Form and function are at the centre of my practice, leading me to create sportswear that is both beautiful and functional. I used my final project to create hiking garments for the over 60s, inspired by the Lake District and my family.
I have loved designing and making this collection for an often forgotten demographic by the fashion industry. I hope to prove that adaptive clothing doesn’t have to be boring or medical. As a country we have an aging population, therefore it is more important than ever to promote healthy, active lifestyles to reduce common illnesses associated with aging.
‘Gan Yam’ is Cumbrian dialect for saying you’re ‘going home’. And that is exactly what my collection represents. For me, my family is my biggest inspiration and seeing the women in my life who have taught me how to sew get older, I decided to create this collection for women like them. Those who enjoy bright, beautiful colours inspired by the landscape and a meander through the lakes.
I wanted changes in aging bodies be the focus of the fit, but sustainability be the focus of fabrication. The goal was to create my whole collection using only second-hand or dead stock fabrics, but I ensured that the technical properties of fabrics were maintained when deciding on composition and finishings. I managed to do this using donated fabrics from an outerwear supplier. However, as fabric pieces varied in size, using patchwork to make larger pattern pieces created the aesthetic of the collection.
Making sure that this collection was accessible to the widest range of my selected demographic was very important to me. This meant that base layer garments had to use stretch fabrics to allow all ranges of movement. This involved collaborating with a knit student to create a bespoke cotton rib base layer. Outerwear garments had multiple entry points with different fastenings to cater for a range of dexterity and mobility levels. Which included magnets, poppers, and modified 3D printed trims which I designed to be easy grasp and hold. Together created prototypes with accessibility at the core of the design, and further development in to better adaptive technologies I think would really elevate the range.