole Prickett on depression and writing; Farmer’s market debate by Maria Siassina. 19. The Other Middle East The art and politics behind contemporary Middle Eastern art. By Tara Aghdashloo 22. Beyond the Playbook Profile: Learning more about Men’s Basketball Coach Roy Rana.
pg. 12 pg #
26. In Praise of the Unplanned Career By Danielle Meder
28. Switching Gears Mixing fashion and lifestyle with bike commuting. 29. Tweet this Maybe Turning off the digital world. By Kasi Bruno 30. Pictures of Home A story about finding true home on exchange. 32. Book Excerpt: Intolerable By Kamal Al-Solaylee
34. Flatter Me Gorgeous fashions from Toronto’s best vintage stores.
38. Accessories for the Working Class Statement pieces for your next interview. 43. Alumni Fashion Inspiration The inspirations behind the work of some of Toronto’s best designers. 44. Julia’s Book Club The books you must read this fall. By Julia Hanigsberg
46. Apocalypse No As December 2012 approaches, why the world isn’t allowed to end.
pg.34 RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Letter from the Editors This year’s Vogue September issue consisted of “916 pages of spectacular fall fashion for all.” For me, it was 916 pages of things I didn’t quite understand. But I purchased it anyway. And I spent an entire Sunday afternoon flipping through every page, stopping to examine the stories and photo spreads that caught my attention. I was intrigued, and then quickly fascinated by such a different world that was being shown. In a sense, culture carries the same annotations. We might not understand something, or even hold the belief that we dislike something, but it’s important to observe and listen carefully anyway, because that’s what culture is. Culture is not about what we like or what we’re familiar with, it’s about what’s out there. This past June I graduated from Ryerson, and as a result, this will be my last issue. The effort to share culture from a unique Ryerson voice will be passed on to some incredibly talented and curious-minded students of Ryerson. I hope to come back some day to contribute like some of the inspiring alumni who wrote in this issue, including Tara Aghdashloo, Kasi Bruno, Sarah Nicole Prickett, and Danielle Meder – individuals who lead inspiring lives and individuals who constantly take in and contribute to the conversation of culture, each in a different way and in a different field. Somewhere I once read that “life is too short to be afraid of fashion.” I understand it now.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
We have all heard the cliché, ‘a picture is worth 1000 words,’ enough times in our lives to know what it means; the captivating qualities of photo can tell a story without a single line of text. Do all photos have this ability, or can only the noteworthy, most beautiful images take us on a visual journey? I have always been drawn to images, more so than words, and whenever possible I will explain myself with a drawing, but is there a time when a photo just doesn’t cut it and further explanation is required? I pore through magazines on a daily basis and I must admit I do not always read every article. Sometimes I feel satisfied with the images I have looked at, and do not feel the need to read on. Am I missing something? It takes a special image for me to stop and then read the story, but not before I have attached my own story to what I have seen. Maybe great images don’t need words to explain them, but they need words to launch them further for the reader who wants to know more? I am afraid that I have posed more questions than answers, but that is how life is in creative fields. It is up to you, the reader, to decide how an image transports you. Delve deep into the pages of whatever you read and analyze how you feel about the written word versus the image. Which one takes hold of you with more strength? Ryerson Folio provides the Ryerson community with the ability to ask questions, learn, and explore the culture that is so unique to both the University and the people within it. It has been a gateway for me to test both the visual and written content that goes into editorial work. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to see where Ryerson Folio goes in the future.
Folio Co-Editor-in-Chief Trung Ho, Business Management ‘12 Jazmin Welch, Fashion Communication ‘14 Associate Editors Megan Jones, Journalism ‘14 Maria Siassina, Journalism ‘14 Fashion and Art Direction Director, Jazmin Welch Associate, Jessica Chan, Fashion Communication ‘13 Associate, Taylor Barnes, Fashion Communication ‘15 Photographers Joseph Hammond, Photography ‘15 Savannah Onofrey, Photography ‘15 Justine Chiu, Business Managment ‘12 Research and Copy Maham Abedi, Journalism ‘14 Marie Alcober, Journalism ‘14 Melanie Jacob, Journalism ‘13
Advertising Sales Cody Brouwers, Business Management ‘14 Michael Labrador, Business Management ‘14 Events Harry Dieu, Interior Design ‘14 Michael Jor, Hospitality and Tourism Management, ‘12 Manoj Oomnen, Business Management ‘13 Staff Advisor Kareem Rahaman, Business Management ‘09 Published by Trung Ho Cover by Jazmin Welch Special Thanks to Amy Casey, Tony Conte, Lesley D’Souza, Sheldon Levy, Mary Ng, and Alan Shepard.
Illustration by Jazmin Welch
Alumni/Faculty Contributors Tara Aghdashloo, Journalism ‘10 Kamal Al-Solaylee, Journalism Director Kasi Bruno, MBA ‘08 Julia Hanigsberg, VP Finance/Admin Danielle Meder, Fashion Design ‘06 Sarah Nicole Prickett, Journalism ‘06-‘08
Contributors Chris Babic, Journalism, ‘14 Avery Hamelin, Fashion Communication ‘14 Elayne Teixeira-Miller, Journalism ‘13 Sinead Mulhern, Journalism ‘14 Sameera Raja, Journalism ‘15 Sabina Sohail, Journalism ‘14 Kelcey Wright, Journalism ‘14 Mary Young, Fashion Communication ‘14
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Photo of Danielle Meder by Matthieu Da Cruz, Photo of Kamal Al-Solayee by Peter Bregg
Non-Student Contributors Sarah Nicole Prickett
Journalism ‘06-‘08 “Sole Cure” pg. 16
Journalism ‘10 “The Other Middle East” pg.20
Journalism Undergrad Program Director “Book Excerpt: Intolerable” pg. 32
Sarah Nicole Prickett is a perpetual writer. She writes regularly for the Globe & Mail, but also contributes to FASHION Magazine, BULLETT, Style.com, The New Inquiry and “whoever else asks.” She is currently working on a lengthy essay for the Walrus and maybe a book or two.
Tara Aghdashloo is finishing her dissertation at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, while also planning a trip to Afghanistan. She is struggling to find a balance between writing poetry and articles and broadcasting. She is also a freelance broadcast reporter for BBC Persian Television.
Kamal Al-Solaylee has a PhD in English. He is currently working as an undergraduate program director at Ryerson’s School of Journalism. Before that, he was a theatre critic for the Globe and Mail. He has written for the Walrus, Toronto Life, the National Post, the Toronto Star, and Elle Canada, among others.
Fashion Design ‘06 “In Praise of the Unplanned Career” pg.26
MBA ‘08 “Tweet this Maybe” pg. 29
Julia Hanigsberg, VP Finance/Admin “Julia’s Book Club” pg. 44
Danielle Meder is a fashion illustrator and self-dubbed “trend theorist” who lives in London, UK. Specializing in designer paper dolls, live runway illustration and technical drawing, she’s worked with many international clients including Bloomingdale’s, The Hudson’s Bay Company, and Dr. Martens.
Kasi Burno is a director of strategy and cultural insight at Young & Rubicam. To keep herself busy, she also spends her time teaching consumer behaviour at Ryerson University. She is an avid collector of wisdom from the elderly, but still loves to stay plugged into youth culture.
Julia Hanigsberg is currently the Vice President of Administration and Finance at Ryerson University. She sits on a number of committees and boards and holds a B.C.L. and LL.B from McGill’s Faculty of Law. She also acted as interim dean for the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education from 2008-2009.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Featured Student Contributors Kelcey Wright
“Dr. Irene Gammel” pg. 14
“Flatter Me” pg. 34
“Globovore Vs. Locovore” pg. 17
Photographer for pg. 34, 3637, 39-41
Who is your favourite fictional character and why? My answer probably changes every other day. Any character that Will Ferrell or Steve Carell has ever played because they are the funniest men alive, and if I said Sailor Moon people would judge me.
Who is your favourite fictional character and why? The hilarious Abed Nadir played by Danny Pudi, of Community. I think I find him most intriguing for his ability to completely negate from societal norms and to live in this fantasy world where he cannot seem to differentiate fiction from reality.
Who is your favourite fictional character and why? Buster Casey from Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. He’s complicated, empathetic, charismatic and in the most perverse way possible. The book is about the life and death of Casey, who simultaneously starts a nationwide epidemic and still remains the guy everybody wishes they were friends with.
Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
What is your favourite work/study space outside of Ryerson? My mom’s kitchen table. It is literally the only place I can actually study. I try to study in the library a lot, but that’s all fake. What do you hope to do after graduating? I want to travel a lot but I don’t have a solid clue what I’d like to get into once I am done school. I am always open to any and all opportunities and I’ve got a few years to decide still, so we’ll see!
What is your favourite work/study space outside of Ryerson? My home in the Annex is my absolute favourite study spot. It is a constant source of inspiration for me as I am surrounded by my nine roommates, most of whom are fine arts students. Plans after graduating? My path is still a mystery to me, and I am still in the process of figuring out what I would like to pursue. The most I can say is that, cliché as it sounds, is that I would like to see the world.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
What is your favourite work/study space outside of Ryerson? Definitely my room at my parent’s house. It’s become kind of a haven where I feel most creative and focused. Plans after graduating? I want to read a million books, write a million books and somewhere in between it would be nice to see the world.
Judge Claude Frollo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Watching him as a child I was both fascinated and terrified of him! Growing up with an interest in theatre, I thought he would be a blast to play on stage. He was deviously wicked and sadly sympathetic which makes for the most interesting characters! What is your favourite work/study space outside of Ryerson? My room and computer lab at home. It’s nice to be able to work until you’re exhausted, your own bed is right there waiting. Plans after graduating? I plan on working on my portfolio so I can qualify when applying to the Film Stills Union in Canada. I want to take photos on movie sets for marketing and publicity.
Image Arts Events by Chris Babic, IMA Gallery Listings provided by Zinnia Naqvi, Illustration by Jazmin Welch
Image Arts Events Ryerson’s new Image Arts building is set to receive a famous facelift to look its best ahead of the Sept. 29 grand opening of the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery with the exhibition “Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection.” RIC Collections Curator, Peter Higdon, revealed hopeful plans to have some of the more famous faces from the Black Star Collection smiling down from the second floor windows as people make their way into the inaugural exhibit, from the Lake Devo facing gallery entrance. The gallery opens with Archival Dialogues as part of the Nuit Blanche festival, and Higdon is inviting the world to engage with eight free exhibits by some of Canada’s leading artists beginning at 7 p.m. through sunrise the next morning. The lineup of exhibitionists reads like the heavyweight card of the Canadian contemporary arts scene; Stephen Andrews, Christina Battle, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Stan Douglas, Vera Frenkel, Vid Ingelevics, David Rokeby and Michael Snow each have large installations on display. Working with the exhibition’s curators, Doina Popescu, and Peggy Gale, each artist was allowed to wade through the nearly 292,000 black and white images of the world renowned Black Star Collection and choose the images with which to work. Over three years in the making, their exhibits have created new narratives, and re-contextualization’s unseen to the original viewers in their day, based upon the artists own perspectives of the iconic photojournalistic prints. Higdon is excited by the possibilities enabled by the merger of this historic col-
lection (which includes late 19th Century early photography done with silver on copper plates) with these artists visions and use of newer technologies like tablets, social media and projections. Every exhibit is worth seeing twice over, but one to look out for in its particular historical infamy, is the way Andrews resurrects John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald through a myriad of stills taken by multiple photographers in the moments leading up to Oswald’s own murder. Those photographs are preserved in the real heart of the RIC: it’s brand new vault, with a constant temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, and 40 degree humidity. To get there, one must pass through an airtight vestibule designed as a buffer between regular HVAC, and the RIC’s own controlled atmosphere environment, where they are working on digitizing the collection. People looking to escape the humidity of the city would do well to drop in on the exhibit as the entire gallery is kept at the same relative environment as the RIC offices. Like a magnet, the vault door immediately draws the eyes away from the computers whirring in the office - an enormous mass of steel that would not seem out of place at a big bank. Beyond that stand row upon row of what are essentially specialty filing cabinets holding precious black boxes. In these boxes rests the over 300,000 images in the RIC collection amassed during the past 43 years, and including the works of Eugene Atget, Brassai, Berenice Abbott, and of course many more world class photographers. Several photos from the Black Star Collection will be taken from that vault and displayed during the exhibition for the die-hard traditionalists hoping to see
the original shots that once graced the pages of Life Magazine among other publications. Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection runs from Sept. 29 to Dec. 16, 2012.
