Re-thinking design aesthetics of post-mastectomy lingerieby: Silke Hofman
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 design researcher and womenswear designer. She holds a BA, Magna Cum Laude, from the Fashion Institute of Technology and an MA with Distinction from Central Saint Martins. Silke is currently pursuing a PhD at the Royal College of Art. Her research project is funded by the AHRC’s London Doctoral Design Centre and co-supervised by the RCA’s School of Design and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.