The Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot, an elegantly gothic black and white deck, is the manifestation of artist Ash's shadow work. Now self-published in a 78 card edition, there is also a slightly different 22 card edition. Thoughts on the Diary of a Broken Soul by artist, Ash Abdullah Originally created for shadow work, the images in this deck were created to read vertically in progressive relations to the stages within its suit as well as horizontally pip in its respective suit reflect the Cognitive, Behavioural, Emotional and Physical aspects of its numerically associated Trump card.
However, as the creation process progressed, I realised that I wanted this collection of images to reach out not only to tarot readers but to anyone open to appreciating the images as well as the messages contained within The Diary. Check the cell density in the culture chamber by moving the stage across the imaging window. Avoid overloading the culture chamber. Note: We normally use trap size 5 for imaging Streptomyces , but we have also obtained good results with trap sizes 4 and 3. Refer to the supplier's manual for additional suggestions on optimizing the cell loading process.
Start the flow program in the control software from step 2. In the microscope control software, set up a multi-dimensional acquisition to take multiple images at multiple stage positions over time:. For Illumination settings, determine optimal illumination settings for each specific construct in advance. For Time-series: set up a time series to acquire images at the desired time points in sequence.
For imaging the life cycle of S. For Stage positions and autofocus: scan the culture chamber by moving the stage and store stage positions for each imaging position of interest. Ensure that the single stage positions are located sufficiently apart to minimize photobleaching and phototoxicity. Typically use up to 12 positions. Run autofocus routine for each time point to correct for slow focal drift. If available in the microscope control software, set autofocus strategy to "local surface update by hardware autofocus".
Once the Z-coordinates of the selected stage positions are verified, activate the hardware autofocus. Check that all stage positions are still in focus at later points. For time-lapse experiments running over several hours, we occasionally observe a stage drift even when using autofocus. If stage positions need to be refocused, stop the experiment at an appropriate time point, adjust the focus and restart the experiment within the defined imaging time interval step 3.
See step 4. Stop image acquisition after hr or when the hyphae in the region of interest have differentiated into spores see DIC image series. Stop flow program in the software and disassemble the microfluidic device. Prepare used microfluidic plate for short-term storage. Here we focus on Fiji, which is an open-source image processing program based on ImageJ, and which already provides a number of useful pre-installed plugins. Transfer imaging data from your time-lapse experiment to a computer that has Fiji installed.
Optional: To merge separate time-series resulting from a break in the in the image acquisition due to refocusing step 3. Assess the quality of the time-lapse data by scrolling through the image stacks. Look for hyphae that stayed in focus over time, show mycelial growth and eventually form spores DIC stack.
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Isolate a region of interest for downstream processing of the images. Time-lapse microscopy often produces big files which may slow down processing by Fiji. It is therefore recommended to identify and isolate a region of interest ROI and to perform further image processing steps on this smaller version of the image stack. Align the images in the three image stacks to remove stage drifts in the xy plane over time.
If necessary, crop the ROI by repeating step 4. It should be noted that the latter command will alter pixel values and therefore may affect downstream image analysis.
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Optional: Combine individual stacks converted to the RGB file format, see 4. Save modified image stacks as an image sequence in the ". To produce a movie, save as ". Note: Fiji offers a number of additional functions to further annotate or process time-lapse series. The successful live-cell imaging of the entire S. During germination and vegetative growth, DivIVA-mCherry exclusively accumulates at the growing hyphal tips or marks newly forming branch points Figure 4A. These results are in line with the previously reported subcellular positioning of DivIVA 12, These structures provide the scaffold for the synthesis of non-constrictive vegetative cross-walls, leading to the formation of interconnected hyphal compartments 8.
The cellular differentiation of growing hyphae into sporogenic hyphae becomes visible by the disappearance of polar DivIVA-mCherry foci, the arrest of polar growth and the concomitant increase of FtsZ-YPet fluorescence Figure 4C. In sporulating hyphae, the localization pattern of FtsZ-YPet changes dramatically; first helical FtsZ-YPet filaments tumble along the hypha and then, in a sudden, almost synchronous event, these helices coalesce into a ladder of regularly spaced FtsZ-YPet rings.
Under the experimental conditions described here, these evenly distributed FtsZ-YPet ladders persist for approximately 2 hr.
