Mental Health Collection Concept
When someone has obsessions, for example fear of contamination or fear of committing a sin, that seep into their mind, it becomes impossible to mitigate the anxiety from their compulsion. When wearing this outfit, they are covered from head to toe, trying to repress the obsession. Fully protected, but also fully restricted. The anxiety builds up to an unbearable amount, with no escape from the repeated intrusive thoughts. Now imagine going through this 1000 times a day.
Asymmetry is stark to the eye conveying the shear difference of how someone with anorexia may see themselves (left), the constant need to control their weight, and how we as an outsider may see them (right) becoming extremely thin. The red fabric represents the seriousness of this condition as it has the highest mortality rate.
The missing piece on the front of the jacket represents fragmented memory loss which happens after a traumatic incident. The asymmetric ‘cage like’ ribbon channels a flashback, a common symptom with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, feeling like you are uncontrollably locked back in the trauma again.
At first glance the embroidered human figures are perceived identical, on closer inspection, the differences become glaringly obvious. This is the truth of the matter, whilst peoples experiences of depression holds similarities, ultimately each experience is deeply personal and individual. Symbolism of snakes, crosses, an empty sunset, hold a mirror to the realistic links of mental ill health and suicide.
The asymmetric shoulder pleat is twofold, a spine of strength and also a place to hide in anxious situations. The asymmetry conveys the juxtaposition of, yes you can hide, but for how long? The anxiety is merely being suppressed and will surface again. You need help getting in and out of the jacket which shows us, with any mental health condition, you need to seek help, whether that be with a trusted friend or a professional.
A common misconception with Dissociative Identity Disorder is that their many personalities or ‘alters’ are harmful and aggressive, something that is conveyed inaccurately through the media, film especially. The alters within the body are by far harmful, in fact they are the complete opposite. They are a coping mechanism to protect the ‘host’ from remembering multiple traumatic events they would of endured from early childhood. The featured pleat at the front of the jacket, wraps around the neckline into a collar, showing us the pure actions the ‘alters’ have to protect the ‘host’.
Pointed sleeves depict a common misconception, ‘people with schizophrenia are harmful to everyone around them’. The sleeves points inwards, telling us they are far more likely to harm themselves over harming someone else. The asymmetric cut represents the roller-coaster ride of emotions, thoughts, and voices someone with schizophrenia deals with daily.