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Disability is Beautiful

SDO garmentsOne place that you really don’t expect to see SDO garments is on the fashion catwalks. But why not? That is a question that occurred to cerebral palsy sufferer Sarah Holmes and she decided to answer it herself in the final collection of her fashion degree.

Sarah was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and right hemiplegia at the age of 18 months. The condition causes her to experience extreme tiredness along with poor muscle control leading to stiffness and spasms, some of which are extremely painful. She describes her arm and leg movement as having a ‘massive impact’ on her daily life, affecting even what kind of clothing she is able to wear.

As her arms and legs are not always under her control, she feels like they have their own personalities and it is like living with an alter ego. In her own words, it is as if they seem to have a grudge against her living her life and this understandably leads to extreme anxiety. This leads to feelings of insecurity and she has tried to combat these through her work in fashion.

Disability is BeautifulSarah’s project for her fashion degree came from an initial concept of ‘Geometric Forms’ and was directly influenced by oversized silhouettes and surface texture within the collection. A high level of attention to detail combines luxurious fabrics which are used to create both flat and 3d elements.

The collection incorporated a unique collaboration with Jobskin which transformed ordinary splints into luxury hand-finished accessories, changing the perception of disability and showing that it has a beautiful hidden side.

Speaking candidly about herself and her collection, Sarah said, “I have always been a creative person; to me it’s a freedom of expression without writing how you feel. Reading and writing is something I've always have struggled with. Drawing was my motivation throughout school even now. This is one of the reasons why I chose to study fashion further as a degree. During my final year I wanted to battle my own insecurities of disability this was a step out of my comfort zone. I feel that disability should be more recognised through fashion. I felt I owed my story to the people who have helped throughout my life so far I couldn't be more thankful. My ideal ambition was to encourage those with disabilities to be more confident.”

We invite you to find out more about Sarah and her work by visiting https://­www.­artsthread.­com/­profile/­sa­rah­ja­yne­hol­mes/