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Finally, sporulation septa become discernible in the differential interference contrast DIC images Figure 4D and eventually new spores are released. The subsequent protocol describing the image processing using the Fiji software provides a step-by-step explanation of how to produce a movie for publication from the acquired time-lapse series Movie 1.
Figure 3: Snapshot images from a representative time-lapse fluorescence microscopy series of S. Images were taken from Movie 1. Time is in hr:min. Please click here to view a larger version of this figure. Figure 4: Representative results for a successful time-lapse series of the Streptomyces life cycle. DivIVA-mCherry marks new hyphal branch sites filled arrow head and localizes at the hyphal tip to direct polar growth open arrow head.
C FtsZ-YPet green localization during sporulation septation. DivIVA-mCherry foci are shown in red, with elapsed time depicted below hr:min. D Corresponding DIC images of the sporulating hyphae from C showing the formation of prespore compartments with visible sporulation septa left image , which eventually mature into a chain of spores right image. Movie 1: Time-lapse fluorescence microscopy series of the Streptomyces venezuelae life cycle. The time interval between single frames is 40 min.
Please click here to view this movie. Time-lapse microscopy of the Streptomyces life cycle has been technically challenging in the past. Here we present a robust protocol to perform live-cell imaging of the complete life cycle using fluorescent protein fusions to the cell polarity marker DivIVA and the cell division protein FtsZ to help visualize and trace progression through the developmental program Figure 2. Central to this method is the cultivation of S. The change of culture condition is important to the described protocol because the nutritional downshift as wells as any yet unidentified extracellular signals e.
Thus, culturing cells in this microfluidic system is superior to culturing cells on agarose because it offers more experimental flexibility and allows long-term monitoring of changes in bacterial growth in response to changing culture conditions. Although the microfluidic plates are designed for single use only, flow channels that have not been inoculated with cells can be used in subsequent experiments. We recommend using all channels of a microfluidic plate within a week, as we have experienced problems sealing the manifold to plates that have been opened for longer times.
When setting up an experiment, we found that freshly prepared spores germinated within two hr of being loaded into the flow chamber, whereas spores derived from a frozen glycerol stock required at least 6 hr before germ tubes emerged data not shown. This delay in germination extends the length of the experiment and can interfere with equipment availability and experimental conditions. It is also important to start the experiment with perfusion of MYM-TE for at least 3 hr to provide sufficient nutrients for the development and outgrowth of germ tubes.
Perfusion with MYM-TE can be extended beyond the initial 3 hr if the experiment is designed to study vegetative growth. While spores provide the preferred choice of starting material, short hyphal fragments can also be loaded into the microfluidic plate. By equating the Bloomer costume with a fancy dress ensemble, the reformed style became associated with frivolity and lost the sense of sincerity it needed to bring about significant change. When brought into the realm of eveningwear, the Bloomer costume became subject to the scrutiny of fashion — the very entity it sought to defy — and failed in its attempt to reconcile progressive ideas of dress with traditional ideas of femininity in the nineteenth century.
The introduction of such radical dress to the decorum of the ballroom was a brazen breach of social norms that contributed to a growing fear that women would abandon their traditional gender roles and seek to gain equal power with men. In the end, the ballroom was simultaneously too festive and too formal a setting for the Bloomer costume to thrive, and the reform style soon died out altogether. In the mid—nineteenth century, fashion for women became increasingly restrictive as bodices grew tighter and skirts grew more immense.
Fashionable dress perpetuated the practice of tight—lacing corsets and demanded that multiple layers of heavy petticoats be worn to achieve a desirable silhouette. Understandably, many women felt handicapped by their clothes and were eager for a change of fashion, and such was the position when the Bloomer costume appeared. In , Amelia Bloomer published a series of editorials in her feminist magazine, The Lily, heralding the advantage of bifurcated garments. The garments purportedly freed women from the multiple layers of petticoats, which weighed up to 15 pounds and collected dust and debris.
Her writings were met with controversy and her opponents accused her of advocating for the total disruption of gender roles in a rigid patriarchal society. Pantaloons dress reformers, however, wanted to reform female dress for comfort, health, and physical well—being, not to blur the distinctions between the sexes. The Bloomer costume gave women a newfound freedom. They were able to physically move around with greater ease than allowed by fashionable dress of the s.
