The team contacted The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Fashion department and the idea for a line of clothing based on the model organisms used in the lab was born.
“The team from VCC visited our lab and we showed them our experiments and the equipment we use. It was exciting to see them take inspiration from things like the patterns formed by chemical assays or the stripes of a fly’s abdomen. For us these are normally part of our experiments, so we also got to experience the lab in a completely different way.”
Student Lexi Vanderzalm, alumni (Brigita Anrevi, Chris Nagy, Nico Gruzling, and Steven Thomas), and instructors Andrea Korens and Allison Drake created dresses, t-shirts, leggings, and shorts that embody their expanded understanding of the basic building blocks of molecular biology.
“It was a really collaborative project and our lab are very grateful that the VCC team were able to take what started out as an abstract concept and turn it into something beautiful and tangible. We even got some friends and family members to help model some of the outfits”.
The Model Organisms Collection comprises eight unique outfits designed for children. Each features some elements drawn from the lab such as geometric insect wings and colourful chemical assays.
The whole collection will be getting its runway premier at Vancouver Kids Fashion Week on October 12. In addition to the runway show, audience members will also have a chance to learn more about model organisms, by visiting the Healthy Starts Booth at the event.
VKFW has a global reputation for recognizing and celebrating diverse and innovative talent, proudly creating a platform for local and international children’s wear designers. The SS20 season introduces the seventh official edition of Vancouver Kids Fashion Week, highlighting creative designers from around the world.
“Working in health research at this moment is exciting because we are starting to understand how gene regulation impacts our lifelong well-being…We hope that the collection will help to pass on that excitement to young people and get them thinking about how model organisms can help us learn about how humans work.”