I.M.A. Gallery Listings 80 Spadina Blvd., Suite 305 Toronto, Ontario, Canada http://imagallery.ca/ 416.703.2235 Celebrating Over Twenty Years of Excellence Exhibition Schedule: Sept. 2012 - June 2013 Julia Callon: Houses of Fiction Wednesday, Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 Opening Reception: Thursday, Sept. 13, 7–9 p.m. Mary Anderson: Toronto Sexual Assaults Wednesday, Oct. 3 to Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 Opening Reception: Thursday, Oct. 4, 6–9 p.m. Fraser McCallum and Sam Cotter : Redecorating a Room Wednesday, Oct. 31 to Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 Opening: Thursday, Nov. 1, 6–9 p.m. Full Frame: Holiday Show and Sale Thursday, Nov. 29 to Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 Party and Auction: Thursday, Nov. 29, 7–10 p.m.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Theatre & DANCE Box Office Information 44/46 Gerrard St. E. Second Floor, Room THR 201 (416) 979-5118
year students called Clown in Abraham studios and directed by one of Canada’s multi-award winning directors and authors, Leah Cherniak. The Clown show is an all-original workshop of red-nosed clown skits. October 23rd to 27th at 8 p.m.
Ryerson Theatre: 43 Gerrard Street Abrams Studio: 46 Gerrard Street East Clown This year’s performances will start off with a studio show held by the third
Summerfolk This year’s main stage show is a remake of Maxim Gorky’s 1903 play, Summerfolk. The play will be performed by fourth year acting students and directed by Dean Gilmour. Summerfolk, a “the turn of the
century play,” entails: subdivision, romance, despair and the need for change. October 26th – 31st at 8 p.m. Ryerson Dances 2012 The annual dance performance, hosted by Ryerson Dances 2012, will be collaborating with guest artists: Robert Campanella, Robert Glumbek, Hanna Kiel, and William Yong. Ryerson Dances 2012 will be produced by Karen Duplisea. November 27th to 31st at 8p.m., December 1st at 2 p.m. Shakespearean play The Theatre School will end the year with a Shakespearean play. Performances will be hosted by second year acting students. The play will be produced by Ian Watson. November 27th – December 1st
Over The Hills and through The City, reality shows have been popular in the world of television for quite some time now. There’s something about watching someone else’s life unfold and crash right before your eyes. That’s exactly what you see in the heavily scripted Toronto-based reality show, The Avenue. The show produced by Ryerson University students premiered back in January 2011 and instantly became a guilty pleasure for many across the globe, according to the online message boards. Well, it’s back! The Avenue is set to premiere its second season in mid November this fall. The show follows the not-so-scandalous lives of five vacuous wannabes as they try to make it big in the city of Toronto. You have YouTube sensation Gregory Gorgeous, “party animal” Rachel, the love-struck Claire, magazine editor Arta, and aspiring model Jessica.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
But let’s be real, the show is dumb and dull. Despite the fact the show is beautifully shot, hats off to the crew for that, the story line is lame and the characters are all very one-dimensional. They’re not fun, or engaging or remotely interesting to be frank. Their script-like personalities turn each dramatic situation into a joke. Let’s hope season two will add some spark to their lives. And from the looks of it, I can’t really promise that. The season one cast special - because we really needed one- hinted what we may see in the upcoming season. Okay, so Jessica may be a lesbian, Arta will continue to be a workaholic, Gregory may meet his “50 Cent” love, Claire and Dylan’s relationship will strengthen, and Rachel’s exciting life will continue with endless Caesars. Hate it or love it, everyone’s going to be watching. I know I am!
The cheers and screams of a raucous crowd filled the halls of the new Mattamy Athletic Centre. In an exhibition against the Tulsa Hurricanes on August 16th, the Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team played their first game in the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Abandoned over 10 years ago as a sports arena, the building will once again welcome Toronto’s athletic community when it opens its doors on September 6th. The new additions include the CocaCola court, a high-performance gym, a studio, fitness area, cafe and lounge areas. For the Ryerson Rams basketball, volleyball, figure skating, and hockey teams, it means a new home and shorter commute for training. For students who just want to get healthy, it means a much larger facility and new equipment free of charge. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our students, athletes, staff, and alumni have the opportunity to continue to add to the building’s existing legacy,” says Andrea Crofts, a 22-year-old Ryerson student who works in the Sports Information offices. Ryerson students aren’t the only ones who will get to enjoy the new MAC. Torontonians will also have use of the facilities for a membership fee. The Home Ice, Coca-Cola court, Alumni Lounge and other rooms can be rented for meetings or receptions and be fully catered. The community will be able to come and enjoy the free monthly community skates on evenings and weekends. The MAC will also hold weekly shinny games on Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for $5.
Theatre and Dance Listings by Sameera Raja, The Avenue by Sabina Sohail , Sports by Melanie Jacob, Illustration by Taylor Barnes
Fall Athletics Listings All Listings are for home games from September through December
Tournament, Western, TBA, 09-29-12; National Bank Invitational Tournament, TBA, 09-30-12; EuroHaus, 10-06-12; RuffRiders, 10-07-12; Windsor, 10-26-12; Western, 10-27-12; McMaster, 11-10-12; York, 11-11-12; UofT, 11-16-12
Men’s Hockey: Women’s Volleyball UOIT, 09-08-12; Laurier, 09-15-12; Queen’s, 10-19-12; RMC, 10-20-12; Nipissing, 10-27-12; Laurier, 11-01-12; Western, 11-03-12; Queen’s, 11-15-12; McGill, 11-30-12; Carleton, 12-01-12
Ryerson University Invitational Tournament, 09-22-12; Ryerson University Invitational Tournament, 09-23-12; UofT, 10-11-12; UofT, 10-21-12; Waterloo, 1026-12; McMaster, 11-10-12; York, 11-11-12
10-12-12; Darcel Wright Memorial Classic, TBA, 10-13-12; Darcel Wright Memorial Classic, TBA, 10-14-12; Lakehead, 1109-12; Guelph, 11-10-12; Brock, 11-30-12; McMaster, 12-01-12
and Culture Research Centre Open House on Wednesday, September 12th from 6-8 p.m., 111 Gerrard St. E.
Men’s Basketball UofT, 09-09-12; Leaside, 09-15-12; Aeros Midgets, 09-16-12; Concordia, 09-28-12; Concordia, 09-29-12; UofT, 10-05-12; Queen’s, 10-07-12; Laurier, 10-13-12; Western, 10-20-12; Windsor, 10-21-12; York, 11-03-12; UOIT, 11-04-12; Queen’s, 11-09-12; Brock, 11-29-12 Men’s Volleyball: Canada Masters, 09-09-12; Blue & Gold Game, 09-15-12; Alumni, 09-22-12; Niagara College, 09-26-12; National Bank Invitational Tournament, York, Queen’s, 09-28-12; National Bank Invitational
Alumni, 09-30-12; A-Game Hoops, 1004-12; Cape Breton, 10-19-12; Wake Forest, 10-20-12; Lakehead, 11-09-12; Guelph, 11-10-12; Brock, 11-30-12; McMaster, 12-01-12; Ryerson University National Invitational Tournament, TBA, 12-28-12; Ryerson University National Invitational Tournament, TBA, 12-29-12; Ryerson University National Invitational Tournament, TBA, 12-30-12 Women’s Basketball Darcel Wright Memorial Classic, TBA,
Students are invited to to come get acquainted with the MLC research centre, including their resources and research activities. Refreshments will be served. The MLC aims to research, educate, preserve and share Canadian literature and cultural productions. The facility is a space for students to learn, grow and develop their knowledge and passion for historical literature, art and culture. For more information on all events at the MLC research centre this fall, please visit www.ryerson.ca/mlc.
Fall Athletics Listings by Melanie Jacob
Start your school year off with the right stuff. From Fashion to Architecture, Journalism to Design, you’ll need a camera that can do the job. Arrive prepared with Henry’s exclusive Canon PowerShot G12 Bundle. Includes everything you need to start, at a special price. Henry’s, helping you stay focused, all year long.
Student Bundle: $499.99 Webcode: CANKIT426
To see all of our Back to School specials visit www.henrys.com/back2school
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Portraits at Ryerson
Artwork by Rose Broadbent
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Portraits at Ryerson
ROSE BROADBENT Painter, illustrator, sculptor, graphic designer When Rose Broadbent isn’t busy releasing her creative energy into her projects, she’s busy absorbing it from her surroundings. A graduate from Ryerson’s New Media program in 2009, Broadbent is a freelance artist and a partner in the new vintage clothing store, Bridge+Bardot.
Written by Trung Ho, Photo by Trung Ho
Q. You’re involved with so many different projects that require so many different skills, how would you classify yourself? A. I would say an artist, first and foremost, that’s where my heart is. And of course there’s an entrepreneurial side of me so I’m putting my fingers in a lot of different pies or I’m trying to do a lot of things. But at the root of it all I would love to classify myself as an artist. Yeah... yeah, that feels right.
Q. Is there one form of art that you wish you could do more of? A. Sculpture, installation art. That’s what I focused on in new media. Every project was an installation piece, so a three-dimensional space that someone would enter and view. If I can focus on kinetic sculpture, installation, specifically using metal, I’d be doing that 100 per cent all day. It’s the space that you enter. It’s creating a whole environment for a person. Instead of just on the wall, you’re in it. The viewer becomes part of the art. They become the artist. I really, really wish I could be focusing on that. Q. Would you say that there’s a constant source of inspiration for you? A. Travel. I can’t stay in one place very long.
Q. When did you first get into art?
Q. You mean travel, as in...
A. My sister is a painter, and she kind of paved the way for my family because my parents got comfortable with the idea of her being an artist as a career. And then my brother was also an artist, so for me, it was very natural and it was throughout high school that I really found my artistic and creative side. My brother went into new media, so I got to hear about his experience and see his projects and I got so excited that I knew I needed to be in it.
