This year at Fashion Scout, Swedish designer Louise Linderoth brought us her SS18 collection, “Have a Seat”. After recently coming to terms with her spinal cord injury, Louise Linderoth became inspired by not only her personal struggles, but the approach fashion designers today take towards model diversity and acceptance.
The Swedish School of Textiles encouraged their students to find creative approaches towards sustainable fashion, while investigating different research approach methods. “Have a Seat” brought us a serious, and inspiring collection highlighting the importance of creating accessible clothing for people of all backgrounds.
Over the past 12 years, Louise has tried to hide and deny the use of crutches as an aid to herself when facing her injury. Within the last year, this young designer transitioned into using a wheelchair as she became inspired by those who were able to embrace their situations, andcontinue their lives. While finishing her collection at The Swedish School of Textiles, Louise channeled her personal experiences and setbacks resulting from her injury, with the current topics of model diversity and accessibility in fashion today. Models both walked, and rolled down the catwalk in wheelchairs, in which Louise states “I hope the use of wheelchairs and models with disabilities when presenting my collection would open up some eyes for a more inclusive future in fashion.”
This collection consisted of denim jeans, with a new deconstructed yet “complete” tone to the garments. The biggest influence for this collection came from Louise’s personal experience with her wheelchair in the past year of use, and the feelings that were provokes whilst wearing jeans sitting.
“I got annoyed that the jeans were so uncomfortable to sit in so I started deconstructing my own jeans to make them fit and follow the body in a seated position”.
Featured in the collection we saw denim in various colour ranges, from dark indigo, to light wash denim. These jeans carried a much larger statement within the cuts, silhouettes, and deconstructed approach taken towards one of the world's most functional and popular clothing choices. While jeans were the driving force of the garments, the focus on their functionality and objective was for Linderoth to create jeans that can be worn whilst sitting.
Taking a more distorted approach towards denim jeans and their shapes, Louise exaggerated cuts, and altered the ways we look at wearing jeans. Distressed hems, largely open cut knees, and jeans worn as oversized dresses created the main focus to this collection. Imagine a pair of jeans pulled right up to your neck, and shoulders, exposing only your arms. Or a pair of light wash denim jeans, with the belt loops and pockets around your shoulders rather than on your hips, and arms made from the legs of jeans. When asked how important a more diverse outlook on fashion is, Louise responded
“For me it is very important. Since fashion is something around us everywhere, it should be for everyone, presented on- and constructed for all different kinds of bodies.”
Fashion is a creative form of expression, which is tailored to each personal take on how we want to represent ourselves. For years jeans have become widely known for their practicality while simultaneously keeping us comfortable, yet for some jeans can be the most uncomfortable and impractical clothing. Louise Linderoth’s collection “Have a Seat” remindedus that everyone is different, and fashion needs to become more accepting and accessible for people of all backgrounds.
Words by Maisie Taylor