I saw these on Haute Macabre, but it’s turned up on all sorts of design blogs. It’s a line of medical accessories (back braces, neck braces, canes, crutches), redesigned, called ProAesthetics Supports (note_slightly annoying design-ey nav). These are concept pieces for school, and the designer, Francesca Lanzavecchia, is playing with the intersection of body, skin, clothing, and medicine in a positively Ballardian way. Which is cool.
But I hope she takes these designs and finds a way to make them real. Because there are people — particularly teenagers — who are having to wear the ugly versions of these right now, for a short time or for a long time. And they’re dealing with the discomfort, the inability to be ‘normal’, the reactions from peers that range from (at best) bafflement and repeated explanations to (at worst) mockery and humiliation. If they can hide the gear, they are, by avoiding — or at least thinking about avoiding — sports, and showers, and pools. And they’re worrying about how to explain to a girlfriend or boyfriend what that stuff is they’re wearing, and what reaction they’ll get. If they even feel confident enough to snag a girlfriend or boyfriend.
How much better they’d have it if they could pick something out that rocked. That turned something to hide into something to flaunt. Hell, they’d probably get the mockery and weird looks anyway, but at least they’d look damn good. It would make a difference.