A. The world! I have always focused, ever since I was 16 years old, focusing all of my energy and all of my money that I ever made on travel. So when I was 16, I saved up every little penny I made and I went to New Zealand. And when I was 19, I went to Australia. When I was 25 I went to Mexico. I really find inspirations in other countries, in a global kind of conscious. All of my inspirations come from the ability to travel. RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Portraits at Ryerson
Dr. Irene Gammel English professor, literary historian, biographer It didn’t take Dr. Irene Gammel long to take Ryerson by storm. After Dr. Gammel began teaching in 2005, she launched the Modern Literature Culture Research Centre (MLC) in the spring of 2006, with the goal to research, educate, preserve, and share Canadian literature and cultural productions. Q. What is it about the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre and its unique approach to learning, discovering and research that really speaks to you and others around you?
Q. Is there a reason why this artifact in particular is a favourite? A. Because I spent so much time on the Berenice, that was my first big book in 2002, so I wrote her biography and it was reviewed in the New York Times very positively, and Yoko Ono, she gave an endorsement for it and was positive about it. I’ve spent a lot of time on the research subject herself and the students are very interested in her too. She has that kind of radicality, she’s very avant-garde, she’s very much out there, so students are very interested in the Berenice as well, which is quite wonderful. Q. Where do you see yourself and the MLC in five years?
Q. Do you have a favourite artifact here in the MLC?
A. I hope that our new gallery space will be flourishing with events and exhibitions showcasing original work and performances. I think the east end of campus needs a cultural-artistic vibe and I hope our centre can help in some small way to build this side of our vibrant campus.
A. We just call her Berenice Elsa [a mannequin], that was the name of the subject. This is a costume [on the man-
You can learn more about the MLC at ryerson.ca/MLC
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Written by Kelcey Wright, Photo by Trung Ho
A. My true passion and inspiration is discovery. You never know where it will take you, who you will meet, and where the results might lead you. I love digging into the genesis of those who make the literature and art that I study. So, in addition to the primary research in the books and articles, we work to translate our research with exhibitions, blogs, and other forms of dissemination tools to reach the community. Today’s researcher has a special obligation to be engaged in knowledge mobilization-- this is something we are committed to and proud of.
nequin] that had been designed by a Dada artist in 1915, New York. And we had a fashion student here at Ryerson, who researched the photograph and reconstructed it.
Portraits at Ryerson
Written by Jazmin Welch, Photo by Stephanie Macdougal
Designer, creator, crafter Mary Young is a budding entrepreneur who recently has just started her own knitwear accessory line, ‘Marymade’. Young experiments with knitting, pattern drafting, sewing and DIY projects. As a student in her third year of the Fashion Communications program, she is not quite sure where she will end up after graduating, but she does know that she will be working in a creative field.
Q. Where do you see your company in 5 years?
Q. What made you want to start Marymade?
Q. Why was creating a website important for your business?
A. Last winter I saw a lot of machine-knitted headbands around Toronto but I found they were poor quality sold at a high price. I began playing around with patterns and created a few designs I loved. Once I realized how easy it was to make better quality products at a reasonable price, I knew I could take my knitting skills into business. Q. What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur? A. The main challenge I’ve faced and am still facing is gaining support. There are many entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. I have to set myself and Marymade apart. Q. What is your design aesthetic? A. Marymade reflects honesty in handcrafted products. While still being fashionable all of the Marymade accessories are practical for the typical Canadian winter.
A. I hope to have expanded Marymade to more than winter accessories, introducing spring and summer accessories would be ideal. As well as expanding into knitted clothing with a higher price point for a different demographic.
A. Creating the Marymade website (www.marymade.ca) was crucial to this coming season as it is a great reference for customers and potential buyers. Having the fall/winter 2012 look book online is great for creating more excitement and expanding my current clientele. Q. Have any specific courses at Ryerson helped you prepare for any aspect of owning your own business? A. Many of my courses at Ryerson actually encouraged me to start Marymade. Communication Design taught me how to create an identity for my brand, allowing it to be seen separate from its competitors as well as how to have a strong presence in any form. Learning principles of photography gave me the understanding of how to create a strong look book that would speak for itself. RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Musings Globavore Vs. Locavore By Maria Siassina
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
the earth,” Litchen says. As a chef, she says that the taste and the quality of organic food means everything to her. Litchen says that most people are aware that the food they’re eating is bad for their health, but like Desrochers says in his book, people will always put their wallets first. Thoman and Litchen say they understand that it is not realistic nor reasonable for most people, especially students, to plant their own crop or even spend the extra money exclusively shopping for organic, local produce. Balance is everything they say, and taking advantage of opportunities like farmers’ markets that take place all around the city is crucial. You can call them hippies and tell them their organic tomatoes are overpriced, but the folk behind the farmers’ market tents stand by their trade and knowledge firmly.
Sole Cure By Sarah Nicole Prickett Asking a depressed person why she’s sad is like asking an alcoholic why she’s drunk. Later, when the depressed person is no longer sad, she is still depressed, just as the sober alcoholic is an alcoholic for always. If you see an alcoholic at a cocktail party, you might wonder why she didn’t stay home. If you see a depressed person trying to be a writer, you shake your head, shut the door quietly, and try not to trip over any empty wine barrels on your way out. The sensitivity and self-isolation that makes some writers great also makes them, or keeps them, clinically screwed. Not all writers are mad any more than all writers are great, and often the great ones aren’t mad, and the mad ones aren’t great. Still, enough are mad and great in commensurate measure to make the rest of us write off every acquired neurosis as some sign of impending genius. (Cut your cuticles ‘til they bleed?
Illustration by Jazmin Welch
he Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet garnered a considerable amount of attention from the media this summer. It is a book co-written by University of Toronto professor Pierre Desrochers and his wife Hiroko Shimizu. It goes against most of the 21st century “green-living” culture; instead it imparts a new idea of how a civilization as advanced as ours only benefits from the globalization of the food market. Desrochers makes the argument that by producing more food for less money, globalization has helped to eradicate food shortages in the world and by producing large amounts of food, companies have chosen the most suitable locations to grow crops. He claims that farmers are actually being less environmentally considerate by driving to one city for just one farmers market bringing small amounts of their crop using a gas guzzling car. But the companies that are choosing planes, ships, and
trucks conserve energy by delivering huge amounts of produce to multiple cities. The Locavore’s Dilemma deems it not only acceptable to shop at big box stores, it also encourages the globavore lifestyle. Jay Thoman - a regular vendor at Ryerson’s Farmers’ Market - does not agree with this approach; most farmers wouldn’t. Thoman has owned a maple syrup farm for four years, and he runs it from Milton, Ontario. He says that Desrochers is dead wrong. He also says that the corporations that Desrochers so highly praises are the same ones that are “raping the earth’s resources.” The farmers’ market on Ryerson’s campus that takes place weekly is unusually quiet today according to Thoman. Most pedestrian traffic consists of observers, and the few people that amble up to the vendors are the regulars that already know what they’re going to buy. There are nine tents today, but Thoman says there are usually a few more. “Consumers don’t understand the value of produce or the production process that goes into the food they eat. There’s a reason that stuff sold at these markets is more pricey. If everybody farmed then they would know that enormous amount of work that goes into it,” says Thoman. “Consumers don’t have any rights and neither do the farmers when it comes to mass production of food. It’s the middle man who’s making all the decisions that are so detrimental. Maybe they’re saving you money but it’s costing you your health.” Susan Litchen is another vendor at the farmers’ market on the campus, who’s just a tent away from Thoman’s maple syrup stand. She sells reusable fabric produce bags, and has taken over the sales portion of the company as she takes a break from her catering business. “The most amazing thing about the food sold here is that it’s fresh. This produce came from the field this week. We are what comes from
Illustration by Jazmin Welch
Yeah, you better sleep with one eye open, Hemingway.) If male legends from Socrates to David Foster Wallace don’t prove enough, just look into the Sylvia Plath Effect, which pinpoints female poets as the most troubled of our lot—and, perhaps, the canaries furthest ahead in the coal mine. Yes, we who most fear clichés are susceptible to the dumbest one of all, the tortured solitary creative sad institutionalized type. Only one really accurate movie has been about a writer, I think, and it’s called The Shining. I can’t say whether I always wanted to write because I was depressed, or was depressed because I wanted to write. Somehow, I must have known that words were the only thing I found worthwhile and were also becoming worthless (although I could not have Cassandra’d how very not valued they’d become, post-Huffington). I know that as an ‘80s baby and a ‘90s child, I felt special and isolated and did not realize those were two faces of the same coin, common among us as a penny: Heads, you’re number one; tails, you’ll never be anything. When at 21, I was diagnosed with acute clinical depression and given a test tube of Paxil to take, nobody faked surprise. I took the Paxil and I hung out at my boyfriend’s parent’s house, where I felt safe because he lived in the lightless basement, and one day I had a headache and swallowed 60 extra-strength Tylenol. It was a really bad headache, I told the doctor, but it was hard to shrug with all those tubes in my arm. To my friends I said that, yes, I was depressed, but my depression was no more special than anyone else’s, and I would just... fix myself. I’d failed most of the courses in my second year at the University of Western Ontario by simply not attending the exams, so I got a job and saved money (or said I was saving money, but was really buying a lot of mall clothes and Harvey’s and amaretto sours) and applied to Ryerson for journalism school. I was having difficulty writing for my own sake, and thought that if I could write for the sake of others—or hell, for the money—I might be saved. The success I found despite drop-
ping out again, after another two years really did save me. I still felt the paralytic anxiety of the white page, but because I needed money and bad, I couldn’t much indulge it. Within a year of beginning my first and only internship at FASHION Magazine, I was working full-time as a journalist, even if I felt more like a writer trapped in. Interviewing people, listening, learning about them: this taught me the empathy I’d lost when, during the worst times, I’d stopped reading fiction. I’m not a great reporter—abstract impressions are my thing, not photorealism—but any journalistic
effort, no matter how paltry, took me out of the vortex and into the possibilities of other lives. Although I was often self-involved in my writing (I say “was” like you’re not reading this right now), I didn’t have to put myself there; I just never took myself out. Objectivity is often a ruse for arrogance, and I hate the lie of “truth-telling.” Besides, depressives are acutely aware of being on Earth’s wrong side, and want you to know where they
stand. I have tried –and still try -to be an ethical depressive. I want you to see how I feel so you don’t have to feel it. I don’t believe you should write what you know, but rather, what you want to find out. Certainly, I wanted to find a way out of feeling useless. That was at least my consolation when I was writing snippy service journalism for FASHION and Eye Weekly, reviewing fashion shows for Torontoist, covering TIFF parties for Toronto Life. I had to first do things that seemed of practical use to readers, and then, gerund by gerund, earn the privilege of writing what I found important self-wise: things that were feminist, philosophical, thoughtful, whatever, smart. Writing is now my career and my sole cure and the cold drip at the soft of my throat. I did not take Paxil again. I did not take any of the pills I was prescribed any of the times I ended up in the mental ward at two in the morning, not even when the professionals thought I was not only depressive, but also manic. Partly that’s another symptom of this brain trouble, its catch-infinity: you don’t feel well enough to make yourself feel better. Partly I do think I’d feel better if I took the pills (I know several writers who have, with mixed results). I think I’d feel better by feeling less. But then how could I write? Then what would I do? In three or four years I don’t think I’ve done nearly enough, and often I add it up and look at the total and see nothing. But I’m alive, right? I’m getting better most of the time. I would rather feel it all, like Fiona Apple, than feel less and have nothing to say. Because I’ve felt that too. Depression, unmedicated, can become its own overdose. It stops cold the emotion, then the words. I’ve tried to start again by taking cocaine and Adderall and writing the shit out of nothing, but uppers are no better than antidepressants in the end. If, hell forbid, I become unable to “party” without drugs, I’ll just stop going to parties. If ever I become unable to work without drugs, I might just stop—what?— living. I guess that’s not the end of the world, but it seems like a lazy way to go.
