A professor and costume designer merged fashion and biology by creating a series of dresses inspired by cancer cells.
Jacqueline Firkins‘ creation can be seen in an exhibition called Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty. It consists of ten ball gowns in pattens inspired by microscopic photos of cancer cells and cellular systems, with the aim of prompting a conversation about the relationship between beauty, body image and the disease.
Below are just some of the dresses on her collection:
Brain tumor: One of the photos, which were captured by professor Christian Naus, shows a normal brain area, depicted in blue and green, being encountered by invading cancer cells, which are colored red
Artistic interpretation: This is represented in a gown worn by model Eva Tavares, an undergraduate opera student. Her floor-length halter dress is made from shredded blue and pink silk saris
Up close: An image of astrocytes, a type of glial cells, growing in a culture dish. The blue spots are nuclei, and the green depicts gap junction channels connecting the cells in a metabolic community
Colorful: This dress, which is modeled by UBC alumna Bronwyn Malloy, is made of green silk charmeuse, with blue rose appliques designed to represent nuclei
Biological process: Green nerve cells migrate on red supporting cells to develop a network with other neurons
In movement: These 'brain cells on the move' are interpreted in a gown worn by student model Simone McIntosh, made of red organza with green silk ribbons
Jacqueline Firkins works in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. She said that she hopes the dresses ’simultaneously reflect a strength, beauty, and resilience.
Christian Naus, Ph.D.
Cima CIna, Ph.D.
Stephen Bond, Ph.D.
Hoa Lee, Ph.D.
Moises Freitas-Andrade, Ph.D.
Wun Chey Sin, Ph.D.