In Delhi, fashion design students create for seniors

Ramesh Nathani, 73, is dressed in a cowboy suit as he walks down the ramp. It’s obvious Nathani is not a professional model, but it’s also evident that he’s having the time of his life. Later, he talks about his back pain that surprisingly didn’t show up through the show. His wife, Savita Nathani, 70, in palazzo pants, walked with him. The duo, from Noida, was invited to participate in Triptych 2019, at NCUI Auditorium, Siri Fort, where the final year students of Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida, showed their work.

Vintage to Vogue was a line of clothing designed by Tayaba Ahmed, Vidya Bisht, Anjul Rajput, Diksha Srivastava. They showcased eight outfits designed for senior citizens with age-related medical problems. Men and women, all above 70, walked the ramp.

The line revolved around elderly fashion, while taking into account functional aspects, such as ease of use and comfort. The almost-graduates incorporated features like magnetic fasteners, Velcro, and medicated fabrics that went beyond just being skin-kind.

Rajput, the unofficial leader of the group , says: “We did research on the problems senior citizens suffer with, on a daily basis. We understood that a majority had arthritis, shoulder, knee and back pain due to the ageing process, and we knew that as socially aware citizens we needed to do something practically.”

The next step: They looked at current clothing. “We surveyed senior citizens living in Delhi-NCR, and found that they were having problems just putting the clothes on,” says Srivastava. The group paid attention to two aspects: one, fabric that would graze the body causing chaffing, and two, the difficulty in donning the garment, because of pain, especially when an arm or leg is lifted.

“Finally, we discovered medicated fabric in Nainital,” she says. They used it around the knees to combat knee pain, elbows to tackle pain there, and in the yokes in shirts and jackets for shoulder aches. While there isn’t much research on medicated cloth, it’s the thought that counts.

To get their models, the group roped in their neighbours.

The idea of doing something with senior citizens came from Ahmed. She champions seniors who experiment with clothes. But she’s also practical: so people can carry their spectacles and ID cards,” she says.

In fact, Savita’s palazzos had Velcro on the sides, as zips can pinch.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 4:27:29 AM |

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