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THE OTHER MIDDLE EAST The art and politics behind contemporary Middle Eastern art
By Tara Aghdashloo Suhair Sibai, Open Wound (2012)
udity is so fucking passé,” she said nonchalantly, slapping the air with her hand. We were sitting around a large, empty dining table in one of the Mosaic Rooms; a renovated Victorian townhouse-turnedgallery in West London, the walls of which are covered with her digitally manipulated photos of Egyptian soldiers. “It is so tiring, so juvenile, so… What? You can have art flourish without naked people. I think it’s only the uninspired that come up with these excuses,” she continues. Nermine Hammam is a female, Middle Eastern artist. No, let’s try that again. Nermine Hammam is an artist. She insists that her work is not political, and is merely concerned with the “human condition.” She happens to be from the Middle East, and happens to have witnessed the revolution that shook the country last winter. In the two series of this solo show, Upekkha and Unfolding, she
mixes paint with photos she found online and personally took of soldiers during the civil unrest. The images are delicately patched against romantic backdrops, in the style of Soviet propaganda posters, Western film stills, or Japanese prints. Hammam is troubled by the brutality of combat, and the blurred lines between reality and dream that construct the façade of power, and the faces attached to it. But let’s go back to that line again: female, Middle Eastern artist. The statement is catchy, yet riddled with presumptions. Where is the Middle East exactly? Is Hammam a representative of Egyptian sociopolitical realities? Is she responsible for portraying and criticizing issues concerning Arab and Middle Eastern women? Certainly not. And yet, such titles are the banners leading these artists’ work, and the works are now leading many international auctions and exhibitions.
Intoxication with Middle Eastern art is anything but new. Western merchants, missionaries and explorers found their way to the “Orient” thousands of years ago, trading and fighting and learning from each other – always in awe and constantly bemused. And in the past few centuries these groups diligently recorded, painted, and wrote about their “new world” encounters. In 1978, Edward Said, having gone through these artistic and pedagogical reflections, coined the term ‘orientalism’ in describing a common thread running through all of them. The theory goes like this: the ‘West’ (us) meets the ‘East’ or the ‘Orient’ (other). The other is portrayed as exotic and mysterious, yet backward and uncivilized. A fairly simple observation, yet still relevant term as it unravels in different forms – media is a glaring example. When the World Trade Center were hit in 2001, the Middle East reRYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
emerged as a popular catch phrase, and not in the best of lights. As the West prepared for two of its most questionable wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries along the Persian Gulf were expanding their economic cache and attracting more investors, more companies, and more rich people with money to spend on things they didn’t need. Sleek, keento-modernise, thirsty for business, the United Arab Emirates and their passionate embrace of capitalism glistened like a mirage in the middle of terror and incivility— a golden holiday island complete with larger-than-life skyscrapers and largerthan-life malls. And despite the array of minority, women’s, and human rights issues, cities like Dubai become cool, because they were able to afford a ski resort inside a mall and build islands in the shape of continents. Soon, art institutions caught up with geo-politics. In April 2005, Christie’s Auction House opened its Dubai office, and its first local sale in May of the following year brought in $8.5 million. In October, Sotheby’s held a sale of modern and contemporary Arab and Iranian art in London, and in 2008 opened an office in Doha, Qatar. Their successive huge sales brought the region’s leading names sharply into focus, and the distribution of their catalogues in thousands introduced the market to international buyers and dealers on a grand scale. Like any other trend, the Middle East art buzz trickled down and spread horizontally. International galleries and museums joined the stream, and new art and culture institutions sprung in the region. “People said okay, if a foreign institution (like the British Museum) is interested in our art, why not us then,” says Rose Issa, an Iranian-Lebanese, London-based gallery owner, writer and producer, who’s showcased Arab and Iranian art for nearly 30 years. “Suddenly, young and old collectors, whether in Dubai or Abu Dhabi or Qatar, started investing in [the region’s] art,” she adds. One example is the $27 billion development project comprising not one, but three museums designed by world-famous architects: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Gug20
Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Reyhan, from the Terrorist Series (2004); Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas
genheim Abu Dhabi, and the Zayed National Museum. While oil-rich Gulf nations experienced this art and culture boom the most lavishly, in other countries like Iran, Lebanon and Turkey, artists experienced a more gradual, progressive appreciation of their work as they sold in high prices abroad. Some critics say that the happenings in the region were too much, too soon. But Anthony Downey, director of contemporary art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and editor of Ibraaz magazine (an online publication on Middle East and North African art and visual culture), turns such scepticism on its head. He says that if there’s criticism about Middle Easterners having lots of money and spending it, “then we’re back in the 19th century.” And as for art being fast tracked, “what’s the
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problem there? This is what the Guggenheim did in the 1920s and ‘30s in New York.” For the Middle East, though, the sudden surge of demand for locally produced contemporary art is unprecedented, and there certainly is a supply. But in response to this market, and with a dose of curatorial opportunism, some overpriced and under-whelming pieces find their way into the stream. And there are noticeable trends; think of Middle East and think women in veil, calligraphy, conflict. Curators go looking for manifestly Middle Eastern-looking art, and they find it. “It becomes a selffulfilling prophecy because young Arab artists who want to be part of international shows make work that answer to that curatorial demand,” Downey remarks.
Saatchi Gallery’s 2009 exhibition, “Unveiled: Contemporary Art from the Middle East,” is, case in point, though not necessarily a bad show in its own right. But some artists consciously avoid Orientalist tropes. And for others, their background and political traumas organically unravel in their art. When I spoke with Floridabased Syrian artist Suhair Sibai, her voice trembled as I mentioned the bloodshed in her country. Her work reflects that terror, as the more recent pieces frame somber-looking figures, the palate gets muddy, and streams of red bleed through. It sounds demeaning talking about art in such economic terms – supply and demand. In the 1960s, German thinkers of the Frankfurt School predicted a commoditized, market-oriented approach to art. Theorists such as Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse, lamented the creation of what they called a ‘culture industry.’ They differentiated between high and low culture, one of them being genuine, critical and transcendental, the other simply accommodating the society. Adorno in particular, emphasized the need for art to be autonomous, and to intervene in people’s consciousness, challenging the artist’s surroundings. For them, products of the ‘culture industry’ were for the masses, baring the illusion of uniqueness by only slight variations. A great example is pop music, as outlined the New Yorker article, “The Song Machine”, which shows the terrifyingly small structure behind almost every hit song on the radio. In the past 20 years there has been a steady increase of interest and sales in contemporary art as a whole – think of the many art fairs that mushroomed over the past years (Frieze, a noteworthy addition), or the ones that became go-to places for anyone remotely interested in anything contemporary (Art Basel). So the vexed interest in contemporary Middle Eastern art is just one aspect of this vitality. After seeing more than 63,000 exhibitions, Issa agrees that certain Middle Eastern artists contribute to the specific demands of the art market, but she’s not very concerned
about it. “There is a hype and there is bad taste…but there isn’t an issue. If people want to pay for a bad work then good for them. Why not?” The issue, perhaps, is sustainability. As Issa emphasizes, for a reliable evolution of this market there needs to be a committed, educated collector base—and for that they need references. “A collector of British art has the choice of minimum 20,000 books on British art. What do we have as a solid reference? And I don’t mean the coffee table book that came out three or four years ago.” New print and online publications are trying to fill this gap. Besides niche magazines and catalogues,
Nermine Hammam from Unfolding Series (2012)
there are also more nuanced renditions, such as online representatives (Art clvb) and international coordinators and curators (Apexart). “We want to let people know there’s a lot more in the region other than politics and fanatics,” says Joobin Bekhrad, co-founder of Art clvb and editor of ReOrient magazine. Alternative auction houses are also emerging—Ayyam Gallery had its thirteenth Young Collector’s auction in the spring ($550,000), and in June Tehran Auction had its first sales ($1,750,000). Also emerging is more risk-taking and confidence in buying and representing non-traditional forms of art, such as films, new media, and installations. What’s more, some artists directly address, parody, and reverse the East vs. West discourse. Moroccan artist
Mounir Fatmi’s installation, The Lost Spring, made up of 22 flags of Arab countries and two broom posts, was a subversive reaction to the recent geopolitical upheavals of the region. Khosrow Hassanzadeh’s Terrorist series is another example. In his manner of bright and primary palate, unfinished strokes and iconographical allusions, he portrays himself, his mother and sisters. The women are veiled, in traditionally light and floral fabric loosely rested on their bodies. “I wanted to ask, who is a terrorist?” he said, as we chatted in his kitchen in East London “I wanted to show the veil differently. Not as a means of oppression, but as something that I grew up around. Everyone in my family back home wears it.” Hassanzadeh says art is not really made for an international audience. In fact, some of the themes he employs, particular cultural and religious references for instance, are lost to foreign eyes. Yet as an Iranian artist, some of his series were banned from shows within the country. In 2010 British Museum displayed his Takhti collection, but Iran’s Museum of Contemporary Art refused his request to carry them. Hassanzadeh has also faced censorship in other nations. In his recent exhibition at Sharjah’s Isabelle van den Eynde Gallery, a few “problematic” pieces were taken down. The problem: depicting the name of Imam Ali, the most important of Shiite religious figures and a point of schism between Shias and Sunnis. Censorship and restrictions are not just an Eastern or religious phenomenon. Corporate and political ties in the West can have insidious ways of filtering works before they ever get to an auction or gallery wall; the Frankfurt School criticism, after all, was written primarily with the West in mind. But the fact is that Middle Eastern art, like Middle Eastern anything, implies within it a complicated political lexicon. After all, this is the era of global economic recession and Occupy Wall Street, as well as the era of the Green Movement, Arab uprising, and Syrian unrest. “Artists make art. Everything else comes afterward,” Downey says. If only.