The controversy that surrounded the new style was rooted in the perception that women were trying to dress as men, and women would ultimately seek more active roles in society that would take them away from their place in the home. Letters came pouring in to her by the hundreds from women all over the United States, making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns — showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.
Contentious as the costume was, the circulation of The Lily increased significantly, from copies per month to copies per month following the dress reform controversy. Soon after, Bloomer activities flourished across the United States. During the summer of , Bloomer Balls and parties were held throughout Ohio and Massachusetts. In New York City, a floral festival included speeches on dress and health with a procession of women dressed in bloomers. In just a few months, the costume became the emblem of liberation for the American woman; and soon, Bloomerism would extend its reach across the Atlantic Ocean.
A lecture on the new garment and its advantages was delivered on 29 September at the Soho Theatre in central London, at which the ladies of the London Bloomer Committee appeared in the costume. The English thought that the Bloomer. Nevertheless, the British press covered the phenomenon with unrelenting enthusiasm. It is, in fact, quite a God—send during the dull season. The much—anticipated event took place on 29 October at the Hanover Square Assembly Rooms, where arriving guests were greeted by crowds — some there to cheer, others to boo. Rooms Figure 2. While other news sources reported only 30 to 40 Bloomer women in attendance, the engraving seems to suggest that overwhelming throngs of ladies sporting the costume flocked to the event.
The artist of the engraving, who remains unknown, used linear perspective to create the illusion of depth within the ballroom interior and densely populated the space with a vast crowd of people, most of whom are indistinguishable as human figures as they move toward the vanishing point of the composition. Several figures directly in the foreground, however, bear the distinguishable Bloomer silhouette: The fitted bodice with wide pagoda sleeves partially concealing a full undersleeve, paired with a domed skirt that flares out at the natural waistline and ends abruptly below the knee, revealing voluminous trousers that billow out before being characteristically pinched around the ankles.
One woman in the corner appears wearing the wide—brimmed straw hat that had been disdainfully mentioned by the reporter of The Times It is clear that the artist intended to represent the event with a sense of spectacle that could match the excitement with which it was anticipated. The distinguishable figures in the foreground are depicted in threesomes, gentlemen flanked by Bloomers on either side.
Though the account of the Bloomer Ball published in Punch is largely dramatised for the sake of comedy, it captured the amusement with which the ball was viewed. In a light—hearted tone, the writer comments on the glaring disproportion of men to women in attendance and then goes on to address the components of the Bloomer costume in a derisive manner: Oh! The woman faces away from the viewer, her head obscured by a hat with a wide brim and a comically large feather protruding from it. Her dance partner turns his head away from her perhaps to avoid the feather and has a semblance of haughtiness.
The audience of men looks on with mixed expressions, some wry smiles of amusement, a few puzzled looks, but mostly piercing stares of disapproval. When subjected to the male gaze, Bloomerism was often disregarded in its mission to reform dress for the benefit of women. The jeering crowds, physical attacks, and satirical poems eventually wore away at the resolve of dress reformers. Bloomerism disappeared from England as quickly as it had arrived, driven out by the laughter and derision following the Bloomer Ball on 29 October Although the Bloomer costume was short lived in England, it lasted a bit longer in the country of its birth and continued to be a topic in American fashion press through to the end of and into the beginning of Due to the very nature of its radical inception, the Bloomer costume remained constantly at odds with reigning fashionable dress.
There were certainly American women who thought so. Consequently, they sought to represent the reformed dress in such a manner that would be considered unquestionably appealing in aesthetics, despite the controversial nature of the costume. We must say, too, that few of the Bloomer costumes are graceful: they are either altogether uncouth, or they are too theatrical.
In our January number we shall give an engraving of one, for evening costume, which is quite pretty, when such of our fair readers as prefer the Bloomer, can avail themselves of the pattern. Pictured are two women attending a sort of soiree in a grand ballroom, with a festive scene taking place in the background just beyond the doorway. One woman is depicted wearing a conventional formal evening dress — short—sleeved with a dramatic scooping neckline, tightly fitted bodice, and voluminous tiered skirt trimmed with white lace and satin ribbons.
She is a traditional picture of feminine beauty, accessorised with drop earrings, delicate gloves, and a fan in hand.
