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Fashion show 'Sense in Textiles' by deaf-blind people
Sep '13
'Sense in Textiles' - a fashion show by deafblind people - took place on 18 September at the Anne Wall Centre in Barnet.

Six first-time designers took to the catwalk to showcase their creations crafted at a fashion workshop for people with both sight and hearing difficulties, run by Sense, the national deaf blind charity and designer Ninela Ivanova.

Guided by the suggestion that the loss, or severe damage, of hearing and sight could lead to an enhanced role of touch and tactile memory, the workshops explored deafblind people’s perception of clothing and fashion - suggesting fashion designs tailored to their sensory needs.

Designer Ninela Ivanova said, "The ‘Sense in Textiles’ project aims to reveal the potential of dress as a self-expression and communication tool for deafblind people. By putting forward a new way of accessing fashion for people with dual sensory loss we are hoping to challenge mainstream perceptions of fashion and suggest new methods for creative expression."

During the month-long project the participants had the chance to feel different fabrics from velvet and suede to silk and muslin, and choose the ones they wanted to work with to design unique T-shirts. They discovered different techniques for each textile and created their own individual designs using sensory materials such as feathers, sequins and 3D prints.

John Kirkham, Sense’s Activity Coordinator, said: "This fashion project enabled the deafblind people involved to take charge of their wardrobes – possibly for the very first time. It gave them 100 per cent say in what they were creating and allowed them to make something that they can wear not only because they want to, but also because they are proud to."

'Sense in Textiles' is part of Sense’s Arts and Wellbeing programmes, which develop opportunities for deafblind people to contribute to the arts and cultural life of their communities.


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