Clothes for women in wheelchairs

Clothes for women in wheelchairs
FASHION: Students Denise Gow (left) and Dorcas Lum (right) with their model (middle) wearing their fashion design catered to wheelchair-bound women.
PHOTO: The New Paper

This year, 450 projects by Temasek Polytechnic graduating cohort are showcased at The Design Show.

When they tried to re-imagine fashion for wheelchair-bound women, two design students came up with an unusual solution: magnets.

Their brainchild, Orzora, is a fashion and store concept for a line of clothing that would theoretically allow wheelchair-bound women to dress themselves.

The final-year project by Miss Denise Gow and Miss Dorcas Lum, both 20, is one of the 450 showcased at The Design Show, which will be open to the public today and tomorrow, from 11am to 8pm.

The genesis of the project came when Miss Lum took an interest in the wheelchair-bound - like her two elderly grandmothers.

Miss Lum said it took her grandmothers some effort to change clothes.

"I noticed that they were always very tired afterwards," she told The New Paper, adding that she also started paying more attention to young people in wheelchairs.

Seeing an opportunity to do socially-conscious work, she approached her ex-classmate, Miss Gow, for their final-year project in Apparel Design and Merchandising course.

As they explored the issue, they realised that there was not much clothing designed for the ease of wheelchair users.

EMPOWER

Miss Lum, who designed the clothes, said their items are created to give women their independence and empower them.

That's why she and Miss Gow chose the name, Orzora, Hebrew for God's strength.

Miss Lum said: "We want to evoke that feeling in our customers so that they will feel strong even if they're in a wheelchair."

The clothes are made of bamboo-blended fabric and have magnets or zips to secure the clothes in place.

Even the placement of the magnets are strategic.

For example, the magnetic closures near the hands are placed on top and not at the wrist, such that when people eat, the magnets would not stick to the utensils.

Miss Gow's job was to design the store, which was challenging because there had to be more space than usual for shoppers.

On Orzora, Miss Lum said: "It's a potential sideline business but it still needs more research."

The students did not test the clothing on their target users, but on fellow students who modelled the size 6 to 8 designs on a catwalk.

Miss Chua Pei Shan (left) and Miss Thalia Lam with their Inbento lunchbox. Their final-year project is one of the 450 projects by Temasek Polytechnic graduating cohort showcased at The Design Show on 1 and 2 April 2016 at Temasek Polytechnic. PHOTO: Temasek Polytechnic

The Design Show 2016

WHERE

Temasek Polytechnic, Block 21, Tampines Avenue 1

WHEN

11am to 8pm, today and tomorrow

ADMISSION

Free

danchim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 1, 2016.
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