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Pratt Student Turned Nerve Disorder Into Award-Winning Design Inspiration

Photo: Fernando Colon

Wollner’s collection was inspired by her two-year long struggle with Bell’s Palsy, a nerve disorder which paralyses half of the face. She channelled the emotions of that period through oversized shapes and new textiles, which Wollner experimented with herself by printing on organza and laminating over it.

Of course, that made it nearly impossible to sew. “Going into it I didn’t know it would be that hard, but it made the shapes that I wanted,” Wollner said.

On some of those prints were faces, which at first glance sort of look like Hank from “King of the Hill.” But they’re actually facial exercises given to Wollner by her physical therapist. “The exercises had all these faces on them like, smile or raise your eyebrows five times a day, so I turned them into prints,” she explained. (Another touch that made sense after this explanation: The word “RELAX” printed down the back of her finale coat.)  – Tyler McCall

I love fashion, and I love when disabilities or conditions turn up in the news in unexpected ways… so this is pretty amazing! I would totally buy some of this collection, if it was available.

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