Theater Professor Used Cancer as Creative Inspiration to Make Amazing Ball Gowns

Jacqueline Firkins wanted to provoke discussions about the terrible disease

A theater professor has designed and created ten amazing ball gowns inspired by microscopic lab photos of cancer cells and other cellular systems, aiming to provoke discussions about the relationship between beauty, body image and the disease.

Jacqueline Firkins, who works as an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia, decided to use the affliction as creative inspiration and generate a new opportunity for people to discuss the terrible condition.

Firkins created her novel collection as part of a project called “Fashioning Cancer: The Correlation between Destruction and Beauty,” and will use it to raise money for cancer research, patients and survivors.

The impressive fashion designs are based on the microscopic images of the cancerous cell's configuration, as the designer wanted to offer a new way to look at this affliction.

“My hope is that somehow through fashion, I more closely tap into what a woman might be feeling about her body as she undergoes the disease, but simultaneously reflect a strength, beauty, and resilience,” Jacqueline Firkins said, according to Daily Mail.

The project has been designed as an alternative imagery to the typical fashion examples that are currently associated with cancer, like the pink ribbon.

“Many women who have battled cancer express a disconnect with the fashion imagery that commonly represents the disease,” the designer said.

The images that served as inspiration were captured by Dr Christian C. G. Naus, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University, and his colleagues. They show brain tumors, dying cancer cells, nerve cells and other body structures.

Although there is certainly nothing beautiful about this malady, the dresses are amazing and some of them simply offer an artistic interpretation of the complex biology of the human body. Check out the photo gallery at the end of this article to see some of the designs.

Firkins managed to fashion cancer cells into wearable works of art and she hopes her work will eliminate some of the fear people feel when thinking about the deadly disease.

The dresses are on exhibition at UBC's Frederic Wood Theatre starting March 25. The public presentation will be followed by an open dialogue, and attendants will be able to express their thought and feelings about the subject matter.

What do you think about this project? Are these gowns too beautiful to reflect something as terrible as cancer? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.


Artistic Interpretations of Cancer (6 Images)

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