F A S H I O N + J O Y is a collaborative project between the RCA's MA Fashion programme and Share Community, a charity based in Clapham Junction that works with adults with disabilities, autism and other learning difficulties.
At a glance
- Supervised by RCA Head of Fashion, Zowie Broach; Diana Sawaya, Art Tutor at Share; and MA Fashion alumni Ellen Fowles (2020) and Anne Ferial (2021).
- A series of workshops partnered Share artists and RCA students to design and make hats that reflect each Share artist’s personality and creative preferences.
- The collaboration culminated in a millinery fashion show during Wandsworth Art Fringe, hosted at the Royal Academy of Dance.
FASHION + JOY was supported by RCA Community Engagement.
The video was shot by Andrés Panduro Valencia, and edited by Ellen Fowles and Anne Ferial, assisted by Ramin Adilov.
“Fashion + Joy aims to challenge perceptions about disability in higher education and the wider fashion industry.”(MA Fashion, 2020)
Aims of the project
To use human-centred and equity-based design approaches to create bespoke headwear alongside people living with autism, Down's syndrome, or other physical, cognitive, or learning disabilities.
A series of co-design workshop sessions ran from February to April.
RCA Fashion students were paired with Share artists, encouraging connections between a group of participants with diverse lived experiences and perspectives.
We began the collaboration at Share HQ by analysing a selection of preowned hats, taking them apart, speculating on who once wore them, and imagining their future use.
The next stage of the project involved upcycling the hats and embellishing them with deadstock materials. We shared bespoke construction techniques, unique sensory experiences, and colour story developments.
The final sessions focussed on collective action and accessibility within the digital sphere. We investigated 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies, and played with various denim styling options.
Share are a training centre providing learning and wellbeing resources to help adults with learning disabilities, autism, and other support needs live life to the full.
They provide a holistic service, offering accredited training to help people move towards employment, and personal development courses to boost independence and help people feel more confident.
They help people get out socially, run a befriending service, and provide family liaison support.
Reading list and key resources
- Hendren, S. & Lynch, C. (2017) Engineering at Home. http://engineeringathome.org/manifesto
- Holmes, Kat. (2020) Mismatch, How Inclusion Shapes Design. Cambridge: The MIT Press
- Myerson, Jeremy. (2017) New Old. London: The Design Museum
- Pullin, Graham. (2009) Design Meets Disability. Cambridge: The MIT Press
- Papanek, Victor (2019) Design for the Real World. London: Thames & Hudson
- Chatzidakis, M., Hakim, J., Littler, J., Rottenberg C. & Segal L. (2020) The Care Manifesto. New York: Verso
- Hamraie, A. & Fritsch, K. (2019). Crip technoscience manifesto. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 5(1), 1-34. https://catalystjournal.org/index.php/catalyst/article/view/29607/24771
- Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. (2011) Misfits: A feminist Materialist Disability Concept. Hypatia vol. 26 https://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/sps/documents/tackling/Misfits%20A%20Feminist%20Materialist%20Disability%20Concept.pdf
- Ladau, Emily. (2021) Demystifying Disability. California: Ten Speed Press
- Wong, Alice. (2020) Disability Visibility. Vintage Books: New York
- Quinn, D. & Chase, R. (2003) Design Without Limits. Pennsylvania: Fairchild Publications
- Tan, J. & Jun, G. (2018) Universal Materiality: wearable interaction design and computer aided process for accessible wearable solutions. Hong Kong Polytechnic University https://ira.lib.polyu.edu.hk//handle/10397/78800#downloadFile
- Thornton, Nellie. (1990) Fashion for Disabled People. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd
- Walder, Claudia. (2021) Able Zine, Issue 1 & 2. London: Ex Why Zed https://www.ablezine.com/category/digital
- Banger, Jonny. (2020) The Covid Letters. London: Sports Banger Publishing
- Cohen, Ari Seth. (2016) Advanced Style, Older & Wiser. New York: PowerHouse Books
- Heti, S., Julavits, H. & Shapton, L. (2014) Women in Clothes. London: Penguin
- Watkins, Susan (1995) Clothing: The Portable Environment. Iowa State University Press
- Open Style Lab https://www.openstylelab.org/incubator/osl-summer-program/2019-accessible-toolkit
- Rebirth Garments http://rebirthgarments.com/radical-visibility-zine
- Alternative Limb Project https://thealternativelimbproject.com
- Heart n Soul Inclusive Futures project at Wellcome Trust https://wellcomecollection.org/events/YCLmSxIAACUAY7Cv
- Christopher Samuel: Archive of the Unseen https://www.christophersamuel.co.uk/thearchiveoftheunseen
- Ben Barry: Cripping Masculinity https://www.crippingmasculinity.com