On adapted fashion and Unhidden at London Fashion Week
How are we all? I’m beginning to feel a bit better after a mopey January and uncreative February. Hurrah. Soon it won’t be dark all the bloody time and everything will be fine once more.
One of the things that cheered me up recently was going to a show at London Fashion Week! Now, it’s safe to say that I couldn’t know less about clothes, fashion or design if I tried, but nevertheless we had a great time. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’m in the market for new experiences, and this was certainly different.
The show was for a new collection by Unhidden, a brand that makes stylish adapted clothes for disabled people. Adapted clothing can be quite dowdy, but the Unhidden clothes are modern and colourful. There were some extremely comfy-looking bright yellow trousers I’m now coveting. It’s great to see disabled people dragging the industry forward.
The best part for me, in my non-fashionista capacity, was seeing disabled models on the runway.
When you do my job and hang out with my friends, a hell of a lot of your conversation resolves around disability representation. And yet, for all the chat about getting disabled people’s voices represented in the media, politics, culture, entertainment etc, there’s remarkably little said about the representation of disabled bodies. It’s the piece of the puzzle we seem to forget about.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. And actually, when it does happen, it’s really bloody powerful.
Watching all those disabled people strut their stuff on a LFW runway gave me proper goose bumps. The celebration of disabled bodies as beautiful, attractive, desirable felt both utterly new and completely unremarkable; the natural order of things.
I loved how confident everyone seemed, how at ease with themselves under the gaze of many eyes. In a world that tells us our bodies are broken and disgusting, it seemed an act of conviction to say: look at me, admire us.
Like so many times when the community gets together, I found myself thinking about the young disabled people who might see pictures of the event online and have their horizons expanded. I wondered what effect the celebration of disabled bodies could have on how they see themselves. It is no small thing.
We all say so much with our clothes, but for a long time the statements available to disabled people were limited. Unhidden makes clothes, but it also creates choices and possibilities.
Disabled people and our bodies deserve nothing less.
You can find Unhidden on Instagram where you can see all the models and the whole collection. It’s well worth checking out.
See you next week,
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This is so cool! Also, your comment about colourful accessible clothes makes me think of ReBirth garments: https://rebirthgarments.com/