Re-thinking design aesthetics of post-mastectomy lingerieby: Silke Hofmann
Re-thinking design aesthetics of post-mastectomy lingerie
Developing clothing design strategies to assist women affected by breast cancer in visualizing and articulating their individual lingerie needs
Breast cancer can be described as a modern epidemic. According to the World Health Organisation, every eighth woman will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Most treatments include mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery. Recovering women often will not or cannot immediately reconstruct their breasts and survive the disease with a new, altered, one-breasted or none-breasted body.
In order to understand how affected women experience clothing after breast cancer, in particular, post-mastectomy lingerie, this research facilitates prototyping design sessions in which participants work with applied design methods to uncover and articulate latent and deliberate needs. Creative methods derive from stages of the conventional fashion design development process and are simplified for the layperson. By foregrounding the wearer’s voice in design decision making, this research proposes a disruption of conventional fashion industry manufacturing cycles at the early stages of the garment design development.
Silke Hofmann is a clothing designer and design researcher, interested in the wearer-garment relationship. She has a well-rounded background in the international prêt-à-porter industry and is currently completing her PhD at the Royal College of Art. Her research is situated in the female health spectrum and focuses on aesthetic and ergonomic bra needs of females affected by breast cancer, alongside whom Silke investigates clothing needs in participatory prototyping design sessions.