A fashion student with a chronic illness made clothes to help others with hidden disabilities.
Nottingham Trent University student Tegan Cook has fibromyalgia – a condition that causes fatigue, insomnia and joint pain.
The 21-year-old’s designs depict the concept of pressure treatment.
They add gentle compression to the shoulders and knees, designed to provide soothing pressure.
“The pressure helps keep ‘clicky’ joints and keeps them from moving around and feeling uncomfortable,” said Ms Cook, a third-year BA Fashion Design student.
“It also gives comfort to those who suffer from foot pain and makes the clothes wearable.”
The ends of the clothes are tied so they are flat and smooth, which reduces the feeling of heavy skin, a symptom that Tegan says she experiences often.
“Even a thick label or a thread that isn’t torn can cause great irritation,” she says.
“For my collection, I considered different fabrics, soft and breathable, for the wearer’s comfort and the ability to regulate body temperature, another symptom of the disease.”
The designs feature beaded embroidery, which adds a tactile feel to the wearer for its therapeutic benefits.
Diamonds also contain crystals that harden under pressure.
“Inclusive fashion is the next big thing, but I don’t think hidden disabilities are being catered for in the accessible market yet,” Ms Cook said.
“I wanted to create clothes that help relieve people’s symptoms, but not plain and boring.”
For her research, she interviewed people with chronic pain.
“It’s clear that many people of all ages will benefit from designs like this,” she said.
“There are clothes to consider, especially for people with chronic pain, especially young people who are looking for something trendy and active.”
Emma Prince, course leader in fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Tegan has taken her experience of hidden disability and created a range of clothing that has benefited literally millions of people.”