Fashion for the differently-abled
Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - July 3, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Experimental fashion tends to generate more discussions than wearable outfits. Some people say that the point in experimental couture is to be beside the point and nothing more.

However, a number of designers and fashion houses have taken broad strides in re-molding “experimental” into “practical.” These industry players cut no corners to complete the conceptual-to-practical design circuit.

Tommy Hilfiger, with its new “Tommy Adaptive” line, would be one example. Recently unveiling a new line of disability-friendly clothes, the US-headquartered brand made waves in tailoring outfits that are not only made to look good when worn, but also to be easy to put on by persons with disabilities.

From dress shirts tailored with magnetic buttons to dresses with adjustable hems, the line is made of clothes that come with zippers that can be zipped up and down with only one hand, cord-based closures, adjustable waists, side-seam openings and the like.

The brand based most of its designs on inputs from persons with disabilities themselves. Working aesthetic considerations around practical concerns that are often encountered by persons with disabilities, the line reflects the minimalist design ethos and music subculture influence that are indicative of the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

An offshoot from a 2016 project wherein the brand partnered with the Runway of Dreams nonprofit, “Tommy Adaptive” kicked-off from clothes that were made for children with disabilities. It was expanded to cover clothes for adult persons with disabilities a year later, and has taken fresh new looks in the recently launched line.

As experimental avant garde designs come, Tommy Hilfiger’s “Tommy Adaptive” may not exactly be as outlandish as the creations of Jeremy Scott or those by Rick Owens, but it effectively pushes for the broadening of the boundaries of fashion design and conventions.

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