We first met Syafiqah when we were putting together Will & Well’s first runway show in 2017. Syafiqah, diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, is able to stand and take a few slow steps but otherwise, she primarily travels using her speedy wheelchair.
The first thing we noticed about Syafiqah was her active get-up. With a sporty tee, leggings and a pair of Nike Air Max, there’s no mistaking that she is a sportswoman. On top of representing Singapore in Boccia as a para-athlete, Syafiqah also works for GrabFood and make deliveries in her spare time!
Throughout our fitting sessions with Syafiqah, her cheerful outlook and spontaneity had inspired a customised look that is both athletic and graceful. The top and bottom pieces prioritised movement and comfort for her active lifestyle, while the trench coat added a smooth flow to her movements. The look was completed with a waist belt to accentuate her figure, along with a pair of tie-dyed Converse with hand-stitched Swarovski crystals and pearls.
Knowing that she spends most of the day in her wheelchair, Syafiqah's outfit was tailored to find a balance between comfort and style in the seated position.
We designed her top piece such that it ended neatly at her torso to prevent any excess fabric from clumping on her lap. Her trousers had a more extended rear and shorter front so that it doesn’t stretch when she is seated. Full-length zips on each side of her trousers (see Unisex Drawstring Pants) made it easier for dressing. The trench coat also had two zips – one at the front and one across the back of her hips to adapt to a seated position.
On the day of the show, Syafiqah was a little shy when meeting her fellow models. But when the time came, she confidently drove onto the runway dressed in an outfit that we hope would pave the way for adaptive fashion, universal apparel systems and inclusive fashion modelling!