DisArt Festival fashion show highlights functionality – WZZM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — This isn’t Paris. It’s Grand Rapids.
And this isn’t high fashion; it’s functional fashion.
This is a fashion show unlike any other; some models walked, and some wheeled in. And you won’t find big name-brand labels on these garments, just functional clothing for people with disabilities.
The DisArt Fashion Show was Friday night in Grand Rapids.
“It’s wonderful for people to get out of their houses and see there are other people out there like them and really get to celebrate their differences,” said fashion show coordinator Robert Andy Coombs. “A lot of medical and functioning clothing is very expensive, and we really only have a few options of, say, a rain poncho — nobody really wants to wear a rain poncho, so they created a rain jacket. It was designed for someone in a wheelchair. It covers their lap, so our laps don’t get wet when it rains.”
“Sometimes you find something cute that has some buttons, and you don’t want to take a half hour to get dressed,” said model Jessica Poll. “This is a jacket that is magnetic, so you don’t have to button it. You can just pull it open and close it and it’s still fashionable.”
There were clothes for adults, clothes for children, and t-shirts and military boots designed by disabled veterans to raise money for their cause.
“Everybody needs opportunities, everyone needs to exist equally in all the ways, in fashion shows and different ways,” said DisArt committee member and fashion show model Reyna Garcia. “It’s for everybody.”
The entire DisArt Festival shows you can’t disable talent, and the fashion show was created to make life a little easier for those who have it the hardest.
“It was important to bring this event, it was important for society to understand this topic — sometimes we don’t want to talk about it,” said Garcia.