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Beyond the Playbook By Sinead Mulhern
Roy Rana has coached Ryerson’s men’s basketball team since 2009. His list of accomplishments stretches long - in this year alone, he led the Rams to qualify for their first OUA Finals since 199899, and guided the junior men’s National Team to win bronze at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Still, most know little of the man behind the whiteboard. 22
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t’s about 30 seconds into the first game of the Ryerson Rams’ 20122013 preseason and Oklahoma’s Tulsa Golden Hurricane has already scored the first two points. Ryerson coach Roy Rana sits calmly with a bit of a hunch on his padded blue fold-up chair. His facial expression remains constant. Ryerson receives their first foul and Rana scolds, telling the play-
Photo by Justine Chiu
er to keep his hands down. His team had an excellent season last year, making it to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships, competing in front of vast crowds in Ottawa against the number one nationally ranked Carleton Ravens, then —for the first time since 1999— moving on to the National CIS Final 8 in Halifax. However, today it seems
this expert team has gotten off to a rough start. Rana has a look of irritation, but remains calm nevertheless. This serene attitude is something that he carries into his regular dayto-day life. “It’s pretty low key for me,” he says of his life outside of coaching. His partying days are over and at the moment it’s all about making the most of the city he has always lived in with his kids, Shekher and Priya, and his wife, Stephanie. He describes himself and his wife as “city people”, doing the things that regular downtown couples gravitate towards; dinners, walks and cafe lounging. Homework assignments, trips to the parks and school parent council meetings are also regular elements of his routine outside of the gym. He is a family man when he isn’t coaching, but even when he is his kids are often there on the bleachers cheering on dad’s team. Both of them have been interested in hockey but are beginning to give basketball a shot. Is this a result of Rana’s influence? He says they are regularly at practices and immersed in the sport anyways that their interest isn’t a surprise. They both know the team members well. He may have an intense training regime for the group of university athletes but during the off-season this summer, he relaxed in Toronto, enjoying his down time and managing to do a significant amount of reading—something he loves but doesn’t often have time for as he is so devoted to basketball. Some days he spends 12 to 14 hours on Ryerson’s campus working and coaching. His friends have had their ears talked off about the team during coffee dates on Dupont Street, while Rana sips an espresso detailing the team’s latest victory. The word “team” does not only apply to the times of try-outs, drills and training. He and the athletes have been out for dinners, movies and even to his house. “To be honest this is an obsession, not a job where you work eight hours and then you go home and you can separate it,” he says trailing off. After a thoughtful pause he speaks again. “It can be challenging, that’s for sure.” He’s not exaggerating. Though RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
they were successful last year, the Rams have certainly had their downfalls. Over the past two years they’ve had more than their fair share of injuries—in fact, they became Canada’s most injured university basketball team, according to Rana. One of their most talented athletes, a transfer from Sheridan College, had an ankle fraction last September that was so bad he is only getting back in the game now. As for the other injuries, he lists them: Broken hand. Broken foot. Broken wrist. He notes that these are “freak accidents” and not usual injuries in basketball such as pulled hamstrings or injuries from
overuse. “It’s depressing,” he says. “It’s hard to see young people go through that. My heart goes out to those kids.” While Rana says players did acknowledge the low points and felt discouraged at times, they never lost hope. One-on-one coaching time played a role in keeping their spirits up during the bad times. Last season, bad times extended beyond plentiful injuries. The Rams also lost a lot of games early on in the season, which Rana insists only gave them motivation to improve more later. “You want to be your best in February, March and if you’re losing
games in November, December, that’s just part of the process.” This continuous improvement is a process involving intense practices and outside sources like watching videos and seeing their strength and conditioning coach. It can all be demanding not only physically, but also mentally. Every drill is to be done as close to perfect as possible. The stress of it all might be comparable to midterms or final papers for most other university students but it can’t be forgotten that these 20-somethings bear that burden too. How does a full time student manage to train on a sports team at this high
Photo by Justine Chiu
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Photo provided by Roy Rana
of a level? It’s an intricate mixture of mandatory study hall sessions, stress management and expert scheduling. The study hall sessions alone must be attended by each athlete for certain number of hours per week regardless of GPA. A missed study hall is an offense that Rana takes seriously and is often seen as worse than even missing basketball practice. In the case of an ultimatum between academics and athletics, Rana explains that academics come first and that he always tries to be understanding when one of the young men has to miss out on training in order to complete a hefty final assignment or study for an important exam. Even his scheduling of practices – what times they take place at,
how long they are and how hard they are—all revolve around their student life as much as possible. “It’s not an easy thing being a university athlete. It takes a lot of time and effort from an athlete’s standpoint. They are very special people,” says Rana. When it comes down to the game and all the preparation and conditioning, the athletes are never doing it by themselves. The high points, the low points, and the route to getting to where they want to go are all part of the stress and excitement that the coach shares with them every step of the way. Rana is used to experiencing the game from a coach’s perspective. Before Ryerson, he spent years as a high
school coach. “I loved every minute of it,” he said. He began coaching CW Jefferys Collegiate Institute in 1995 and coached at Eastern Commerce starting in 2000 for nine years. He saw a lot of his guys receive recruitment letters from the country’s universities with the most skilled basketball players. Some received scholarships from athletic universities in the U.S. as well. He reflects on his pre-game emotions back when he was a high school coach at one of Toronto’s basketball powerhouses and says that he was always nervous before the boys went out onto the courts. When asked how he feels now when the Rams step out onto a court with crowds as large as they were this past season in Ottawa, he says “There’s certainly a level of excitement. You want to get out there and get going.” The passion is obvious in his voice. After a pause, he thoughtfully adds, “I’d say it’s really a level of excitement more so than nerves.” Back at the new Mattamy Athletic Centre, at the pre-season game Rana speaks in staccato sentences. “Go! Go!”, “Hurry up!”, “Block, block block!” When he corrects his players he gives them two quick claps. These are essentially the same players that he brought to Halifax last year, minus a few and plus five. This equals an overall physically stronger team he thinks. Ostap Choilly and Yannick Walcott have transferred to Ryerson just this year. Matthew Beckford, Kyle Hankins, and Juwon Grannum are the fit guys fresh out of high school who he has been wooing to our downtown campus for years. The recruitment process takes time. New talent doesn’t just show up out of the blue. The kids never have to make the first move when universities are attending competitions and browsing results just to discover them. Rana would know, he’s the one sending the recruitment letters now. A rubber ball whips onto the gymnasium floor creating an echo as Nike sneakers squeak their way across the court. From the sidelines of the Ryerson- Tulsa game, with his arms crossed in front of him, you can see that Rana is the only coach who gets up and paces, following the play. RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
In Praise of the Unplanned Career How not setting strick goals can open more doors By Danielle Meder
way too much money for entry-level positions, blithely displaying a complete lack of social skills to my interviewers. I couldn’t place the blame for my failure to launch on the economy or any external factor… it was genuinely all my own fault. I had never had a full-time job in my life, and it looked like I was never going to. While going through a post-graduation existential crisis is a totally normal thing, I felt like I was all alone, floating in a void of equivocal possibilities without a sure thing to grab on to. After years of scheduled schooling, this was incredibly disorienting. Gradually, my life half-filled up with incidental occupations. I got a part-time job as a sales assistant, a job that I found pleasant, which sustained me financially, while keeping my options open. With all the time on my hands, I kept plugging away on the fashion blog that I had started while I was still in school, continuing to read, draw and write, and take on random freelance projects, as I always did. And for that time, I became content with the present. Even though admitting my situation to my former classmates made me feel like an unambitious loser, the truth was that I was content for the moment, getting used to living in limbo. Into the emptiness, something magical happened at that time. I had been posting my illustrations on my site for some time, and occasionally I would get an inquiry from a potential client for this little job or that little job. A couple hundred bucks here or there. These little trickles of opportunity were so infrequent, I never
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seriously considered illustration as a career. But then I got a large project from a client, enough work to keep me busy and pay my bills for a couple of months. I was wondering how I would fit it all in with my part-time job, but just like that I happened to get laid off of my retail gig. It felt like fate had figured out a plan for me to follow, like destiny had finally given me a ‘dream’ to pursue. On those tentative circumstances, I decided not to look for another job and launch myself into the career of a full-time freelance illustrator. Which, rather than writing up a business plan, pretty much consisted only of printing up some business cards that said “fashion illustrator” on them. I had the vague sense that I would figure it out as I went along. I’m very lucky that I have parents who are also self-employed, so when I told them what I was doing they offered their support and encouragement - I know most parents are not so thrilled to hear their child has decided to become an independent creative careerist. In any case, as a child of fellow bohemians, I couldn’t depend on their financial support, so in those first few months - okay, years to be honest - I wobbled between feast and famine. I’ve just passed the five year mark of being a fashion illustrator… but it hasn’t felt so much like climbing a mountain or embarking on a quest as it has like spontaneously following a rabbit down a hole. I’ve met a lot of strange and wonderful characters but never a mentor or a guru. I’ve rediscovered again and again that I don’t
Illustrated by Danielle Meder
ne of the few things I miss about school is the comfort of always knowing what’s coming next. At the beginning of the term they hand you a sheet of paper that tells you what you’re going to be doing, when you’re going to be doing it, and where. A bit stifling to be sure, but also reassuring. You don’t have to face the dizzying infinite sky of choices until you approach graduation. Before that happens, sure, you’re stressed about major projects and exams, but these are simple, concrete issues to deal with. Fielding that frequent inquiry, “what are your plans after graduation?” can be much more difficult. Maybe you love that question, maybe you are the rare sort of human who always knows what’s next. Some people are born to plan. Their notebooks are full of lists and their goals are clearly defined. They settled on a path when they were small children, and the rest of their life is simply taking steps towards that destination. For those of us without a clear vision of the future, conventional advice to follow your dreams and plan for the future is more frustrating than helpful. How can you follow your dreams when you don’t know what your dreams are? What is the point of planning if you don’t know what you’re planning for? I felt lost when I graduated. I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do next. I half-heartedly looked for a job because I knew that was what was ‘supposed’ to happen, but I self-sabotaged myself in various ridiculous ways… writing the wrong company’s name on my cover letter, asking for
get as lucky when I push for things as I do when I relax and allow opportunities to reveal themselves when the time is right. So, I have become an advocate for the unplanned career. The essential element of the unplanned career is embracing the emptiness. When you are in school and every second is scheduled, you are taught that unoccupied hours are wasted hours, that allowing downtime between life’s events is unwise. Having gaps in your resume is considered undesirable. When people ask you what you’re doing, it is implicit that “nothing” is not an acceptable answer. Yet your life’s purpose won’t reveal itself to you when you’re constantly in the midst of mundane tasks or doing things just because you’re supposed to. You might think that if you enter a lull you’ll become indolent, but for most human beings indolence quickly loses its charm, and in the absence of obligations you’ll find yourself naturally gravitating towards your real desires, even if you didn’t know what your desires were before. Even though attempting a creative career is a precarious proposition, I’m very glad that I took that route. While I’m not as secure as most people my age, I have the great privilege of getting to do what I love almost all the time. In retrospect, having observed the careers of my contemporaries, I managed to avoid a few pitfalls of over-planning that hadn’t occurred to me at the time. One downside of the practical planned life is deferring the dream. Instead of launching the career you desire right away, you do something more conservative - get a ‘good’ job, establish stability. There is a lot of good reasons to do this - student loans, wanting to start a family or buy a home, pleasing your parents by making the more mature choice. Which is fine if living a conventional life is what you desire most - for many people it is, that’s why it’s called conventional. Which is fine - we need lots of ordinary people, or civilization would collapse - so don’t discount the unfashionable idea that you may be ‘normal’. The thing is, if you’re not a normie, practical justifications won’t ever satisfy the irrational yearnings
of your heart. If what you truly want is something different than what is expected of you, being sensible and responsible will make you miserable - worse, it will make you comfortable. With comfort, comes complacency. Once you have some things, you have some things to lose. Once you’re used to little luxuries and a sense of safety, giving all that up for the more intangible benefits of mad rabbit-chasing will be more difficult than you ever thought. I’m very glad that I screwed up scoring that fulltime job. I have never had the stability of a steady pay check, so rather than taking a huge hit to my quality of life once I began freelancing, I just continued living hand-to-mouth like I did when I was a student, improving my standard of living very gradually as I became more accomplished. For my friends that started working full time jobs straight out of school, quitting the planned life and chasing their white rabbits is a much more terrifying proposition at 29 than it was for me at 24. They are understandably reluctant to knock five-plus years off their lifestyles, and compete at the same level as recent graduates. I’m very proud at the cusp of 30 to say I have over five years experience in the field I want to spend my life working in. I’m excited to think that at 35, I’ll have over a decade of experience doing what I love, and I won’t ever have to start at zero years of experience again. Beginning at zero is very difficult to do at any age, at least if you do it when you’re still in your early twenties you’re mostly ignorant of how tricky it will be so fear won’t paralyze you. Plus, struggling at 25 is much more acceptable to society than a struggling 35-year-old. You can never start doing what you really want too soon - you only get to be in your twenties once, so don’t waste them by being boring. Life is how you spend it - milestones only last moments, and what then? Why not, instead of only valuing achievement, you embrace the process? Try to calibrate your life so you thrive on the things that you do on a daily basis, rather than chaining your satisfaction to a single pinnacle. There is no need to plan for the future, if you can be present for now.
