Cancer & Fashion

Ok, so two words that don’t go together are Cancer and Fashion right? Why not? I try to avoid statistics so without giving percentages, there’s a hell of a lot of us affected by this disease one way or another. Not only does it f**k up your health, it can play havoc with your wardrobe. I’m really not being flippant here. You ask someone who’s had the trauma of mastectomy about bra shopping or a person who’s undergone abdominal surgery about waistbands. This is without even going down the chemo route and how hair loss affects your confidence in how you look. From the hospital bed to the supermarket aisle, no matter where we are – how you look will undoubtedly affect how you feel. I am embarking on a project to work with the Sharon Fox Cancer Centre to develop clothing and accessories that are made for cancer patients with a fashion conscience. Just because you receive that dreaded diagnosis does not mean you have to abandon your dress sense and forget about your individuality. There are many wonderful products available that are designed specifically with cancer patients in mind, the difference I would like to add is individuality. To start this off we are planning to run some headscarf workshops to show some simple ways to make and accessorise headware. With the focus on individuality it’ll be a chance to experiment with a range of fabrics so we can design for everything from punks to princesses. As well as the scarves we will be looking at ways to disguise those awful drips an drains for those of us that have had to endure one or the other during hospital treatment. I personally had an ‘irrigation system’ which I preferred to call my ‘Juicy Couture’. The workshops will be a chance to meet, chat and make and will hopefully provide a chance to sit and relax while making something that can benefit either the maker or the centre. At the same time it can be a useful source of information and ideas of how we as a group can put cancer firmly on the fashion map. Lets not allow cancer to dictate how we look, we really can ‘make’ a difference.

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