Determined to break the stereotype of the intellectually disadvantaged in society, a group of young models took to the runway in a fashion parade with a twist.
Students from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled (MINDS) collaborated with their counterparts from educational institution ShineOn! School on Stage to put up a fashion extravaganza entitled “FashionMINDs Through Time” on 13 September at Wisma Atria.
The performers, aged three to 30, wowed the nearly 200-strong audience as they sashayed down the runway with poise and confidence that belied their age and mental challenges.
At the centre of the conceptualization of the event was 25-year-old Catherine Koh, director of ShineOn! School on Stage and a member of City Harvest Church.
A myriad of organizations jumped at the chance to take part in this unique affair. Among them were the Singapore Tote Board, Giordano’s and McDonald’s. RAYZ, an organization that helps special needs children develop their well-being, supported the event from the outset, providing everything from rehearsal venues to emcees and mascots.
RAYZ representative Santhi Singaram said, “In a society that is increasingly becoming more affluent and image-conscious, children and adults with intellectual disabilities are often tucked away. Events like these empower children with special needs to stand tall and show the world what they can still do, despite their disabilities.”
This fashion show proved that these children may have special needs, but they also have gifts and talents to show to the world — they may just lack the opportunity. “FashionMINDS” was a great start to what will hopefully become a regular event.
|PHOTOS: Hansanantha Kumar|