Cherry Bomb: The 2018 Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Graduate Show

Runway Images by Peter Jensen Photography

This article is woefully late, and for that I offer my sincerest apologies. December was crazy, so my January to-do list ended up being woefully long.  But better late than never as these students really caught my attention.

Every year I look forward to the Blanche Macdonald grad fashion show. Their students always offer me that great mix of innovation, creativity, vision and strong tailoring that makes me sit up in my seat.  I was travelling in November 2017, so had to reluctantly miss their show.  That made their 2018 offering even more sweet.

Twenty nine new fashion designers presented their grad collection over 2 nights - the first a curated selection for media, and the second a full night for parents and friends. The show this year was called CHERRY BOMB.  I was totally intrigued by the title, so did some research and came up with this quote from Blanche Macdonald's Executive Director of the Fashion Design Program, Tyler Udall - 

“This group loved to riff off of contemporary fashion,” continued Tyler. 
“The designs seemed to have a more upbeat character than previous
 years. When we did the Show’s photo shoot last month with KT Auleta, 
we decided to shoot half of it on a cherry red, backlit backdrop 
and I was very pleased with the end result. I’d been listening 
to a lot of 70’s rock building up to the show. Sara Armstrong and 
I both thought that ‘Cherry Bomb,’ reverently borrowed from Joan Jett 
and The Runaways, would be a fun name for the show.”

I was taken by the wide variety of aesthetics as well as the amazing fashion illustrations showcased in their portfolios.  I honestly couldn't pick a favourite this evening, but I did choose a few I will be reaching out for solo interviews. Those chosen offer a mix of strong design skills, originality and great illustrations.  It's the perfect trifecta in my opinion. You'll have to check back as I'm just mailing out the interviews now.'

Special congrats to the following students who not only created great collections, but received an additional acknowledgement by winning one of the annual awards.
  • Overall Achievement: Savana Sheardown
  • Academic Achievement: Nicole Joyce
  • Portfolio: Aaron Pharness
  • Illustration: Alice Colojacomo, Elham Mirhosseini (tie). Honourable mention: Vanessa Romman
  • Pattern-Making: Aaron Pharness. Honourable mention: Austin Playfair
  • Garment Construction: Bebeth Cohen. Honourable mention: Vanessa Romman
  • Textile Design: Savana Sheardown
  • Accessory Design: Marco Bruni

No shows like this are successful without a large team of tireless people working behind the scenes and this how is no exception -  emcee Jaylene Tyme and DJ Hana Pesut (Sincerely Hana) out front, along with the backstage team of Tyler Udall, Sara Armstrong, stylist Lacey-June Berry, Key Makeup Artist Jon Hennessey, Key Hair Stylist Lisa Callender and a team of volunteer grads and students from the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing program.

Then there are the corporate sponsors who are such a crucial part of making an evening of fashion like this possible. These events couldn't run without them. Special thanks to go gravitypopeKevin MurphyMake Up For Ever and Oribe for their support and to CurliQue Beauty the guest goody-bags together.

I'd like to close with this heartfelt thanks I found in the school's show write up, offered to all who supported these dedicated students from their entry into the program, to their final grad collections - 

"...The success of Cherry Bomb was a tribute to the hard work of the staff and students at Blanche Macdonald, with special mention due to the inspirational leadership of President Lily Lim, the endless efforts of Executive Director, Fashion Design Tyler Udall, Design Instructor Sara Armstrong, and Career Director, Fashion Department Mel Watts. Huge thanks must also go to Co-Executive Program Directors Peggy Morrison and Donna Baldock, Fashion Department Instructors Lisa Gellert, Matthew Burditt, Lyndi Barrett, Carlie Wong, and Wanda Sustersich, Teaching Assistants Lukas Daase, Aman Sandhu and Hannah Ericksson, Creative Director Liz Dungate, Associate Marketing Director Natasha Eng, Graphic Design Director Morgan Mallett, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator Jacky Le, Director of CurliQue Retail Operations Gina Hansen, Operations Director Peter Leung, and Social Media and Creative Content Coordinators Kendahl Jung and Mohamed Ibrahim Ali."

For more information on the Fashion Design program at Blanche Macdonal, please visit their website at