Education Today: Student designs swimwear for breast cancer survivors (Video)

Education Today

A fashion understudy whose grandma survived cancer has outlined a swimwear go for mastectomy patients.

Lauren Milburn, 21, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire, made the shocking collection for cancer survivors who have had maybe a couple breasts evacuated.

Named 'Nisey' after her grandma Denise Pounder, who experienced a solitary mastectomy, the pieces highlight pockets for prosthetic breast inserts and are intended to conceal scar tissue.

Lauren was even given help by Nottingham-based swimwear brand Speedo with a portion of the specialized parts of her plan, including the elastics and pockets for the prosthetic breast embeds (insert).

Lauren, who is studying at Nottingham Trent University's School of Art and Design, said: 'Many women who have had mastectomies feel let down by the high street as they can't find bras or swimwear which are up to date and meet their needs.

'Many are designed with pensioners in mind, but many older women like my grandma don't want to look out of date.

'A mastectomy is a lot for a person to go through and women want to buy clothes which make them feel normal again.'

For her collection, Lauren created a tankini and a bikini with halter-neck cover-ups, and a one-piece swimsuit with a wrap.

She combined floral prints with modern pattern cutting to make the garments appear feminine and up to date.

Concealed seams have been used inside the cups to minimise rubbing on scar tissue and maximise comfort.

Lauren's grandmother Nisey, 68, from Stapleford in Nottinghamshire, said: 'I am so proud of what Lauren has achieved in this project for ladies like myself who have gone through full breast surgery.

'All we want is to be comfortable and confident in what we wear. There isn't a lot to choose from on the open market.

'It's not just the older lady who's hit with this disease, its younger ladies too.

'I'm sure they would be only pleased to welcome more vibrant and patterned garments on the market too like bras, swimwear, bikinis, tankinis, that women would feel confident in wearing to the beach or to the local swimming pool.'
Lauren's designs are set to go on public display for Nottingham Trent University's Art and Design Summer Show 2018.

The show will feature works by more than 1,300 graduating artists and designers and this year is one of the ways in which Nottingham Trent University is marking its 175th anniversary. 

Emma Prince, senior lecturer in fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, said: 'Lauren has taken her grandmother's personal experience of breast cancer and used it as inspiration to help the many thousands of other women in the UK who have undergone a mastectomy.

'She has spotted what she believes to be a gap in the market and has identified a way to help improve the lives of women with similar experiences.

'By providing inclusive swimwear, more women who have had mastectomies would be able to buy the garments they like and need, and feel good about what they wear again.'



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