Category: Design

Link to video - Empowering young people with type 1 diabetes through fashion. Women's wear designer exploring Avant Garde shapes and tailoring. My concept is inspired by my brother and aunty’s lived experience with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). I explore, through fashion, their experience in form, fabric and detail represented through mechanical element how it feels to have a hypoglycaemic incident and to have to inject or use a pump, often in front of others, in order to survive. Insulin is a hormone that diabetics can no longer produce. We need insulin to regulate blood sugars, therefore a diabetic must self-administer insulin through an injection every time they eat. The dramatic ‘red carpet’ mood of the work represents awareness-raising opportunities and celebrates their resilience by coming to terms with living with this life-threatening condition to the point of acceptance and being at peace. My garment is equipped with clear, functioning tubes which the model will showcase when she simulates an injection that starts a flow of water and air pumping through the tubes to represent insulin travelling in the bloodstream. Equally the use of clear tubing is a representation of a point when hospitalisation is necessary in diagnosis and potential life-threatening scenarios. Additionally, the print on the bag is inspired from a photo of my brother’s hand holding an injection pen with my mum’s hand reaching out to help him. It is covered in hydro chromic paste that reveals the colour of the insulin when water is added to create a visual effect. Hypoglycaemia means low blood sugar that, for a Type 1 Diabetic, could lead to a coma or possibly death if not treated immediately. My second garment silhouette is influenced by the stages of going through a ‘hypo’ and how that person feels. The garment is inspired by my artefact paddling pool skirt gives the effect of dizziness when the model spins around, with a contrast of masculine tailoring on the female form creating structure with the high raised shoulder that is inspired by sugar levels going up and down. My additional accessory is a oversized syringe clutch bag. Attached to the syringe is a leather handle to make this functionable. This bag highlights the stereotypes associated with Type 1 Diabetes such as the use of an injection in a social situation being frowned upon due to lack of knowledge or understanding, which can marginalise those with the T1D.

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