On September 14, with the help of facilitator Karen Chan and friends, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC’s Youth Without Limits support group put the spotlight on the topic of adapted fashion. Many people with disabilities have different needs when it comes to wearing fashionable clothing.
On the Table
Karen, an aspiring fashion designer who played a huge role in CPABC’s Fashion Without Limits last year, initiated the event through the Vancouver Foundation’s “On the Table” platform. In 2017, the Vancouver Foundation released research showing that many people in British Columbia feel lonely and disconnected. In response, they created “On the Table”, an opportunity for individuals and organizations across BC to host their own event. The events allow participants to share what is on their mind. With the help of CPABC, Karen Chan brought a workshop about adapted fashion to life.
Ponchos that aren’t a drag
Given a variety of fashion tools– such as a mannequin, swatches of fabric, recycled clothing, fabric paint, thread, and paper– participants of Youth Without Limits were able to immerse themselves to solve the common fashion problems that people with disabilities face. One such problem is having a rain poncho that is functional as well stylish. Most rain ponchos are made with very bright colours. They tend to get caught in wheelchair tires because they are way too long. Many lack any sense of fashion or style.
The goal was to make wearing a poncho a fashion statement instead of a drag. The group brainstormed ideas and came up with their own designs. One participant showed his creativity by designing his own hoodie with ears. Meanwhile, another participant took apart two jackets to create a whole new look. During the workshop, an important discussion took place about the many different aspects that designers need to consider when designing new clothes. These include the cost, the ability for an item of clothing to change in size, and having clothing available that is comfortable, safe, and convenient.
Adapted fashion celebrates the strength and beauty of our diversity and actively responds to advancements in inclusion and accessibility. By participating in its creation, peers change the face of their community and dialogue. For more information about the youth group, please contact Carrie Torrans at firstname.lastname@example.org