Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hong Kong:Elderly & disabled unleash their fashion design talent


The “Youreable” Fashion Design 2010 organized by the Troels H. Povlsen Care Apparel Centre under the Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has come to a fruitful close. An award presentation ceremony was held (17 July) at Olympian City 2 Plaza to pay tribute to the elderly and disabled participants for their hard work.

Co-organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, Caritas Hong Kong Services for the Elderly, The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council – College for Adults with Special Educational Needs, St James’ Settlement, SAHK (formerly known as The Spastics Association of Hong Kong), Direction Association For The Handicapped and Skills Centre – A Member of VTC Group, the event provides the elderly and the disabled with an opportunity to unleash their talents in fashion design and apparel making. It also helps foster community care and social inclusion through teaming up the participants with others in the community.

A total of six awards were presented at the ceremony officiated by Mr Matthew Cheung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Hong Kong SAR Government; Professor Walter W. Yuen, PolyU Vice President (Academic Development); and Dr Frency Ng, Director of Troels H. Povlsen Care Apparel Centre. The awards were given to the Best Design, Most Creative, Best Potential, Best Design Concept, Outstanding Performance and Best Team.

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Walter W. Yuen said, “We are glad to see that our students have shown their concern for people with special need by contributing their expertise to this meaningful event. Under the technical guidance and support of our ITC students, participants are able to design and make garments for their loved ones.”

Dr Frency Ng remarked, “This year, the number of participants has increased and we have teams coming from Guangzhou and Foshan. The judges were impressed by the high-quality design of the participants. For example, a lady who has spastic illness has designed a wedding gown for wheelchair user, and a lady who is visually impaired has designed a check pattern shirt specially made with different fabric texture which could be felt by hands.”

Among the 250 finished products, 25 have been selected and the loved ones of the elderly and disabled participants dressed in these outfits at a catwalk show. Other activities of the ceremony include an Elderly Fashion Show put together by PolyU and a special performance by SAHK.

Established in 2007, the Troels H. Povlsen Care Apparel Centre is the first of its kind in Asia which promotes the concepts of specialized clothing and supporting accessories for the disabled and the elderly. The Centre has brought together multi-disciplinary experts in textiles and clothing, clothing designers, rehabilitation specialists, as well as health care professionals. 

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