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Young Mumbai student designs India's 1st fashion line for people on wheelchairs!

May 14, 2018

24-year-old Krithika Chandramouli firmly believes that people using wheelchairs are entitled to dress in style!

That conviction has inspired her into designing India's first whole line of clothes for people with disabilities. Her line combines functionality as well as fashion.

Krithika's work was displayed at a special fashion show held during the graduation programme of Pearl Academy. Her work was shown in the ramp by a physically disabled model, who was using a wheelchair.

Krithika says her role model is the late Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, who had polio. She endured great physical and emotional pain, but expressed herself on canvas. She says Kahlo inspired her to step out of her comfort zone and design.

The floral designs on her work are also inspired by typical Mexican patterns like the Otomi embroidery which she has recreated as prints. She says this keeps the clothes affordable as well.

Krithika started working on her line after extensive meetings with wheelchair users to understand their needs. She realized how hard it is for them to dress independently.

They told her that the garment's look from the neck to feet was important for them. Since they spend a long time sitting, they wanted the garment to have extra fabric at the back with so that it did not stretch when they moved on the chair.

Krithika has also designed detachable jackets, shirts, and trousers in which the sleeves or legs can be worn separately as well as made loose or right with zippers and buttons so its easy for the wearer to dress by themselves.

She says that clothes for wheelchair users focuses mainly on practical or medical issues and less on the expressive or aesthetic aspects. Something this young woman wants to change.

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