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She touches her other hand to her breast in a somewhat alarmed gesture as she looks over at her companion. The other woman looks rather strange in comparison, mid—motion and wearing a curious rendition of a Bloomer costume. Bloomer Evening Dress, of dove coloured silk, skirt trimmed with two flounces, scalloped and embroidered in colours. Corsage of white cambric, the front formed of richly worked insertion; sleeves demi—long, finished with worked ruffles.
Full white cambric trousers, with a frill around the bottom, and dove coloured gaiters. The hair is combed back from the face in waves, and gathered in a knot behind. Based on her body language, the Bloomer woman looks to be charging through the doorway wearing a determined expression on her face, perhaps a direct reference to the forward—thinking ideas of dress reformers and the fervour with which they pleaded their cause. By the middle of the nineteenth century, strict rules were in place that dictated the necklines and sleeve lengths appropriate for morning, afternoon, and evening wear.
It was the features of the upper half of a garment that typically determined which time of day it could be worn, and often Furthermore, the long sleeves would have been thought of as entirely inappropriate for what was meant to be the most formal of garments. Aside from the materials used, the defining feature of a proper evening dress was the exposure of the arms.
Although Bloomerism struggled to find its place in the ballroom, it had a notable impact on the music and dance enjoyed by partygoers of the s. Perhaps influenced by the freedom of movement that the Bloomer costume afforded women, musicians and songwriters adopted Bloomerism as a cultural touchstone in developing lively new melodies that would have their effect on social dancing.
It is as if Bloomerism found an alternate route into the ballroom through dance; however, the mannerisms associated with social dancing and courting traditions at the time were perhaps even more rigid than the conventions of fashionable dress. The dancing that took place in ballrooms during the mid nineteenth century was characterised by propriety and restraint, and neither were virtues associated with Bloomerism. Novels written in the Victorian era often featured scenes of romantic interest centring around dance. The audacity that the Bloomer costume came to embody was one that mirrored the courage it took to actually wear it.
Contrary to belief at the time, the goal of American dress reform was not to destroy visual gender distinctions. Women who chose to wear the Bloomer costume did not look like men, nor did they play at being men. However, the majority of society feared that if dressed as a man, a woman could not help but behave like one. In it, a woman dressed in a variation of a Bloomer evening dress approaches a rather demurely seated man, removes her gloves, and leans into him.
Such an event that not only bred this kind of audacious behaviour — but outwardly celebrated it — was unsurprisingly met with considerable opposition.
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Trousers were traditionally upheld as the symbol of patriarchy, and the proposal that women should adopt them almost entirely concealed by the skirt as they were was seen as a threat to the whole structure of society. The introduction of Bloomerism to formal evening wear was an unsuccessful attempt to resolve fashion and anti—fashion in one garment.
Additionally, the incongruous relationship between radical ideas of dress and traditions associated with ballroom activity contributed to the decided failure of the Bloomer Ball. As was inevitable, the much—talked— of revolution in female attire was killed by ridicule and satire, much of which was brought on by the Bloomer Ball. Forward, let us range!
Set the world of fashion spinning — All improvement comes from change. Charles Neilson Gattey, op cit, p Volume 20, January , p Charles Blanc, Ibid. Volume XX1, July—December , p Volume 19, December Volume 20, January Raissa received a BFA in Costume Design from Boston University and has worked professionally in theatre, opera, film, and television — most recently, as a consultant on the upcoming series, Pose.
According to Arthritis Research UK, musculoskeletal diseases affect around 10 million people across the United Kingdom alone. Those affected often experience deterioration in physical mobility, coupled with stiffness, pain, and fatigue. In the face of such a debilitating condition, many seek to maintain a life of normalcy and independence and try to adapt to their personal circumstances following diagnosis. Therefore, people living with long—term musculoskeletal conditions silently carry the burden of their condition alongside societal expectations of normalcy.
The daily demands of living and social interactions can place a strain on the ability of patients to cope with their symptoms. In turn, this tension can have a negative impact on their quality of life. It has been reported that that people living with musculoskeletal conditions are four times more likely to experience depression and low self—esteem, potentially affecting social inclusion and rehabilitation outcomes.
As life expectancies continue to rise, it is even more imperative to promote management strategies that prolong individual agency and confidence. Fashion, as in clothing, is ubiquitous in society and plays a significant role in the relationship between the person and the immediate environment. Dressing the body is seen as an act of becoming. Previous studies have explored clothing as avatars of emotional expression and as memory and identity triggers in dementia care through artefact elicitation.
