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ITC students stage a fashion show with people with intellectual disabilities and ex-mentally ill persons
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Ten mentally handicapped persons and ten ex-mentally ill persons (participants), presented 20 fashion collections they designed in collaboration with 76 students from ITC, at the “Fashion-type 2019” event yesterday. The event clearly presented a thought-provoking message: Fashion is beyond trend; Fashion can be a tool of empowerment and helps social inclusion and cohesion.

Robynn & Kendy, the Hong Kong based musical duo, and One Promise, the emerging band, showed their support to the cause by performing at their event and be the guests-of-honour of the opening ceremony.

Music performance by One Promise.

Music performance by Robynn & Kendy.

 

The exhibition was co-organised by the ITC and the Office of Service-Learning (OSL) of PolyU; Hong Chi Association; and New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NLPRA), with a target to enhancing the participants’ self-confidence. The project also allowed PolyU students to apply the practical skills acquired in their course and build up their sense of responsibility to the society by serving the community.

Over 70 students of PolyU joined hands with 20 persons with intellectual disabilities and ex-mental ill persons from Hong Chi Association and NLPRA and co-created 20 expressive textile arts and fashion prototypes which showcased at “I empowerful 2019” exhibition. Together they co-created 20 expressive textile arts, fashion prototypes and heartfelt stories showcased on the runway as well as at the exhibition.

The officiating guests at the opening ceremony were Prof. FAN Jin-tu, Head of ITC; Mr Edwin M. W. LAM, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association; Ms Amy FUNG, Chief Executive Officer of NLPRA; and the guest performers Robynn & Kendy and One Promise.

Group photo of the officiating guests (Upper row from left): Prof. Fan Jin-tu, Head of ITC, PolyU; Ms Amy Fung, Chief Executive Officer of New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association; Ms Marjorie Yang, GBS, JP, Chairman of Esquel Group; Performance guests Robynn & Kendy; Mr Edwin Lam, General Secretary of Hong Chi Association; and (Second role): Performance band One Promise.

 

Group photo of the representatives from the Organiser and supporting organisations.

 

The 20 participants also glammed themselves up on the runway to showcase the fashion designs they worked out together with the PolyU students, and shared their stories with the attendees.

Participant S. Y. LAM wearing the co-created works doing the catwalk.

 

Participant W. M. WONG showed confidence during the catwalk performance.

 

Project leader of the event, Dr Jin LAM, who is also the Assistant Professor of ITC, said, “The theme of the event this year, ‘I empowerful 2019’, delivers a strong message to the society that fashion is created for every one of us. Using fashion as a medium, both the participants and the PolyU students would be able to express in full their unique beauty, self-confidence and talent through the outfits they jointly produced.” The celebrity guests Robynn & Kendy shared that the project was meaningful, and they hoped to encourage within the community a more loving and caring attitude towards people in need.

Two participants from NLPRA shared their stories at the event. S. Y. LAM, who had mild intellectual disability, likes putting on beautiful outfits just like any other girl, and hopes to be capable to choose her own way of living. Pink and white colour, skirt and sakura were her favourite fashion elements. Yet, her parents usually ask her not to wear dresses out of protection. Through this programme, Lam was able to build up her self-confidence and personal identity through the process of creating expressive textile arts.

The other participant, W. M. WONG, suffered from mental health problems when he was about to retire. Working in a life-saving occupation had put him under tremendous stress. Only had he joined the programme that he was willing to open to helping hand from others. The programme also provided an opportunity for him to communicate, interact and connect with the community.

Exhibition at FJ podium

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