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RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Switching Gears The rise of stylish cycling By Elayne Teixeira-Millar Cycling is no longer just a form of exercise prescribed by spandex-wearing gym teachers or an intense sport for the Lance Armstrong types. Bike riding is now an urban trend - made trendy by the cityâ€™s stylish civilians. It has become a fashionable mode of transportation for a green society. Like most fashion statements, it all began in Europe. Navigating the small streets of fashion capitals like Milan and Paris is far easier to do on a bike. These euro-muses made biking dressed to the nines look so good (and easy) that the trend soon migrated to North America. Cities like New York, Montreal, and of course Toronto are now bustling with bike riding hipsters whoâ€™ve thrown away the spandex, bike shoes and fanny packs and replaced them with cuffed skinny jeans, boat shoes, and Herschel bags. Bye bye helmets, hello fedoras!
Photos by Trung Ho
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Tweet this Maybe Our move towards turning off the digital world By Kasi Bruno
Illustration by Jazmin Welch
n a recent survey, by Boston Consulting Group, people around the world said that if forced to choose they would rather give up alcohol, chocolate, fast food, coffee and even sex, for this one thing. The internet. Is it possible that people crave the internet more than sex? Apparently so. The average Canadian spends eight hours a day in front of at least one screen. We’re attached to it. And while our connectivity enables us to do amazing things, our dependence on it has started to take its toll on our emotional and psychological well-being. We depend on our connectivity to make us feel good. Studies show that our deep emotional attachment to digital validation impacts us even more than we may realize. Much has been written about the sociology of technology. In her book Alone Together Sherry Turkle explores how technology is unsettling human relationships. She digs into how our emotional lives have been impacted by what she calls “relentless connection.” Ironically, the connections that are supposed to make us feel more social, are making us feel more alone, argues Turkle. It’s an interesting starting point for exploring how technology impacts our emotions and how we are responding. We’ve developed deep emotional attachments to being connected. So much so that our dependence to con-
nectivity is actually impacting how we feel- our moods, our emotions and even our self-esteem are at the mercy of our digital connections. Our connections serve as emotional validation and without them we feel alone. This emotional dependency has created a longing for the next message, the next tweet, the next like, all of which serve as comfort to those who have grown accustomed to the constant stream of emotional pick-me-ups digital connectivity provides. Constant connectivity makes that longing compulsive, feeding the habit. We are constantly longing for the next hit of digital attention and it’s hurting us. Ironically, our obsession with not missing out, that which leaves us constantly checking our devices, means that we’re starting to miss out on what’s happening right in front of us. Simply put, it’s our fear of missing out that is causing us to miss out the most. We’re increasingly detached from what’s happening right in front of us because we’re distracted by the compulsion to check what’s happening somewhere else. Further, many of us can’t bear to be still and alone for a moment. Solitude has come to mean automatic loneliness and constant connection is our comfort. But it may not always be this way. People are starting to sense that they are constantly distracted. There is a counter-cultural movement to unplug brewing. And it isn’t a revolt against connectivity. Instead, it’s a reclamation of control and we’re see-
ing this counterculture come to life in a few ways. We have technology blocking technology. Apps, like Freedom, serve to lock you out of the internet for a period of time specified by you. Those seeking an extra barrier might find this $10 app all they need to remain focused, offline and on task, although it’s worth mentioning that all it takes is a reboot of your computer to reset the app and regain access to the interwebs. Something else that’s emerging in response to over-connectivity is the phenomenon of disconnection as luxury. Luxury is a function of scarcity; basic economic and psychological principles dictate that we’ll pay more and covet things that are harder to acquire. What’s quickly become scarce is stillness; freedom from the internet. As a result, we’re starting to see the emergence of luxury analog experiences. The rise of so-called ‘black hole resorts’ is indicative of this demand for quiet. People are paying more for retreats and vacation rentals that come without wi-fi or TV in rooms. What was once a feature of a discount motel has now become a sought-after sign of luxury. We’re also seeing a demand for social etiquette while dining. While some restaurants are offering patrons a discount if they surrender their phones to the maitre’d, friends have also taken distracted dining into their own hands. The rising popularity of the dinner game “Don’t be a dick during meals with friends” was designed to avoid the familiar scene of a group of people at a table, together, but all heads down on their devices. With phones stacked in the middle of the table, the challenge is to not touch your phone- to resist the urge to check on what else what be happening within your network. ensuring that that the first person to pick up their phone picks up the tab. As Blaise Pascal so presciently put it nearly four centuries ago, “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” It is indeed. But perhaps with a little bit of self-control, it doesn’t always have to be. It’s something to think about next time we reach for our mobiles.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Pictures of Home
Photojournalism student finds her home on exchange By Chris Babic
Jen Tse in Kjosk, a double-decker bus turned into a convenience store and restaurant.
An anti-Islam rally in Aarhus in April that turned violent.
she has seen more of the world and its people than many will in their lifetimes. Tse is driven by a zealous need to be with people, to understand them, and occasionally snap a few photos too. With her photography she aims her lens on the frailties of the human condition, lending exposure to characterizations of pride, apathy and suffering. “Travelling as a journalist gives you a perspective others don’t have,
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you see the whole puzzle even as you focus in on a few pieces.” Her newest perspective was hopefully from a safe distance, as Tse went off to Pamplona, Spain, to chase the running of the bulls. Soon after she will be back in her adopted homeland, and while her itinerant nature leads one to believe she will one day become tired of Denmark, today Tse is still content with her Scandinavian paradise.
Photos by Jen Tse
en Tse came to Denmark under nightfall. It was so late when she stepped through the doorway into the campus residence, at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, that her new roommate could be forgiven for only mustering a hello before going to sleep. In the quiet, empty room a feeling of isolation and panic crept up her body, leaving Tse with the unfamiliar sense that after a lifetime of adventure seeking, perhaps she’d gone too far. It was only for a single night. Tse left those misgivings on her pillow as she rose the next morning to begin a six month exchange in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. Six months has turned into 12, with Tse taking the unprecedented step of extending her exchange a further term beginning this fall, a first for Ryerson University. At a Bloor Street coffeehouse in July on a two week furlough back in the city she once called home, Tse explains her decision to stay in Scandinavia; “It took travelling for me to realize how happy I could be. Like, okay, life is cool here, I have no complaints, but when you go there, you realize that life can be amazing every day. Now it’s kind of hard to settle for anything less than that.” Her postcards are the contacts she makes with the people she meets. Her souvenirs are the stories of her experiences, the best of which Tse wears on her body. Two new piercings adorn her right ear; markers of the two weeks she spent struggling to find a way into Lisbon’s most notorious of slums, and the week in Berlin where she slept on the couch of an editor for Die Welt, the third largest publication in Germany. She’s also travelled alone with thousands of dollars in camera equipment into a park known as the place to shoot heroin in Aarhus. “I do a lot of shit that most people would see as scary, or stupid, or something, but there’s a logical part of my brain that reasons with me to say that it’s not actually that scary.” See, Tse is every bit the audacious photojournalist - at just 21 years old
Taken on International Pillow Fight Day in Berlin, Germany. Vaquillas (younger, more energetic bulls) are released into the crowd of people after the run in Pamplona, Spain.
Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes “A story of the modern Middle East that we think we know so much about.” By Kamal al-Solaylee
am the son of an illiterate shepherdess who was married off at fourteen and had eleven children by the time she was thirty-three. My mother, Safia, was born and raised in Hadhramaut, a part of my home country of Yemen that is better known today as the birthplace of the bin Laden clan. When she and my father, Mohamed, were married in the fall of 1945, in the port city of Aden, then a British protectorate, he was fresh off serving a stint in the Allied army and she had just reached puberty mere months before. A year earlier, she once confided to me, she had listened to the radio for the first time in her life and her older sister, Mariam, had talked of something called the cinema. The voice of an Egyptian singer, whom she identified years later as Oum Kalthoum, flowed through the airwaves when she walked past a little makeshift work station in the hills of Hadhramaut. Another Egyptian artist—Anwar Wagdi, Egypt’s answer to Gene Kelly—was starring in an early musical melodrama, which she never got to see but had ariam re-enact several times during their breaks from tending sheep. Little did Safia know then that her father was waiting for her first period, her first tentative step towards womanhood, to air her off with the son of a co-worker of his in the civil court where both men served as guards. Safia would always muse about the fact that her father-in-law, Abdullah, kept watch over riminals, since Abdullah himself was a runaway from justice, having killed a man near the northern Yemeni town of Taiz as part of a long-standing tribal vendetta. Indeed, Abdullah ended p in Aden in the early 1910s while on the run from his victim’s family. He may have been sixteen r seventeen at the time. There was no way of telling his exact age, as birth certificates didn’t exist t that time in Yemen’s history. 32
He adopted the name Solaylee—also spelled in English as Sulaili— from a small tribe that offered him shelter on their land near the border that divided what was then North and South Yemen. His family name, and by all rights mine, is Komeath. Kamal Komeath. It would have had a theatrical ring to it, befitting someone who studied Victorian melodrama in England and made a living writing about theatre in Canada. It might even be easier to spell than Al-Solaylee, a last name that I’ve always hated and spent most of my
life enunciating one letter at a time— in English and in Arabic. There’s so much to a name in Arabic culture. Your name aligns you socially and politically with your clan or provides an escape from it. When we lived in Cairo in the 1970s, many of our middleclass Egyptian friends adopted foreign names—Susan, Gigi, Michelle—as aspirations to a Western life. Arab nationalists preferred names that drew on local history: Salah, after Salah-ad-Din, who stood up to the Crusaders; or Gamal, after Egyptian president Gamal Abdel
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Nasser. Kamal itself means perfection, or the person who completes something and gives it the final push towards fulfillment. It’s one of the ninety-nine holy names for Allah, although my understanding is that I’m named after Kamal El-Shenawy, the Egyptian matinee idol of the 1940s and ’50s, who happened to be my mother’s favourite, once she experienced moving pictures for herself many, many years later. The verb form of my name, kamael, means to fill in the gap or complete a story. To try to live up to the many meanings of Kamal, even subconsciously, is an attempt at selfdestruction, one meaning at a time. It’s a given that I am far from perfect, but to fill in the gap between my life now, as a writer and university professor in Toronto, and that of my parents and my siblings in Yemen is what makes this book a necessity and a daunting task. How can I write of a mother who lived and died without learning to read or write in her native tongue, let alone English, when I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Victorian literature? Is it still a “gap” between my mother and me when the distance is the equivalent of living in different centuries and worlds? I look at family photographs in my Toronto apartment and wonder what Safia would have made of everything around me if she were alive today. She’d be shocked to know how little food I keep in the fridge, or that I’m a vegetarian. She was a consummate cook and never served a meal without two kinds of meat at least. She never thought that fish alone counted as a main course and served meatballs as a side dish to go with it. My apartment, decorated with modernist and minimal furniture and abstract art, would strike her as a work in progress. I can almost hear her say, “I’m sure you’ll buy more furniture when you’ve saved up some money.” She associated weight gain with health and prosperity and
was anxious when I went on a strict diet and lost thirty pounds between visits to Yemen. When I last saw her, in 2006, she was far gone into Alzheimer’s, but she still found it perplexing that I owned a dog in Toronto. “Get rid of him,” she pleaded with me, without ever pronouncing his name. “I could no more get rid of Chester than you could give up one of your children,” I responded, knowing that appealing to her sense as a mother could still be effective. She nodded and drifted off into an incoherent story, the details of which I can’t remember. To her, dogs were those vicious wild animals that occasionally attacked her sheep and bit her as a young shepherdess, or the dirty, rabid ones that roamed the back streets of Cairo and frightened her children every time they got close. What struck me then was her ability to bridge the gaps between her lives as a young girl, a middle-aged mother and now an elderly woman. She was a pro at it. Her entire married life was a desperate and difficult attempt at bridg-
ing gaps. In 1949 my father decided to study business in London for a year, leaving her behind with the first three children. She was eighteen. When my dad returned from England and started a business of buying and selling rundown properties—an early local example of flipping, in today’s real-estate terms—he had developed a taste for the sophisticated English life. Until weeks before his death, in 1995, he was rarely seen in public without a shirt and tie. Traditional Yemeni clothes—including the fouta, a skirt-like lower garment— were strictly for home. He introduced cutlery to a household that enjoyed eating with their hands. Mohamed would often tell us a story of how, after several attempts to get his wife used to a knife and fork, he settled on training her to eat with a spoon—at least when they had company. It was one of several and soon-to-be-growing gaps between my parents. A wife who was illiterate, and still a teenager in years if not life experience, hardly provided the necessary adornment for a businessman with career and
social-climbing ambitions. Social standing hadn’t counted for much in their parents’ lives; as long as a bride was young, virginal and from a good Muslim family the rest hadn’t really mattered. He couldn’t possibly divorce her, not with three children and a fourth on the way, and not since he seemed genuinely in love with her. As a stopgap, he taught her two English phrases, phonetically, so that if an Englishman—and there were many of them milling about Aden, which was then part of the British Empire— came looking for him, she’d not let him down. “Welcome” was the first and easier of the two to learn. “Just a moment” followed a few days later. It wasn’t exactly Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle but enough to keep him happy and her out of trouble.
