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Midterm: Adaptive Fashion Reimagined through "Fit."

ncordon's picture
File Midterm Sketches and Coda.docx3.01 MB


ekoren's picture

I loved your beautiful dresses! I really appreciate your commitment to creating fashion that enables disabled folks to stand out rather than blend in; bold choices (and even bad choices, as you point out :)) should absolutely be available to everyone. I  particularly appreciate your attention to fabric choice since uncomfortable, itchy fabric is universally unpleasant and, for many disabilities, specifically inaccessible. Your project also definitely made it clear that many accessibility features would actually make general wardrobes more comfortable (stretchy fabric rocks, and I hate how hard it is to zip myself into most dresses, for example), and I love that you've shown that this comfort does not need to mean a sacrifice in style. 

While viewing your project, I did find myself wishing that I could see some of the currently available options that you discussed, purely as a point of comparison. Perhaps in a future iteration of this project, you could point out some specific flaws present within the collections you mention, making it easier to visualize the gap in accessible fashion that your pieces are responding to.  Additionally, I wonder how feasible it is for singular fashion designs to be truly accessible to whole populations. For example, I saw that you note length as an accessibility feature for wheelchair users but then included some of the bolder aspects of your designs on the back of the dresses which would presumably be concealed by the back of a wheelchair. That being said, again, many aspects of your designs make clothing more accessible for everyone, including myself, and I loved seeing what you've created!

embrody's picture

Natalia, I really enjoy your project!! Your sketches are great and the designs are beautiful. I think your acknowledgment of the somewhat boring styles that have been created by designers trying to make "inclusivity" lines is very interesting. Why should people with disabilities have such a narrow range of what to wear? I think that self expression can come out of clothing, but it must be difficult with the limited resources. Your thoughts about the designs are well thought out and I feel like you are really injecting life and youthfulness (not as in for children but as you said not for a "1990s librarian") into the style. In terms of your designs, I think that did a really good job with attention to detail in making the dresses more confortable and accessible. Specifically, I think it is really smart to include the velcro and magnetic buttons instead of zippers in ease of taking the garment off and on. Also, the use of stretchy fabric probably will also help some people, not only making it more comfortable to wear, but also to put on. 

Besides the physical accesibility of the line, I think that your "Final Note" is also very important. The accesibility in terms of cost is also something that needs to be addressed. People that can pay enough could get custom clothing, but that is not accessible, the accessibility includes that the line is affordable.

Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and designs!

laurentanel's picture

This visual display of art and cultural norms was such an amazing combination! I loved being able to dissect your sketches in both elements of fashion aesthetic and accessibility. The driving point of your analysis really stuck with me in that consumers within the disability community should be able to push the limits of fashion beyond just assimilation. I had not thought about access to clothing in this light before and it really revealed another dimension of what I take for granted and an able-bodied consumer. Being able to experiment with fashion is an outlet that I have always been able to use to find happiness and self-definition. I am now realizing that depriving people of this ability to make choices with clothing can, in a very impactful way, diminish their ability to further find their own unique characteristics and personhood.

I also love that this project is targeted toward young people. During my teenage years I really began to explore creative self-expression and I think that this is such an important time in life to have access to this outlet. Art is a really interesting way for people to find passion and experience this search for creativity. Also, because fashion is a form of self-expression that others see every day, it helps to define a person’s image. It is so important to give all young people an equal opportunity to determine what that image means to them. 

You also mentioned high fashion brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, beginning to reach out with fashion lines aimed to include the disability community. I wonder if there has been a push for hiring disabled models to display these clothes? It is one thing to claim the purpose, but even more so necessary to connect with the consumer and have the disability community represented on the red carpet. I am sure that this is something you would consider in the hypothetical of your fashion house being put out on the market.