Bearing in mind the abovementioned emotional qualities as well as the functional aspect of clothing, one could assume that garment ergonomics and wearability are essential parameters in garment design. However, garment ergonomics have been inexplicably viewed as niche and only secondary to adornment. While tastes in style shift by season and over time, foundational elements of clothing have changed little since the nineteenth century — garments are designed to be worn according to a prescribed set of dress methods.
Resultantly, the fashion industry has long since viewed designing for people with disabilities as impractical in the interest of cost, time, effort and a perceived lack of demand. While early scholarship on disability and clothing is scarce, historical photography can retrace the roots of adaptive clothing back to made—to—measure garments and aids worn by disabled individuals during the Victorian era.
Otherwise, they simply accommodated deformities caused by injury and disease Figures 2 and 3. Such a medicalised approach to design for disability was symptomatic of societal prejudice. Access points were typically located at the back, hindering effortless independent dressing by most people Figure 4.
Street doctor, , Street Life in London 17 Note the platform shoe worn by the doctor left to compensate for leg length discrepancies. Open—back nightie, s, Adaptawear catalogue, England. An example of the archetypal adaptive garment featuring a commonly used overlapping design at the back.
Rather than enhancing self—reliance, such adaptive designs prolonged dependency on others, diminishing self—assurance and competency. Moreover, its visual appearance tended towards the casual — so much so that the stereotypical garment conjures up an image of an ill—fitting, fleecy and elasticised garment that is lacking in aesthetic sensibilities. It was clear that adaptive clothing followed function over form; while these garments prioritised physical needs, it also alienated the wearer from others — there exists a social stigma associated with adaptive clothing due to its disconnect to the contemporary lifestyle and the individual.
There is growing interest in designing for people who live with physical disabilities, as they are becoming visible and taking active roles in society. The call for greater disability rights is gaining prominence. However, in contrast to the accessibility improvements made by industries such as architecture and product design, such developments in fashion are still limited.
Nevertheless, body diversity is slowly beginning to be addressed and acknowledged by the industry: mainstream brands have featured disabled models, and brands such as Tommy Hilfiger have released capsule collections aimed for people with limited physical mobility Figure 5. Such initiatives are exemplary steps towards inclusivity in fashion. Yet, adaptive clothing is far from being designed as a product easily found in the market; it remains segregated from the mainstream consciousness. Furthermore, specialist fastenings used in these design solutions meant an increase in the cost of production.
Conclusively, these garments. As Entwistle writes, fashion has historically disregarded the body, choosing to dictate rather than to accommodate. A lack of enquiry into the fashion design discipline is a reflection of this gap in knowledge and the subsequent neglect of ergonomics. Fashion may dress the body, yet its functional elements have been relegated to occupational garments and sportswear. Fashion researchers have largely concentrated on the analysis of the historical and socio—cultural psychology of finished garment pieces, with few focusing on the creative design process itself.
This encompasses the referencing of literary, visual and textural sources of which the design would then extrapolate into fashion designs that follows a conceptual narrative. This approach has permeated through fashion education into industry: working directly with the body is limited to fittings that usually only occurred late in the development phase.
The fitting process involves the model assuming an upright posture akin to that of the dress form. Beyond this, the consideration of physical needs typically only occurred based on customer feedback or through specialised, client—facing requests. In this sense, the fashion discipline remains ill equipped to accommodate the factors necessary for inclusivity. Even though they are designing to dress the body, designers rely too heavily on their artistic inclinations and lack the empathic motivation and understanding of dress behaviours beyond the studio.
Perhaps the design process of its products clothing should be reworked: human needs are much more complex and diverse than what has been assumed by the industry.
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There have been responses, albeit varied and scattered in practice, that attempted to create clothing that considered the service user at the heart of the garment and beyond functional needs. In particular, the Functional, Expressive, Aesthetic FEA model proposed by Lamb and Kallal employs the systematic collation of clothing and uses satisfaction levels of a target group to lead the design of garments that are appropriate to the cultural and situational context that it is intended for Figure 6. In particular, practitioners were to develop personas and scenarios in which their designs can be situated.
Such awareness and consideration for the user has rendered the model particularly useful for specialist clothing sportswear or occupational , however, in the context of the everyday, there are few examples of its application in facilitating the transition of adaptive clothing towards the mainstream. Returning to needs of the musculoskeletal patient, one needs to consider how designing specifically to physical needs does not necessarily solve their frustrations and difficulties with clothing.
