Rien Bautista is a 4th year Fashion Communications students who came to into studio looking for some extra guidance on her final year thesis collection. I was thrilled to be able to help because, I still remember those days like they were yesterday! (despite it being well over a decade since I graduated from the Ryerson School of Fashion).
Ryerson’s fashion program is tough!!! Surviving the full 4 years is a serious achievement with a finish line that most who start do not often cross. The program is designed to help prepare you for “the real world”, and by the end, you are truly left standing with some of the most talented people in the country.
When I heard the news that Mass Exodus would be cancelled this year due to the current global pandemic, my heart broke for all the 4th year students involved. For those reading, this may not seem like that big of a deal, but you have to remember is that for the majority of students involved, this has been what they have been working towards tirelessly for the last 4 years. For them it is not just a fun fashion show, it is an opportunity to present their work to the industry and a way for many of these students to get recruited for future employment upon graduation.
For this reason, I wanted to put a spotlight on Rien Bautista’s beautiful collection and ask her a few questions about her process. Enjoy!
Pictured above: Rien (on the right) with her model/ friend Em (on the left)
Tell us a little about yourself ...
Hello! My name is Rien Bautista. I’m a 4th year Fashion Communication student at Ryerson University. Aside from that, I also work as a Marketing Associate for a fashion incubator called the Fashion Zone. My areas of work include marketing, branding, and graphic design. I spend my free time reading books, watching movies, and taking photos.
If you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be?
I would be a pair of stylish heels that people can wear on a day-to-day basis because I’m passionate about beautifying life with good design. Think of shoes that make you feel like you can conquer the world, but still very comfortable and practical. I would also probably be some version of a warm pink because everything I own is pink!
What inspired you to take classes at Art and Sole?
For my senior project, I decided to create a small shoe collection based on the traditional Filipino clogs called bakya. You can read more about it on my blog post here. Prior to the project, I had no experience making shoes, which is why I took the beginner shoemaking workshop at Art and Sole where I learned the basics. It was a really good experience. I spent 2 weekends with such friendly and passionate people.
After the workshop, I had a better idea of the shoemaking process. I designed my collection and also went back to Art and Sole for a one-on-one session with Jennifer. She looked at my designs, and helped me figure out what would and wouldn’t work. She also helped me plan out the pattern drafting process for the collection. I honestly couldn’t have done the project without her help and support!
- Mood board created by Rien as inspiration for her Capstone Collection Finfo
What does being a maker mean to you?
I have always considered myself as a more digitally-inclined creative. I can quickly create a poster on Photoshop, or a logo on Illustrator. Learning how to make shoes and challenging myself to create with my hands was extremely rewarding. I learned to be patient with the process. For me, being a maker means being able to translate one's ideas and values into beautiful pieces.
How does being a maker affect your relationship with shopping and retail?
Being a fashion student, I have always been aware of the value of high-quality pieces. Being a maker has definitely made my appreciation for artisan fashion deeper. After taking the shoemaking classes, I also can’t stop looking at shoes! I think about how well they are designed and constructed.
What's next for you? How has this global pandemic affected your final year and graduation?
COVID-19 affected my final year tremendously. All of my classes are now online and some projects have been re-assesed in terms of how they'll be executed and graded. It has also been stressful to think about graduating (which has been postponed until the Fall) and finding a job after University.
How can we follow along with your next steps?
I share my work and write blog posts about creativity and design on my website, rienbautista.com!
I also post on my Instagram @rienbautista.