Style Profile: France Barry

France Barry is a first year Fashion Design student at Ryerson University in Toronto. She says that since she was little, she wanted to be a Fashion Designer. France knew that Ryerson was renowned for their Fashion programs, and made it her goal to get in. 
After taking a year off to master her sewing skills, get in some amazing volunteer experiences, and create an outstanding portfolio, she was accepted, and is now on the path to keep following her dreams.   
France has done many things so far - such as creating costumes for theater performances in her community in North Bay, Ontario, volunteering at "The Farm", a small boutique where items are uniquely created and Canadian-made, and sold there. She saw the creation of pieces, making patterns, grading sizes, and dealing with manufactures as well as their front store boutique. That's not all France has done leading up to this year. She also has her own YouTube channel, where she has so far put out a video showcasing her beautiful designs and garments. You can watch it here!
Right now, France says she would like to see herself having a career in Costume Design for Theater, or with Movies and TV after her four years at Ryerson. Look below to read France's full interview with me, and take a look at her beautiful photos taken in a sewing lab/work room at Ryerson School of Fashion. 

How would you describe your personal style?

I think the best way to describe my style would be that it’s versatile; I don’t necessarily like to conform to one specific look, I prefer to experiment and try out different styles and silhouettes such as boho, girly, trendy, and grunge.  Although, one thing that is consistent throughout my wardrobe is that I like pieces that are unique and original that I wouldn’t find on anybody else, which is why I really enjoy making some of my own clothes.  



When did you realize your love for fashion and design, or have you always loved it?

Since I was little, I would always draw rows of dresses and little outfits and have my mom and my sisters rate them and pick out their favourites.  It has been my dream to become a fashion designer for as long as I can remember.  I always loved to draw and I took art classes all throughout high school, and now to be able to pursue my education in fashion at Ryerson is an absolute dream come true and something I definitely do not take for granted.      



Since this is your first year at Ryerson, how do you like the school, campus, etc? What are some of your favourite things about it?

So far, it has been an amazing experience here! Because Ryerson’s Fashion School only accepts a number of students, the classes are quite small which really allows you to bond with your classmates and your teachers.  Never would I have imagined that my teachers would know me by name at a University level and I am so appreciative of the individual feedback and attention they offer to everyone.  It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by all these super creative and artistic individuals who have the same interests as me; I really feel at home here.    

To apply to Fashion Design at Ryerson, you must construct a portfolio while following strict guidelines and there are mandatory pieces you must include. What did you find to be the most difficult piece to work on for your portfolio?

For my portfolio I had to construct three garments and the most difficult piece was definitely the leather jacket but it is the one I am most proud of and my personal favorite of all the things I’ve made so far. 
   


You seem to have had a lot of experiences in fashion, with sewing, and also volunteering prior to coming to Ryerson. What would you say was the best/most favourite experience or which one would you say helped the most to get you to where you are today? During this experience, what did you learn?

My experience in theatre and costume design is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.  Two summers ago, I decided to volunteer and help make costumes for North Bay’s TOROS (Theatre Outreach On Stage) production of Anything Goes and that’s when I fell in love with costume design.  Since that summer in 2013, I have had the opportunity to work on three other plays, two of which I got to be the head costume designer.  It is the most amazing feeling to see your designs come to life on stage and I am so thankful to North Bay’s TOROS and Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre for giving me that opportunity.  


"RCDS" stands for Ryerson Communication & Design Society

Both Fashion programs at Ryerson, Design and Communication, are known to be very intense, difficult programs. Would you agree with this? What kind of advice would you give to someone going into one?

I think you could say that about any program, the difference is how much effort you’re going to devote to something.  The workload for my program may be quite heavy but when you love what your doing it doesn’t seem like work at all.  For anyone hoping to pursue fashion at a post secondary level, I would advise you to try and manage your time between projects as efficiently as possible and simply get involved and try and meet as many people in the fashion industry as you can.



You have a YouTube channel with a video of some of your sewn garments and designs, and they are fantastic! What made you start doing YouTube, and what other videos do you plan to make in the future?

