Cardiff girl wins award for wheelchair users clothing
Lucy Jones a 23 year old from Cardiff in Wales has recently won 2 awards for her clothing designs that are made for wheelchair users. Lucy was voted Womenswear Designer of the Year of Class 2015 at the New York Parsons School of Design's annual fashion benefit.
Lucy says that the innovation for many of her designs come as a result of working with her cousin Jake who is a wheelchair user who struggles to find clothes to suit him and that can be put on by himself. Lucy has looked and listened to her cousin and other wheelchair users to identify the common problems people face when sat in their chair much of every day.
Redesigning the way the fabric is cut and stitched has mean that wheelchair users now have garments that no longer impair movement and that allow them to dress themselves easier than before.
"I realised that we, in the fashion industry, need to create more accessible solutions in clothing," Ms Jones said. "I thought if Jake could dress himself, he would be able to be more independent. Clothes have the power to do that."
With alterations made to trouser leg length and lowering of the back waistband wheelchair users were soon to be able to dress themselves and win back some independence. Lucy also had to consider that kneecaps change shape when bent, leading her to remove extra fabric at the bend of the knee, so trouser legs can fall flat. And Lucy took account of how thighs and bottoms spread when seated, as well as eliminating uncomfortable fabric bunching at the crotch.
With tops, Lucy reinforced elbows because they are always leaning on armrests, removed excess bulk and made room for the more developed muscles that people in wheelchairs develop in their shoulders and arms from propelling themselves in their chairs. Ms Jones has now made it her mission to raise awareness on the issue of designing for disabilities.