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Floraison: Cultivating Consent Through Fashion

Published on
Nov 27, 2019
Written by
Aisling Gogan
Published by
Edited by
Last Tuesday, November the 19th, our content creator — Aisling, helped put together an event for her Fashion Event Planning class at Ryerson University, run by Daniel Drak. The event was called: Floraison.
She kindly decided to shared her experience and behind the scenes knowledge with us exclusively on RADmag! Check it out …

The event was in support of Consent Comes First, Ryerson’s on-campus support service; which promotes consent culture to prevent against sexual assault in and around campus. Consent Comes First recognizes that sexual assault is an ongoing issue on University campuses and aims to be a resource for support and an educational tool. Whilst developing a theme for our fashion show, we wanted to keep the client’s core messages of: growth, healing, and support as our focus to then contextualize it into fashion.

(Floraison; A French word meaning to bloom or flower)

Floraison did just that — painting a picture of a blooming garden in a space where the importance of consent can be cultivated. The show took place at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in ‘The Village’ and was a night full of important conversations, self-expression, and drag performance; reverberating the overarching theme of consent. The event used fashion as a medium to strike up a conversation about consent and united the Ryerson community to strengthen our overall values as a University.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend, here’s a rundown of how the night unfolded:

7:00 pm: Doors opened, and guests began streaming in. They took part in our activities, socialized and put their names in a raffle for the chance to win a faux-leather FEMINIST jacket designed by cruelty-free, Canadian womenswear brand Hillary McMillian, who was kind enough to attend the show. Our venue and staging team did a great job of creating the ambience of a garden through decorations such as flowers, vines, paper cranes, and string lights, both hand-made and provided by Soul Pepper Theatre. To keep guests engaged, there was a photobooth, bits & amp; bites, drinks, and a wall of notes where people could come to write positive messages of support.

8:00 pm: Our event committee leads took to the stage to give thanks to the team and introduce our speakers from Consent Comes First, who spoke about Floraison and the importance of consent to campus safety. Hillary McMillian introduced herself and encouraged everyone to participate in the raffle draw.

8:30pm: The lights dimmed and the music accelerated as a colourful light show flashed fluorescent blues and pinks, drawing everyone’s eyes to the stage. Models emerged from the second floor, descending from the stairs one at a time to have their moment in the spotlight. Simultaneously, models entered through the side entrance to join the others on stage. Our models consisted mostly of Ryerson students as well as volunteers from the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (TRCC) and were in full bloom as they walked in TopShop clothing and accessories, decorated in floral patterns and embellishments, accompanied by colourful makeup.

8:50pm: After the fashion show portion, Miss Steak (@illhavethesteak) a Toronto based drag performer took centre stage to give a positively shocking performance, landing into the splits, interacting with the audience, and lip-syncing pop songs. She stole the show and filled guests with excitement, taking to social media to document the experience.

9:30pm: Final bows were taken and the raffle winner was announced. Guests were free to mingle as our crew cleaned up from the night! Planning Floraison over this past semester and seeing it come to fruition has been such a rewarding experience, making all the effort our team put in worthwhile.


Moving forward, let’s continue to have a conversation about consent in every space throughout our lives – including campus, to cultivate a positive culture around consent.

Just as a garden can flourish, you too can bloom from difficult experiences. Know that if you are personally affected by sexual assault, there are people around you who will listen and provide help.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out xx

Some resources:

Consent Comes First: https://www.ryerson.ca/sexual-violence/get-support/

TRCC: https://trccmwar.ca