Clothing to them facilitates the sense of normalcy — they wish to find mainstream clothing they can dress in, and avoid specialist, adaptive clothes that carry all the connotations as previously mentioned. This builds upon the user—centred FEA model, shifting the garment design process towards achieving garment design universality. Projects that have utilised the FEA model have typically used remote interview and survey methodologies with little direct interaction and physical testing, and only as part of early and late stage development. User—centeredness is a design strategy integral to better inclusivity in design.
Many service and product—oriented sectors deploy user—centred design thinking in varying degrees, and often include participatory approaches to gather insights in order to build solutions. The healthcare sector has increasingly drawn on design thinking practices to improve its provision of products and services. In particular, patient and public involvement PPI in healthcare planning, service development, healthcare policy and research has gained increased importance over the past two decades.
Patients have first—hand experience of the illness and therefore provide researchers with invaluable insights into what it is like to live with a particular long—term illness, and in this case, musculoskeletal conditions. Furthermore, navigating between expectations and stereotypes of disability is a markedly significant aspect in their everyday experience. The insights gained from their contributions can help designers better understand clothing design problems and the consequential difficulties in dressing and poor social relevance.
Recognising the issues regarding the fashion design process and its detrimental impact on people and society, the researchers sought to rework the design process through codesign. A project was set up in one outpatient rheumatology clinic in London to accommodate this discrepancy of social exclusion on the one hand and greater involvement on the other. The project builds upon the FEA framework to include sustained interaction and collaboration with patients throughout every stage of the research process, combining both fashion design methodologies with health service research approaches.
Research was conducted in the form of eight design workshops, established over two phases between and Workshops were carried out sequentially, with consecutive group meetings building upon the findings and reflections from the previous session. Prototyping and sample handling served as key tools in facilitating participant engagement and discussion. The sensory and interactive cues in a physical object can reveal ethnographical insights beyond verbal interviews and surveys.
Garment prototypes and samples were presented to participants during each of the eight workshops. They were invited to use the prototypes and freely share feedback in relation to their personal views and preferences on clothing, links to lifestyle factors, emotional state and dressing strategies. Following the identification of design determinants, the garment prototypes were modified in an iterative cycle and then presented again to the participants. As part of the codesign process, prototypes were also sometimes rapidly deconstructed and altered on the spot, or suggestions and modification ideas were directly drawn on the prototypes by both the researcher and participants.
These rapidly generated outcomes complemented the audio—recorded discussions and filmed physical interactions, providing the researcher with a diverse range of data for analysis. A fashion—based, emotional well—being scale was developed to measure initial patient attitudes to mainstream clothing in comparison to the final outcomes that had been designed with consideration to their needs.
Participants of both genders unanimously agreed that clothing is pivotal in sustaining their confidence and motivation to participate in daily life. Having to cope with physical pain, stiffness, mobility limitations, weight fluctuations and skin sensitivities significantly disrupt their daily routine and potentially trigger unwanted self—conscious emotions that preoccupation with how others perceive them. Hence, they expressed a keenness to present themselves as independent, capable individuals well in control of their lives, and felt that clothing is key to retaining their identity beyond their condition.
Despite their interest in clothing and the desire to dress well, a majority of the participants expressed their dissatisfaction with the current clothing ranges found in mainstream fashion stores. They pointed. Most crucially, difficulties arose when it came to dressing — participants described how their physical disabilities resulted in the inability to dress with ease Figure 7.
Using their favourite garments, participants demonstrated how they coped with the conventional access points in mainstream garments through adaptation or compromise: they utilised other motions of movement ie, shrugging a jacket on rather than reaching back to look for a sleeve , or chose garments with stretch qualities Figure 8. Even so, getting dressed was still a time—consuming and dreaded task despite the adopted strategies employed by the participants.
In particular, male participants worried of their being a nuisance when putting on their outerwear in public, as they employed a swinging motion that potentially hit people standing behind them. Participants described their resignation in having their clothing choices and therefore, their personal style, dictated by the few mainstream styles that they found suitable to their needs.
On the other hand, participants also expressed their aversion towards existing adaptive clothing, for it perpetuated the stigma of illness and age. Participants reported that they actively avoid purchasing adaptive clothing where possible because of its negative associations. Furthermore, the fabrics used in adaptive wear were still not suitable for those with sensitive skin: its fleecy and synthetic qualities exacerbated skin irritation.
