ROM exhibition raises awareness of fashion options available for those in wheelchairs

Couple sits in wheelchairs at cafe

“The world has many bodies and not all of them are standing.”

The Royal Ontario Museum is hosting “Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting”, an exhibit highlighting adaptive clothing designs for men and women who use wheelchairs.  The exhibit has been running since June 21, 2014 and will go until January 25, 2015. The exhibition showcases designs from Izzy Camilleri, a Canadian designer with an impressive list of clients including David Bowie, Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, and Meryl Streep. In 2009, Izzy began IZ Adaptive, a clothing line of fashionable garments designed for those in wheelchairs.  In explaining the history of the clothing line, Ms. Camilleri describes being at a point in her life where she could “create clothes that are making a difference in people’s lives”. The exhibit has received considerable media attention from the Toronto Star, CBC’s Metro Morning and CTV’s Canada AM.  Hopefully, the attention garnered will raise awareness of the availability of new and innovative clothing options for a unique market.  Since the clothes are designed based on a seated posture, they are more comfortable and functional for those in chairs. As Jeanne Beker pointed out, “Why shouldn’t a woman sitting in a chair have great style?” Izzy Camilleri’s fashions can also be seen on her website . The clothes look great, but as Izzy herself has pointed out, it is about more than just the clothes.

“It goes beyond the clothes, giving someone their own personality back and a sense of self”.

IZ Adaptive Trenchcoat

IZ Adaptive Trenchcoat | Photo Courtesy Chris Chapman


Contributed by Laura Hillyer, an OTLA Director and lawyer practising with Martin & Hillyer Associates in Burlington, Ont. Re-posted with permission at

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Laura Hillyer divides her practice between Personal Injury Litigation and Criminal Defence. She strives to help her clients with the challenges they face whether they are injured or disabled and are seeking fair compensation, or are charged with a criminal offence. Laura believes that practising in these two areas of law provides her with a wide breadth of experience and gives her a balanced approach in facing legal problems.