Millions of people in this world, all of them looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness? ‘Fragile, Handle With Care’ is a collection which addresses the stigma of mental health in the Asian community while incorporating androgynous and tech-wear elements.
Depicted above is the moodboard for the overall collection and how the designer’s personal experiences with mental illness has influenced her creative thinking. Since the 16th century, mental health has been viewed as an illness with a heavy stigma that halts the victim from seeking professional help. Within an Asian household, members with traditional values view family with a high regard. Mental health is deemed shameful to this hierarchy and is often not readily acknowledged, hence leaving it hidden away in the dark.
Trinh utilised a photograph taken by herself in 2018 and digitally manipulated it to be custom printed for her designs. The image represents the act of being tied down which have developed a further meaning throughout this current collection. All designs depict straps wrapped in a different manner to further accentuate the illusion of being tied down by mental health. Yet by wearing the garment with comfort and ease, due to its oversized nature, it proves that the wearer can go fight their battles in life regardless of what ties them down.
Trinh’s final collection depicts three main outfits labelled ‘Unrestricted’, ‘Unconditional’ and ‘Unlimited’ respectively. The designs are constructed with high-tech polyester fabrications and are also reflective when taken with flash photography! Each design in the collection is intended to carry a separate experience with each person who wears it. It allows the wearer to embody a different story into the design, becoming a unique shield for that person.