Fashion has always remained the epitome of self expression. It has deeply moved society by staying at the apex and capturing various genres at different spectrums. What the fashion community needs is to channel their attention and awareness into tailoring garments for differently abled citizens. Krithika Chandramouli, plucks and impinges on our emotions exemplifying what pain is, the inevitable nature that it carries and how we should embrace, grasp and embody it. Painting a vivid portrait of Frida Kahlo’s struggles that she endured, physical and mental – she wishes for the fashion community to encapsulate aesthetic and customised details into the apparel for the differently abled.
Krithika makes you live vicariously and empathise through the eyes of a wheelchair user; more importantly to make differently abled fashion inclusive with mainstream fashion. Functionality, of course does play a huge role but it’s the absence of the fashionable element that truly bother’s them; denying them of their expression, and suppressing their creativity.
Subjecting them to drab and sombre clothing truly isn’t fair. She goes on to showcase the nuances that lie behind the clothing widely available currently that focus solely on the medical and the functional aspect. Krithika’s project aspires to bridge the gap between the functionality and aesthetic detailed apparel for wheelchair users. It yearns to encapsulate the fashionable aspect and make available the idea and proposition of adaptive clothing; making it a part of mainstream clothing.
Neenu Kelwani, the winner of Miss Wheelchair and main muse behind this project worked intimately with Krithika. She then developed a greater understanding regarding deeper gradations and overtones about catering towards the different needs of physiques. Keeping in mind that necessities always remain subjective and are bound to differ from person to person. Taking a deeper introspection the background research involved visiting hospitals, NGO’s and schools. Also exchanging mails world over with those who were challenged by this issue to gain better perspective. Most of their concerns addressed surfaced around the clothing having very little or no emotional, expressive or aesthetic characteristics to it. The other concerns were the physical aspects like washroom assistance, that require transferring in and out of the wheel chair, the openings of the garments. Their research led them to the inference that the market had very few options wherein clothes were wheelchair friendly and trendy.
Bearing in mind all these aspects, Krithika brought to life and mashed Frida Kahlo’s aesthetic by incorporating Mexican inspired patterns and designs in her garments. Drawing conclusions from the inference; her true desire was to showcase trendy and a chic collection that would have an impact on wheelchair users which allows them to be self sufficient and fashionable.
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