The Fashion Project is based on creating awareness towards Mental Health Illnesses. The project was based on online research, showing that there are different types of mental health illness that a person experiences. Whether it’s depression, personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety or panic attack. Although the main key word that this project concentrated was ‘bipolar disorder’, also known as manic-depressive illness. A brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Therefore they can experience extreme emotions from positive to negative.
Garment and film production was involved in the project to help create awareness towards mental health. The process consisted of creating mood boards, colour palette, free-hand sketches, final illustrations, technical garment and digital sketches informed by my research into Bipolar. The colour palette for the garment will be associated to ‘Bipolar’. A condition that affects an individual mood, which can swing from one extreme to another. Therefore, using bright and dark colours as a combination for the garment will link to the key concept words. Design details were used for the garment; laces, key rings, long length straps, heavy duty zips, waist attachment and free-hand writing corresponding to how a person with bipolar feel or think. Messages on the fabric communicate how a person with bipolar might feel, although often the sufferer is unable to communicate this to others. The laces, which are used to attach or de-attach the garment together, represent how a person with bipolar can’t figure out whether they should attach themselves with their own emotions to figure out who they really are, as a person without their mind controlling them. The pattern pieces on the bodice show that a person with bipolar have split personality and emotions, the back bodice shows light and dark. The use of black fabric represents darkness, mainly shown on the back panel, representing the fact that having bipolar can extremely affect someone when they experience depression.
This project aims to focus on diversity within fashion and promotes equality no matter what race, age or size. I have created a garment that symbolises equality. It is designed to be worn by anyone. I approached the issues by researching perceptions of discrimination and explored fashion concepts that had the potential to express inclusivity and individuality. My response is a non-gendered garment that can be worn as a creative expression of the individual.
Neoprene scuba fabric with a black surface and white foam was selected to construct the garment from as it is stable with a stiffness and stretch. I combined it with different design detail to resemble the individual as a warrior thus representing the inner strength of the wearer rather than the superficial outward appearance. The Sleeve I designed with gaps supported by a strap and a round metal bar. Creating this space on the sleeve will show individual skin tones expressing diversity and the sense of the individual.
To highlight the concept models that encompassed diversity were selected for the photoshoot. This diverse mix of people embraced the sense of the individual and their strength that had become the focus of the design process. Each model has a different colour of paint on their faces which corresponds to the colour of their national flags. It was important to the project that the garment expressed all walks of life with an image that encompasses the internationalisation and diversity of contemporary culture.