A UBC costume design professor has created a collection of ball gowns inspired by microscopic photos of cancer cells and cellular systems to get people talking about the disease, beauty and body image.
The project aims to create alternative imagery for discussions of cancer, to complement existing examples such as the pink ribbon, which is an important symbol of cancer awareness, but may not accurately represent women’s experience with the disease.
“Many women who have battled cancer express a disconnect with the fashion imagery that commonly represents the disease,” says Jacqueline Firkins, an assistant professor in UBC’s Dept. of Theatre and Film, who designed the collection of 10 dresses and dubbed the work ‘Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty.’
Inspired by cellular images captured by researchers in the lab of UBC scientist Christian Naus, a Peter Wall Distinguished Scholar in Residence, the project seeks to create artistic imagery based on the disease itself.
“My hope is that somehow through fashion, I more closely tap into what a woman might be feeling about her body as she undergoes the disease, but simultaneously reflect a strength, beauty, and resilience,” says Firkins, who will use the collection to raise money for cancer research, patients and survivors.
A free public presentation and discussion of the ‘Fashioning Cancer’ collection will take place March 25 at noon.
“This will be an opportunity for people to share their thoughts about the gowns,” says Firkins. “Are they too pretty to reflect something as destructive as cancer? Do they encourage you to tell your own story? Do they evoke any emotions related to your own experience?”
- Event: Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty
- Date: Tue. March 25, 2014 | Time: 12-1pm
- Location: UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre, 6354 Crescent Rd.
- MAP: http://bit.ly/1fZ4bC8
- Contact: Deb Pickman | firstname.lastname@example.org | 604.319.7656
Organizations that want to host a presentation of this project should contact Deb Pickman. This project was funded by the Peter Wall Institute’s research mentorship program.