Excerpt taken from Intolerable © 2012 by Kamal Al-Solaylee. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Flatter Me Figure loving looks from Toronto’s best vintage shops Model Kristen Ward, Photographer Joseph Hammond, Article by Avery Hamelin, Fashion Editor Jazmin Welch, Makeup Ana Merfu, Hair Jazmin Welch
here is nothing quite as wonderful as the pursuit of a soon-tobe-treasured fashion item; that illustrious hunt for something you that you know will not only turn heads; but will make you feel like a million bucks. That intangible something with a major “wow factor” that I couldn’t have dreamed up, unique in its construction, and weathered with age. While others may make a point to have a wardrobe stocked full of contemporary designers, I am proud to hold the title as a well-honed, professional thrifter. I guarantee that after this fast tutorial in vintage shopping, you will know all the do’s and don’ts of vintage shopping. 1. Learn your Labels Before you go on a vintage hunt, ensure that you have a basic understanding of high caliber textiles and fabrications, as well as designers that were prominent in previous decades. You will be more apt to differentiate the knock offs from what is real and you will be armed with a way to save big, as the retailers in these shops will only up the price on labels they know; giving you the upper hand. In clothing, look for silk and wool and in shoes I endorse anything Italian made. Also look for leather soles and uppers, a distinctive design that screams the fashion zeitgeist of a period, and killer brands like Salvatore Ferragamo. 2. Have a Focus Walking into a thrift store can be more than a little overwhelming. In light of this, it’s a good idea to go in with a mental image of your closet and what is currently absent from it. If I could impart just one piece of ad34
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Headscarf, Flashback; Sunglasses, Black Market
vice about the art of vintage shopping it would be to pick one section to dive into, as thrift stores have an expansive inventory. 3. Vintage Shopping is not Glamorous Vintage shopping is about as far as you can get from a walk through Yorkville where the design and fashion aesthetic have been carefully calculated. Contrary to this, shopping vintage is work. Swallow your pride because you will be entering the less than glamorous world of Salvation Armys, as it is in these poorly packed stores that you will be treated to the gems that often go unlooked. 4. Get With the Program and Get Trendy As much as I believe that you do not have to be on top of the latest fashion trends in order to have
impeccable style, following current trends can be a wonderful resource in ascertaining what pieces will translate into a stunning ensemble. Speaking from experience, when caught up in the excitement of finding a great deal, the unfortunate matter of whether an item is cool or incredibly tacky is a daunting question that almost always comes up. Knowing what prints, fits, and styles look great together, will make it easy to determine whether the high waisted pants you have picked up are chic or a total bust. Vintage one of a kind items not only help to define a style for the fashion rookie, but pose a challenge for even the most experienced fashion aficionado. For me, I will never tire of the thrill of an amazing find. I invite you too, to bypass to the Eaton Centre in place of some treasure hunting and thrifting
Photos by Jazmin Welch, Illustration by Jazmin Welch
Find Your Own Vintage Looks Black Market
Courage My Love
256a Queen St. W.
14 Kensington Ave.
25 Kensington Ave., and 33 Kensington Ave.
22 Kensington Ave., and 62 Kensington Ave.
Black Market, located on Queen Street West in the heart of Central Toronto’s fashion district, is the most coveted of all vintage stores for it’s wide selection, and notoriously low prices (their motto being “Everything 10 dollars”) and is often overlooked for it’s grungy appearance. However, this store is as fabulous as vintage stores get and hosts a large collection of cute bulky knitted sweaters, and the most gorgeous vintage shoe collection around. Hidden in in the back of this store lays a gold mine of designer finds! Bally, Franco Sarto, Stuart Weitzman, Salvatore Ferragamo, and a variety of other imported Italian shoes line the back wall of the store, that go unnoticed by the their primary consumer base that go in to solely check out the band wear. Black Market is one of the best vintage shops in Toronto, and is just a stones throw away from its neighboring fashion district of Kensington Market. So if you are a fashion junkie and want to find the best selection in vintage, these stores will be your ticket to looking fabulous for the fall season.
Courage My Love, another fabulous little shop in Kensington market circa 1975, is as vintage as the item’s it showcases, and is unique for its ethnic, hippie-chic flair. This store offers a plethora of imported items, but largely consists of an eclectic mix of loose fitting ethnic shifts, tunics, and pretty vintage dresses and nightgowns from the mid 1900s. Things you can count on finding are a wide variety of flashy ‘80s power heels, spunky Ked’s, moccasins, and slightly used contemporary shoes. They also carry some gorgeous silver and turquoise jewelry that seems to be the centerpiece of this exotic vintage escape. You can even find an assortment of interesting beads. Menswear is also emphasized in the store, and offers a distinctive offbeat collection of ties and hats, blazers and button up shirts that are cool and classic.
Flashback, is one of the newer hot spots on the Kensington strip, but has a wonderful history, as it has quickly built a reputation for selling quality vintage clothes and accessories. They offer a large assortment of apparel ranging from the early 1900s right into the 1980s, with a few contemporary pieces thrown in occasionally that are just as chic. Their specialty seems to be the hundreds of dresses that they regularly have stocked in the store that consist of primarily cute ‘50s cocktail dresses, and flouncy skirts. Despite this quantity the store hasn’t skimped on quality, with each dress in wonderful condition. This store is also acclaimed for its amazing customer service, which makes for an overall positive experience at Flashback.
Exile, now housed in two locations, both on Kensington Avenue, was opened by owner Lynn Harpell in 1975, and began with the intent of offering a wide selection of edgy punk threads. Today, the store still packs a punch by offering apparel ranging from the 1940s all the way to the present, for whatever fashion decade is currently your muse. From the best of ‘80s taffeta prom gowns, to the coolest collection of old leather jackets around, this store will become your onestop-shop for everything vintage, carrying such labels as Doc Marten’s, Adidas, and Harley Davidson. They even offer an extensive collection of Halloween costumes. But for all of their selection, the Pièce de résistance of Exile seems to be it’s superb selection of classic Levi’s jeans, which are perfect for those with a penchant for retro fashions. The prices which are very fair for the quality and authenticity of the things you’ll find in this store.
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THIS PAGE: Dress, Exile; Shoes, Model’s own; Bracelet, Editor’s own. OPPOSITE PAGE: Hat, Jacket, and Purse, Black Market; Scarf, Flashback; Shoes, Model’s Own.
Accessories for the
Ring, Erin Tracy Designs
Update your look with some of fallâ€™s hottest accessories that will land you the job Models James Katsabouris, and Tasha Welch, Model Photography Joeseph Hammond, Still Life Photography Savannah Onofrey, Article by Mary Young, Fashion Editor Jazmin Welch, Makeup Ana Merfu, Hair Jazmin Welch
38 RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
hile walking in the financial district, all one can see is black and grey, grey and black; a sea of suits. Owning a great suit is a must in the corporate world, but a black suit can become so much more with the right accessories. Purchasing a well fitting suit is one of the greatest investments to complete a long lasting wardrobe. Every man and woman in the working world goes through the tedious task of finding the perfect suit, but after finding the right fit, they will be thankful for years to come. When
looking for a suit, go for a solid black or a dark grey; avoid pinstripe or any pattern as it will go out of style and all the money you spent will have been a waste. Make sure the style and shape is classic, nothing too fashion forward or vintage, because it will last you upwards of five years. Buying a suit right off the rack that fits perfectly is fairly uncommon; so donâ€™t be afraid to tailor it. Not everyone can afford to go out and get a custom made suit so find an almost perfect suit and get it altered to look like it was made for you. For that
matter, don’t hesitate getting dress shirts and blouses fitted as well. Investing into a well fitting suit is key but so is tailoring; an average suit can look like one of a kind once it has been tailored to perfection. Once the suit is bought, it’s time to add the right accessories to stand out in the office. Some of fall’s trends that will work great in the office are oversized pieces, white, modern military, velvet, pink, and the luxurious global aristocrat trend our models are showcasing. When looking for accessories look for something you would be comfortable wearing, the right accessory will tell people a little more about yourself and add a fashionable touch to an otherwise boring look. When it comes to accessories, go for quantity over quality, as trends will come and go, while a proper fitting suit will always be in style. Oversized pieces can be anything from bold bangles to work-ready portfolios, all detailed with silver – the metal of the season. White accessories speak boldly in any wardrobe whether it’s a white snakeskin satchel or white peep-toe heels - it is essential in polishing any look. Accessories in olive green and navy blue inspire a military feel, as well as pearl necklaces and chains. Lace up booties and anything leather are perfect examples of military inspired accessories that fit perfectly into the corporate wardrobe. Altuzarra, Derek Lam and Jason Wu are just a few designers who took this trend to life in their Fall collections. Velvet accessories are great way to revive a past trend, whether it’s velvet heels or details on a purse. The luxurious fabric once connoted regality in Europe but now can be interpreted as anything from elegance all the way to rock’n’roll. Designers such as Giorgio Armani, Alexander Wang and Brian Atwood used velvet to insinuate anything from sophisticated to edgy. Pink has been spotted all over the runways for fall whether it’s a soft misty pink or a bold fuchsia. Oversized earrings in a soft pink are great for playing off the natural rosiness of your cheeks. Add lace, fur or luxe fabrics to include the global aristocrat trend into any look. Try adding satin heels
with a brooch and a lace-embellished clutch. Designers such as Prada, Donna Karan and Proenza Schouler showcased this trend in their fall/ winter 2012 collections. As trends are always changing, it is easier (and cheaper) to update your accessories instead of your whole
look, so go ahead, bring out your inner aristocrat! Whether it’s sophisticated cuff links, a patterned tie or a statement necklace, these accessories will take your business black suit to the next level, making a statement in the office and getting you noticed in an interview.