Despite adaptive clothing being designed specifically to meet the needs of those who live with physical limitations, its aesthetic incompatibility instead triggered feelings of scepticism and indignation towards how larger society has approached the accommodation of their condition.
Participant opinions revealed the need to reconcile adaptive design with mainstream aesthetics. They reported that these factors prevent expressing their identity on their own terms. Perhaps the focus should be on applying universal design principles to mainstream garments; its functionality, accessibility, and aesthetics need considered improvement and change. Having understood the relevance of clothing from the perspective of the participating patients, key design parameters were identified through further sample handling and toile creation.
Key visual themes were drawn from the photographs. When this was represented to participants for validation, they acknowledged the shared patterns of clothing choices and styling, and were willing to elaborate on their preferences and needs. A key criterion was the facilitation of independent dressing. Women looked for garments with generous necklines and stretch, while men prioritised pliable loops and buttonholes along with generous leg and armholes. All said that these elements were the first things they immediately test prior to their other concerns.
While women agreed that the wide leg and armholes preferred by male participants allowed room for movement, they felt that contemporary cuts that featured these elements did not flatter them. Female participants dressed to elongate their figure and favoured long proportions and softly structured garments that diverted attention from perceived body concerns. Participants stated that their long—term conditions and medication eg steroids impacted on their skin and temperature tolerance.
As a result, they showed a strong preference for natural fabrics, but were open to trying other materials with breathable, moisture—wicking properties and a smooth, soft texture. Both groups also linked fabric choices to their daily routine: ironing was difficult and weight hard on the joints, hence fabrics prone to wrinkling were avoided.
Similarly, heavy fabrics were considered inconvenient. The fabric choices made by participants thus considered practical aspects together with their dressing and layering habits. A variety of fastening samples were introduced to participants, and they were asked to rate and comment on each fastening. Contrary to the assumption that Velcro was the ideal fastening for use by people with physical disabilities, the researchers found that participants viewed Velcro to be troublesome and infantilising. Velcro has been traditionally used in adaptive clothing as it was considered to be uncomplicated, quick, and convenient.
Service users however complained about how it caught on other fabrics and injured their skin due to its rough surface, and disliked how it reduced their own perception of ability. They were quick to dismiss the Velcro sample and were more drawn to the other fastenings given to them. Many of these fastenings were advised as unsuitable for those with poor physical dexterity. However, the collated results revealed that participants suggested that there was no right or wrong. Rather, most of the comments expressed showed that it was a matter of the size and positioning of the fastening that impeded their ability to manipulate closures Figure The tactility of the closure was also important to them, as it helped as a sensory indicator to guide the act of operating the buckle or button.
Through iterative prototyping and feedback,. Subsequent solutions featured the use of gravity, fold—over techniques and the body as an anchor. Participants were able to put these foundational prototypes on with independent ease. They reported that the alternative motion of movement still felt intuitive and did not strain their joints. Participants appreciated how the resulting scheme of design addressed the full spectrum of mobility. However, there was a sense of cautiousness post—research: participants felt uncertain if the resultant scheme of design took on a similar incarnation to the adaptive clothing they actively avoided.
They were keen to ensure that new propositions assimilated easily into mainstream fashion sensibilities and did not ride on preconceived definitions. In this sense, participants hoped to see an eclectic range of aesthetic choice, and dreamt of being able to construct their identity as freely as others who crafted their identities from what was available on the high street.
Based on the design parameters that were uncovered during the research phase, a set of garment templates were developed Figure To test its validity and applicability within practice, capsule ranges for both men and women were created. These collections was designed based on artistic conceptual references while conscientiously following the design conditions set out for better inclusivity.
The resulting garments were cut to allow greater manoeuvrability and featured alternate entry points, minimal closures and comfortable fabrics. The clothing range was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating adaptive elements into mainstream design processes.
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The project findings and outcomes were presented over three public—facing exhibitions and two formal departmental patient evenings. Reception to the project has been overwhelmingly positive from health and fashion industries, as well as the general public. Attendees were at first drawn to the visual appeal of the displayed garments which in turn compelled them to feel, inspect and try on.
