Today in between classes I decided to take up an old habit of visiting the Royal Ontario Museum on Tuesdays, when students get in free. I went in particular to see the Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting exhibit, in the Michael Lee Chin Crystal, before it closes on January 25th.
I had only read about it briefly in a school email from the Fashion Department but I was quite amazed at the ingenuity of designer Izzy Camilleri when I arrived. The Canadian designer’s clothing line, called IZAdaptive (2009) is designed with both fashion and function as priorities. The line is for people in wheelchairs, designed with their specific needs in mind, but still fashionable at the same time.
|Trench coat design inspired by the capes and jackets women wore over bustles in the late 19th century|
|Darts at the knee|
|Izzy Camilleri’s previous work. Coat worn by Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada|
|One view of the exhibit|
Before this I never really thought about the functionality of clothes for people who sit rather than stand the majority of the time. In the exhibit, it was explained that the most fashions are designed based on a “I” shape, i.e. standing. Izzy designed her clothes based on an “L” shape.
I found the whole exhibit quite fascinating as it went through the historical inspirations behind many of the designs such as 18th century bustles and 19th century saddle wear, as well as exploring some of Izzy’s other work as a well known Canadian Designer. One of her newest collections, from 2013, is designed for older women, and includes sleek modern fashions, wider waists and easy openings and hardware.
Overall Fashion Follows Form was a truly intriguing exhibit that really caused me to think about the fashion needs of different people. I would recommend you check it out in the next few days before it goes!
(P.S. Here are other random ROM photos from today).