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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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Jillian Mercado and the new Diesel campaign Jillian Mercado, 26, a New York fashion expert who has muscular dystrophy, is one of the new faces of Diesel. (Diesel )

Disabilities (are sort of) in Fashion

“Model in wheelchair stars in groundbreaking new Diesel ads” (LA Times)

This popped up in my newsfeed this morning, and I thought it was worth sharing. Great for Diesel for showcasing beauty in diversity.

When I was in high school, there was a short-lived disability culture magazine called We that changed how I viewed disabilities of all kinds. I was deeply moved by Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure work, and ended up publishing an academic paper on his projects. There is still such a long way to go in how our culture defines what is beautiful and what is mainstream, but these small steps are indeed small steps in the right direction.

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Moebius syndrome and fashion emergencies

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I have more meaningful posts I will write. But for now, some levity:

That rare moment when having Moebius syndrome equates to a fashion emergency.

I don’t walk around saying “gosh, my right leg is so much skinnier than my left leg” but every so often I am reminded about that. Usually when trying on or wearing knee-high boots.

But these sweatpants just hang/don’t hang in precisely the wrong way on me so I end up continually trying to make them even. Luckily they’re soft and I otherwise like them, and I’ll forgive looking completely disheveled for hanging around.

I learned my lesson: no more three-quarter length sweatpants with tight bottoms for me!

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