Thanks, I really like that video too!  I’ve been into YouTube for a while now, and I’m subscribed to a lot of different fashion and beauty gurus and once I had sewn a few garments I wanted to make a little video to show my friends and family what I had made.  My sisters helped me me film it and I edited it and put everything together and it was a really fun, creative process.  I got a lot of positive feedback and people seemed to like what I had made so I would love to make more videos in the future.  Right now, I’m actually working on a winter/holiday lookbook so I’m really excited to film that one back home, with a beautiful winter wonderland background!      

You seem like you know what you want out of this program, and also what you want to do for work after you are finished your four years. Is there anything else you would want to try, or experiment with while in this program?

I would absolutely love to gain more experience in costume design and work in various theatre productions and eventually get to work on tv shows and movies as well.  I’m also really interested in theDanier Design Challenge where 3rd years get the opportunity to design a leather jacket and the first place winner will have his or her design featured in Danier’s fall collection.  Another task I’m excited about is the 400 hours of internship needed to complete the program.  I think it is a really neat shot at getting your foot in the door and possibly securing future job opportunities; I would also love to travel and do an internship abroad in Europe to experience the high level fashion overseas.  

I have a lot of ideas and dreams in my head that I want to achieve and I am sure that my time at Ryerson will help me accomplish all of them and more.  


 

What France Wore:

Jacket - Original Design
Dress - Cloakroom
Boots - Steve Madden
Socks - American Apparel

Photos by Mikayla Kuehn

© All content is my own. Feel free to use anything you would like, while giving proper credit. Thank you.

Below are some samples of work France has done.

A photo of France's Sequence Transformation Project 
 an assignment done in her Fundamentals of Design class at Ryerson University. Isn't it amazing!?



 A photo from one of the theater performances that France designed costumes for - TOROS' Pippin Production


 A photo from one of the theater performances that France designed costumes for - Dreamcoat's Ebenezer Production

Style Profile: Jaye Williams

Jaye is a very determined and driven, young high school student at CDCI West. She seems to have a clear image in her mind of what she wants as a career, and in her future. Jaye wishes to pursue journalism, preferably in the fashion industry, after high school. 
While co-oping at her placement, Northumberland Today, Jaye has gotten to experience many things and even put her writing into publications. She recently has interviewed the Cobourg Piano Man, Michael McNamara, and wrote a 2000 word article about him. This was not only published in the GO magazine, but also the Toronto Sun! Read it here. This is very impressive for a girl her age, and it shows her dedication to her work. 
She is usually the one interviewing others, and not used to being in front of the camera lens, but she did a fantastic job! Read her full interview below and see her beautiful outfit photos. 

Mikayla: 

Describe the perfect outfit for yourself.

Jaye:

The perfect outfit for myself would be the black Valentino spiked shoes, black skinny jeans, a burgundy coloured tweed jacket, with a nude collared shirt underneath, accompanied by a black nano luggage Celine bag. 

Mikayla: 

What would be one item in your closet that you can't live without? 

Jaye:

Black skinny jeans! I find they make my legs look longer, they work with everything aside from brown, and it is an easy go to if I'm stuck on what to wear.



Mikayla: 

How did you decide that you wanted to pursue Journalism? Have you always enjoyed writing?

Jaye:

When I was in the eighth grade, I had to write a one page description on my favorite place, and then from there on I loved writing. I decided to move to journalism from that because I work well under pressure, which is what journalism is all about, and I like to express things through writing. 

Mikayla: 

What is it about the fashion industry and fashion journalism that interests you?

Jaye:

 I love how everything is constantly changing. Nothing is ever the same, so you're always working on something new. Fashion is another way to express things without using words, and I want to show people how they can express themselves through clothing, and keep people up to date on everything that does constantly change every day. People don't realize how much someone else can view their personality just through what people are wearing, and I want to show people that. 

Mikayla: 

If you could write for any magazine, what one would you choose? 

Jaye:

Probably Flare or Elle Canada. They are both out of Toronto magazines so I wouldn't have to travel much for them. 



Mikayla: 

While writing for Northumberland Today, what have you learned? Would you say it has been a good opportunity and experience so far?

Jaye:

I have learned that if there is a new story or something important happens, you will have to drop everything and report on it. It has been great though, everyone is so nice and they are giving me so much breathing space to do my own thing. I have gotten to write a lot more articles than I thought I would have, just since I don't have the same qualifications in education.

