Changing Minds

On Wednesday 13th March 2013, one of our Features Editors, Michelle, attended an event at the University of Southampton, entitled "Changing Minds". This unique event showcased neuroscientists from the university explaining neuroscience through fashion...  

Situated at the Students Union, the audience saw a brilliant collaboration with Winchester School of Art and Southampton Neuroscience Group who produced a fantastic collection of garments expressing the theme of the fashion show, “Changing Minds Through Neuroscience Inspired Fashion”.
23 students presented pieces of knitwear and design that corresponded to the theme of provoking more awareness of brain disease and mental illness. They wanted to express the combination of science and fashion that signify the ‘challenge of understanding the mind’ with people who have mental illnesses.

Illnesses such as; Anorexia, Dementia, Depression, Epilepsy, Bipolar, Autism, Insomnia, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease were portrayed through an array of creative and innovative designs that aimed to stay in the mind of the audience of what these illnesses feel like for the person and what the brain does when the illness happens and what the body does to try and stop the illness having a terrible affect on the persons body.
Some inspiration came from various art movements such as Cubism and Surrealist.
Garments that represented anorexia saw fabrics that were made into the shape of hipbones, signifying the weight loss a person can suffer from this disease and the tearing away of knit fabric expresses the feeling of emotion.
Garments that represented Alzheimer’s disease were portrayed through dresses and a jumpsuit that signified the separate parts a person is feeling inside, the disillusion and the feeling of the families of the person who is suffering. The hand of the jumpsuit was trapped; this represented a feeling of disorientation. 
Schizophrenia was represented through designs that saw pale coloured dresses, straight jackets that represented new research in treatments for this disease. The feelings of restriction are symptoms of schizophrenia that are expressed through; draping’s of string that gradually get loose at the garment goes down.
Garments that expressed bipolar saw knitwear that was torn to express the feelings of the disease; of loneliness and unhappiness. The cape design expressed spiralling out of the control feeling, when a patient is trying to find a sense of normality again.
Asperger’s disease saw many layers of what the brain does when the disease strikes and how the body is stopping the disease from disturbing the patient.

All in all, the exhibition expressed an exciting future for science and fashion and how the use of clothing can create more awareness of the most horrible diseases, people face today. This show expressed the potential in the up and coming students that can bring a new lease of life to the future scientific fashion by using their creative skills.

For more information, see the university's news release.

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