Bowtie, Green Shag
Necklace, Belle Boutique
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Cufflink, Green Shag
Earrings, Erin Tracy Designs Bowtie, Green Shag
Necklace, Cara Cheung
Shoes, Lanvin from Harry Rosen
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Bracelet, Erin Tracy Designs; Shoes, Franco Sarto from Capezio; Purse, Jeanne Lottie
Necklace, Earrings, and Cuff, Cara Cheung; Purse, Co-Lab by Christopher Kon from Capezio
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
1. Boot, Spring, $80 2. Blouse, French Connection, $118 3. Belt, joe Fresh, $8 4. Shoe, Little Burgundy, $180 5. Men’s shoe, ALDO, $130
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
6. Bowtie, H&M, $19.95 7. Bag, Joe Fresh, $229 8. Fedora, Joe Fresh, $19 9. Blazer, Aritzia, $195
10. Shoe, ALDO, $100 11. Bag, French Connection, $158 12. Pants, H&M, $59.95 13. Clutch, French Connection, $78 14. Boot, Joe Fresh, $99
Alumni Fashion Inspiration Toronto designers share the motivations behind their work By Jessica Chan
Sunny Fong Image Arts, ‘99
Zoran Dobric Instructor, ‘00-‘07
Fong, winner of Project Runway Season 2, brings a unique artistic perspective to design. In 2004, Fong founded VAWK, a women’s luxury ready-to-wear label that melds modern femininity with classic sensibility. Fong is a truly savvy businessman with a creative vision. After working in the industry for almost a decade, he has come to learn that the fashion industry is extremely cut throat, and he offers his advice, “Be conscious of the business side of fashion. It is equally as important as the designs you create.”
Zoran brings a unique perspective to teaching as well as to design. Originally from Milan, Zoran knew he wanted to become a designer at an early age while watching his grandmother work as a seamstress and experimenting with fabrics. As an educator, Zoran believes that hard work, thorough research and dedication are all equally important. Zoran’s advice for emerging designers, “Fashion is a very competitive, over-saturated… fast changing and fickle industry. A mix of creativity and business savvy is vital for a designer to make it.”
Fashion Design ‘93
Fashion Design ‘06
Illustrations done by respective designers
Caocs’s designs are punctuated with unexpected, artistic and architectural detailing. He is known for his skills in fit and construction and creates his collections with the goal of designing classic pieces that will withstand season after season. Inspiration for Caoc can come from anywhere, anything, and everything in pop culture, books, movies, or from chance meetings with inspiring people. From experience, Joeffer has learned that you should, “Only design because you love it – not for anything or anyone else.”
Biffi spent her childhood designing and making clothing for dolls. Inspired by the world, Jessica designs with conviction and the goal to build stories through her collections. She is inspired by anything from music to a household plant. Jessica has learned that nothing that gets you ready more than real world experience. She says, “This industry is not an easy one...it is competitive and difficult to get into, but if you are in it for yourself and your love of it and not the fame, you will come out with what you put in.”
Fashion Design, ‘10
Fashion Marketing, ‘01
Not being experienced in sewing prior to an education at Ryerson, Cheung proved that she was persistent and passionate about her dream to become a fashion designer. She designs with a modern, bold and glamorous flare. All of Cheung’s collections are inspired by a different theme, but she always finds a way to incorporate geometrics and embellishments into her designs. To emerging and prospective designers, Cheung believes that you have to be persistent and stay true to yourself because it is a tough industry.
Jessica Jensen, designer and creator of luxurious handbags, credits her education in helping “weather the start-up phase” of entrepreneurship. “As an entrepreneur you need to wear a lot of hats,” Jensen says. She notes that the industry in Canada is small so you must offer unique items. Jensen is inspired by the classic aesthetic of European women, “They have a casual confidence in their own style, not focusing on trends as a priority, and they invest in quality goods that will take them from season to season.” RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Julia’s Book Club Three pairs of must-read books for this fall from Ryerson’s VP Finance and Administration By Julia Hanigsberg Leaders to learn from who couldn’t be more different:
Tina Fey, Bossypants Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs Tina Fey’s biography is full of laughs going back to early childhood humiliations, learning improv, breaking into Saturday Night Live, and finally to 30 Rock creator and executive. Amongst the laughs are insights on leadership and motherhood. Use your energy on your work and ignore people who want to distract you. Don’t believe people who try to pit you against other women (“cat fight!”)—you have to compete against everyone. Don’t forget to check out her definition of a “crazy” woman—it uses language I can’t repeat in a family friendly publication! Steve Jobs falls into the category of great man as enormous jerk. Extraordinary mind—check. Creative genius— check. Don’t build the best product the customer wants, build something no one knows is even possible and they will want it. Control everything! Believe your intuition
even where others have greater expertise (e.g. iTunes and the music industry). Ego, yes, but the iPhone would never have happened without that self-confidence. Jobs proved it is possible to make people reach higher than they ever thought possible by sheer force of will but, the book shows the human cost.
Two very different books offer unique perspectives on a historical moment:
Esi Edugyan, Half-Blood Blues Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
Edugyan’s prize winning novel’s protagonists are jazz musicians living and performing in Germany at the dawn of WWII. Largely freer in Germany than in the racially segregated United States at the beginning of the story, the layers of fear, oppression, and ultimately death for some and escape for others build against a not quite love story that pits ambition alongside self-preservation and rewards us ultimately with a surprising ending that is painful in its ambivalence. Larson’s book depicts statecraft through one family’s experience. It chronicles William Dodd, new US ambassador to Germany, and his 24-year-old daughter Martha for
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
their four years in Berlin as Hitler rose to power. Outsiders both in Berlin and in the diplomatic corps, neither understood the impact of what they were witnessing. Entranced by the social whirl of Berlin, Martha romanticized Nazi officers. Dodd underestimated his impotence even once he belatedly realized the gravity of the circumstances. Too alienated from corridors of power to be influential, Dodd is ultimately a tragic figure.
Julia’s Book Club
Harnessing the insights of neuroscience to understand yourself and influence your organization:
Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit Roy F. Baumeister, Willpower
These books use neuroscience to look at why some of us seem so much better at pushing through adversity and building habits that create success. For example, Duhigg examines the training of Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps and the habit of winning that was drummed into him by the reinforcement of cue, routine and reward. Research shows academic success is more dependent on “grit,” the ability to consistently work through obstacles, than IQ. Willpower isn’t an innate quality, you aren’t born being able to eat just one chocolate chip cook-
ie! You can build, store, deplete and strengthen willpower. By creating good habits and building willpower, you can develop new personal strengths and organizational capacities. Harness the neuroscience to create an Olympic medalist, the safest factory or the most profitable business.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Apocalypse Now Why the world simply isn’t allowed to end in 2012 By Megan Jones
long-dreaded December 2012, things are different. This year, I am putting my foot down. Not only have I decided that I don’t want the world to end, but I have come to the conclusion that it can’t. Not here. Not now. First off, let me just say, this is coming at a pretty inconvenient time for me. I need to finish my degree. I need to get over my last relationship. There’s a pile of National Geographic back issues on my coffee table that have so far only served the purpose of falsely impressing house guests. I’ve just turned 20 and things are finally starting to look up. I have at least another 15 years of being physically attractive left, and I am clinging to dreams of one day being published in the Walrus. The apocalypse can’t take that away from me. Of course though , this extends beyond me. I’m a mere one person in nearly seven billion, which makes my stance all the more valid. If the impending apocalypse isn’t coming at a convenient time for me, it sure as hell isn’t coming at a convenient time for the human race. For one thing, collectively we still have far too many unresolved issues. Poverty gaps are steadily widening on both global and local levels. Multiple countries remain in the throes of what is hoped will be a revolution. The Western Canon is still overwhelmingly comprised of books written by white dudes.
RYERSON FOLIO / Fall 2012
Rob Ford is still the mayor of Toronto. For us, a number of questions remain unanswered: Is education a right or a privilege? Who did let the dogs out? Will we ever find a functional alternative to capitalism? Man, is Paul dead, or not? All the while, such promise seems so close. This year alone we cured AIDS in a man, found the God Particle, landed the Mars Rover. The inventions we’re building are incredible (those new Google glasses are essentially like strapping an iPad to your face!) and we’re moving forward socially too (thank you Obama for finally endorsing same-sex marriage). We need to see how these things play out. When I look at what we (them, you, those who came before) have accomplished, it becomes clear how unacceptably little we’ve managed in some areas, and how beautifully close we are to (temporary?) resolution in others. To me, it seems inane to end it all now, while we’re simultaneously so far behind and so on the cusp. For all of humanity to perish in the next three months, at such a senseless time in such a senseless way, would invalidate our progressions and leave us humans as a race sadly unaccomplished. This time I can’t allow myself to accept the apocalypse is coming. This time I need to feel like this is worth it.
Illustration by Taylor Barnes
was seven years old when I realized that it was possible for the world to end. I can remember it so clearly, the very height of Y2K fever. I wound through the towering aisles at Costco with my mother as she self-consciously accumulated a cart-full of non-perishable food. When I asked, she gently explained to me why the store was more crowded than usual – something about computers, data storage, and an end to life as we knew it. I reacted by barely reacting. At first I was stunned - it’s jarring, after all, to suddenly be aware of your own impermanence. Gradually though, a sense of acceptance settled in and I became almost impartial. I didn’t quite like the idea of the apocalypse, but if it was going to happen I’d just have to deal with it. That year I stayed up until midnight for the first time – I think I mostly just wanted to see if planes really would start dropping from the sky. When they didn’t, I yawned, stretched out on the couch and fell asleep. So many potential doomsdays have failed to materialize since then and I’ve approached each with a similar indifference. Large Hadron Collider in 2008? Not much I can do to stop a blackhole. Harold Camping and the great Rapture campaign of 2011? I’d be powerless in the midst of the second coming. But this year, as we approach the
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Published on Sep 12, 2012
Ryerson Folio Magazine is Ryerson’s first general-interest culture magazine, published twice a year in print, and weekly online during the a...