Mikayla: 

You mentioned Ryerson being the University that you wish to attend after high school. What about Ryerson interests you the most, and why would you like to go there? 

Jaye:

I love that it is right downtown Toronto, that is exactly where I want to be. I heard they were very great for Journalism and English. Many people have told me if I want to take journalism, to go there, and I haven't heard anything bad about it.



Mikayla:

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Jaye:

I'm hoping I'm living in an apartment in a city, I'm not sure which one yet, engaged or maybe just married. I want to be pursuing my dream at a magazine or as a columnist. I hope to have no more school debt, and I definitely do not want kids at that time. I want to be career driven and motivate myself to make my way up the ladder. Hopefully by that time editing will be in my future.



What Jaye Wore:

Jacket, Top - Forever 21
Pants, Boots, Ring - H&M
Necklace - Scarborough Flea Market
Bag - Call it Spring

Photos by Mikayla Kuehn

© All content is my own. Feel free to use anything you would like, while giving proper credit. Thank you.

Style Profile: Zoe Cortesis

Zoe Cortesis is not your ordinary Grade 11 high school student. She is also a model. Zoe has been preparing her portfolio to take into agencies, and hopefully begin a part-time career that way. She has already been seen a couple times in photo shoots for Mad Monkey Clothing Prom Dresses, as well as getting photographers to help develop and grow her portfolio.
I met Zoe in my art class at school, and there, I really noticed her eye for style and creativity. She loves the industry, and is interested in possibly following through with some type of career in fashion. Right now she is leaning towards Fashion Show organizing and production, and anything behind the scenes that way.
Zoe has some experience in other areas as well, besides modeling. She has picked up a little bit of sewing skills over the years, and helped out a couple years ago backstage with a musical production that her school, CDCI West put on, called The Wedding Singer. She told me about how she helped with hair and makeup, and that she enjoyed it very much!
Read her full interview and see her lovely photos that I captured below! 

Mikayla:

List some key pieces in your wardrobe. What are some of your absolute favorites?

Zoe:

Black booties, leather jackets, and ripped jeans.

Mikayla:

Describe your personal style and how (if at all) you show it through your modeling photos.

Zoe:

I try to wear things out of my comfort zone sometimes. Even if the things I am wearing are what's "in style", I still try to put my own person taste into it.



Mikayla:

You have mentioned possibly following through with a career in fashion one day. What interests you in general about the fashion industry?

Zoe:

I love the idea of being in that type of environment, and being surrounded by fashion. Fashion is something I love, and doing something based on that as a living would be amazing! I also think living in the city would help me follow my passion for this industry. I would be able to see more fashion, instead of here, in a small town.

Mikayla:

Do you see modeling possibly being your full time career one day?

Zoe:

I can definitely see myself modeling for a few years in my life, and then most likely getting into a different full time career in the long run. That career is still undecided right now.

Mikayla:

What famous models in the industry do you look up to, or find inspiration in?

Zoe:

I really like Lily Aldridge because she appears to have an effortless style but is every elegant.



Mikayla:

As a working model, if you could choose any ad campaign for a brand/company, which one would you see yourself fitting in best with, or wish to be a part of?

Zoe:

I love looking at Ralph Lauren ads and I think it would be amazing to shoot for them.

Mikayla:

You are currently putting together a portfolio to submit to modeling agencies. Are you nervous at all with how they will react to your photos and if you will get hired/signed with one of them? What are some of your struggles (if any) with preparing for this?

Zoe:

It is nerve-wracking not knowing what they will think, or what they will say about my photos, but I think all you have to do is work at what you can, and go in believing in yourself. I've been working on this portfolio for a few years now, and if they don't like my photos, I can take that information knowing that I just have to keep working at it, and go back next year or another time I feel prepared again.



Mikayla:

What would be some of your own personal advice to young individuals who want to give modeling a try?

Zoe:

I think you just really have to want it. It's tough, and I myself don't even have that much experience. You have to be healthy and stay positive through it all!


What Zoe Wore:

Jacket, Shoes - H&M
Sweater - Forever 21
Bag - Winners

Photos by Mikayla Kuehn

Apologies for the quality of photos, I was unable to use my usual DSLR when I shot for Zoe!

© All content is my own. Feel free to use anything you would like, while giving proper credit. Thank you.