On Tuesday 11th March Flamingo Foundation and Find My Style collaborated to hold their first fashion styling workshop to help young adults with disabilities channel their own sense of style and build body confidence. The event was supported by House of Fraser who provided the new season clothes and everyone had a great time. Flamingo Foundation wrote about the experience on their blog and we have shared their quotes below.
The session was led by Hannah Jean, fashion stylist and master image consultant. Hannah showcased the key styles and themes for Spring/Summer 2014 and worked with the group to explore how they could channel their own sense of style and build their body confidence. Joining Hannah was expert seamstress Magdalena Handwerker who gave advice on adapting clothes to suit their needs and also fashion photographer Steve Shipman.
One person to benefit from the session was Jazz Nightingale, aged 19 from Stevenage. Jazz is a wheelchair user and feels like mainstream fashion can sometimes feel inaccessible to young adults with disabilities. She says “I was interested in the session because I like to follow fashion just like other young people. It helps me express myself and my favourites are patterns, sparkly clothes and scarves.”
“The session with Hannah helped me think about what sort of styles are on trend at the moment and what would suit me. Learning how you could alter your clothes to suit your own needs was great too. It really helped boost my self-confidence.”
Asked what the fashion industry and retailers could do to make fashion more accessible for young people, as a wheelchair user herself, she said: “They should make shops easier to get around for a wheelchair user, there’s often not enough floor space.”
Natalie Birch has a learning disability and is aged 19 from Watford. She said “Fashion is important to me and I enjoy choosing my own clothes. I feel confident if I look cool and trendy and I’m happiest in hoodies, t-shirts, trainers and joggers.
“I really enjoyed the session with Hannah. It helped me think about how I could show my own sense of style and gave me loads of ideas of how I could make what’s in this season suit my style.” She ends, “The fashion industry could do more to support disabled people by using more disabled models in magazines.”
Fashion stylist Hannah Jean became the youngest director to be voted on to the board of the Federation of Image Professionals International which accredits the image industry internationally.
Hannah says, “Image and confidence in what we wear can make a huge difference, but young disabled people can feel removed from the fashion scene and find it difficult to find on-trend clothes that suit their style and their bodies. This project is a fantastic way to open up the world of fashion and demonstrate that everyone can find or adapt clothes to show off their individuality and tastes.”
Find My Style would like to thank Embargo 59 for raising the funds for the workshop by selling specially created London Fashion Week Cocktails, House of Fraser for providing the clothes and Flamingo Foundation for making it happen and inviting us to be involved!