June 15, 2024

Fashion Design

Fashion Designs that Enlighten the Soul.

Cancer experience inspires Nottingham’s designer’s fashions

2 min read

Miya Chahal,BBC News, Nottingham

Nottingham Trent University Olivia HodsonNottingham Trent University

Ms Hodson was inspired to create the garments after her own struggle to find suitable clothes

A student who survived cancer as a teenager has created a range of garments to support women with the disease.

Olivia Hodson, who studies fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, was inspired by her own struggle to find suitable clothing when she was ill.

The 25-year-old designed the items as part of her final year university project.

They are now on display at the university as part of its 2024 Graduate Festival.

Nottingham Trent University Olivia designing clothesNottingham Trent University

Ms Hodson designed the items as part of her university course

Ms Hodson was starting her first year of sixth form when she was diagnosed with blood cancer at the age of 16.

She had difficulty finding comfortable clothes as they would often pull on medical devices and irritate her skin.

Clothing that did not cause her pain was not always as fashionable or geared towards her age group.

“When you think of clothing for people with cancer, you think of a head wrap, loungewear, or pyjamas,” she said.

“I wanted to change that image and make clothing that doesn’t make you stand out as someone who is unwell.

“My vision was to create clothes that people can wear in public and feel normal.”

Nottingham Trent University Model wearing dressNottingham Trent University

Her designs are intended to help manage the physical and psychological impacts of cancer

Olivia’s garments are designed for patients who have to wear medical equipment under their clothes for months at a time.

They include a coat that is oversized to allow space for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines to be worn so chemotherapy can be delivered to the heart.

This also disguises any fluctuations in weight that a patient may be conscious of.

A patient’s skin can become irritated after treatment, so she made all of her pieces with bamboo fabric to avoid discomfort.

Ms Hodson’s entire range, which has been nominated for multiple awards at the university, is intended to be worn as daywear, and is not exclusively for hospital appointments.

She said: “It would be amazing to see clothing like this become more widely available.”

Senior lecturer Emma Prince said: “Considering that one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetimes, these designs have the potential to improve the lives of thousands of women who experience the challenges of this awful disease.”

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