UBC prof has designs on fighting cancer

A University of B.C. costume design professor has created a collection of 10 ball gowns to get people talking about cancer.

The gowns, inspired by microscopic photos of cancer cells and cellular systems, are also aimed at getting people to discuss beauty and body image while creating alternative imagery for discussions of cancer.

“The hope is that I find an institution that wants to auction them off to raise money for charity, with the proceeds going toward cancer research, cancer therapy for cancer patients and survivors, anything related to the disease,” said Jacqueline Firkins of UBC’s Department of Theatre and Film. “Many women who have battled cancer express a disconnect with the fashion imagery that commonly represents the disease.

“One of the purposes of the project is to get some response from the dresses.”

“So far, the response has been joy and celebration, but I suspect some women will look at the dresses and say you’re just making it all too pretty, that ‘my reality with the disease was very uncomfortable, very ugly, very destructive,’” Firkins said. “So I want to create the kind of art that leaves it open to interpretation and response from the viewer.”

Brian Morton Reports

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