Upon closer inspection they were pleasantly surprised to discover the additional accommodative features embedded in the garment. The public expressed their support for the idea of integrating adaptive functionalities within garments. Many opined that that there was no need for product segmentation and reflected on the fact that even the most able—bodied will experience disability be it temporal or permanent at some point in their lives. They saw the modifications as purposeful and meaningful improvements that benefited not just the disabled community but also themselves.
They expressed pride in contributing to the design of clothing that not only met their needs, but was also accepted and even regarded as useful by the wider community. Notably, involvement in the project inspired the patient participants to begin adapting their wardrobe based on the design proposals developed from the project. There were also Allied Health Professionals AHPs who expressed an interest in using the project findings to guide and support their patients in making early lifestyle adjustments to minimise the frustration of coping with physical impairments. The results of the collaborative involvement were also acknowledged by healthcare and fashion professionals, who agreed that patient participation can actually add a new dimension to the research and design process, making it more effective and relevant.
While the project was limited to a sample group of people living with a range of musculoskeletal conditions, the immersive role they played over two years enabled a thorough investigation into the importance of clothing in their lives and the problems they encountered — and what is possible to improve existing garment design methodologies to ensure emotional sustainability. The project could be repeated on other patient groups with long—term physical conditions to further assess the impact of clothing on emotional well—being. Currently, the researchers hope to extend its work to teenagers living with musculoskeletal conditions — having acknowledged that clothing has a strong influence on identity, it would be ideal to develop a distinct set of design parameters that are specific to adolescent needs.
In this momentum for considerate design, it is imperative for cross—disciplinary collaboration between fashion and healthcare to continue. The project outcomes served as alternate design proposals that advocate for functionality and aesthetics to be of equal emphasis in order to maximise emotional satisfaction, independence, dignity, and social affirmation. Future research should examine fashion and its components from a social design perspective. Jin and Black, op cit. Black and Cloud, op cit. Jenkyn—Jones, Sue,.
We would also like to thank Edmund Gillingwater for his transcription services and Dr James Galloway for his support for this project. Alexa Chan is a multidisciplinary designer working at the intersection of health, fashion, and technology and an advocate for democratic design. A recent MA Fashion Futures graduate from London College of Fashion, her thesis proposing clothing as vehicles for healthcare interventions garnered the top Distinction award. Her research interests are patient and public involvement in research, teaching and improvement in health service delivery, the interface of physical and mental health, psychological intervention in rheumatology, psycho—social aspects of living with long—term musculoskeletal conditions and the sociology of medical education.
Her shoes were fully male. Social historians Dekker and van de Pol, in their book, The Tradition of Female Transvestism in Early— Modern Europe, argue that female cross—dressing in this period was embedded within a widespread tradition in northwest Europe. The tradition of theatre and performance, popular literature and prose, etc is undoubtedly a valuable source of information when studying cross—dressing in the early—modern period.
It is filled with mythical stories of people transgressing gender boundaries, particularly witty women in male disguise or Amazonian heroines. Although there are obvious links between the reality of cross—dressing and how it was represented in cultural media, these sources fail to explain the everyday experience of ordinary people who, for whatever reason, transgressed social boundaries in their way of dressing.
It is therefore generally difficult to get a sense of the everyday dress culture of ordinary people, and especially of those who did not conform to social norms. These trial records have previously been studied as a group by social historian, Jonas Liliequist, investigating the motivations behind female cross—dressing in the early—modern period, and how this crime was classified within the system of law. Indeed, it is the contention of this paper that material supports like wigs, shoes, and appropriate clothing acted as a further barrier to transgressing social norms; because cross—dressing in order to impersonate another sex or social class required no small degree of embodied skill, economic resources, and imagination.
Moreover, because props were sometimes difficult to acquire, they also fixed transvestites in coded material culture that spoke directly to questions of seriousness or intentionality. Certainly, the morality of dress was highly blurred for those at the bottom of the social spectrum, which gave many labouring women a certain license when it came to adopting male roles. In Sweden, sumptuary laws attempted to enforce a top—down vision of social order by regulating the purchase and use of clothing.
Potentially this made cross—dressing in any way very tricky. However, we forget that the early—modern world was characterised by a number of informal and non—market modes of distribution and acquisition that allowed clothes to circulate. Dress existed on a spectrum of legitimacy, which, though ideally regulated to foster social distinction, was in practice subverted by the market and through plebeian rituals.