Fashion design and bacteria aren’t typically mentioned in the same sentence. Halima Umer from Nottingham in the UK has been able to do just that with her first fashion range.
It is inspired by her Cystic Fibrosis and the bacteria and scars we collect along the way as we grow with CF.
The garments — which are made in traditional Islamic colours – are also embellished with paisley patterns, stains, bobbles and pompoms, which make reference to bacteria.
‘Cystic Fibrosis is an invisible disease. Sometimes people don’t notice it about me. Because I hide it so well, people forget that I have it. But I would like to raise awareness of it.’
Ian McInnes, Hamila’s Course Leader at Nottingham Trent University, advised that her designs carry an important message. The key message being, overcoming adverse situations in one’s life in a profoundly powerful and personal way.
Most of you reading this will have, or know someone with CF. You could agree that we take our own personal experience with the disease and if not using it as inspiration, decide to get on with life as what is the alternative?
Like many chronic diseases, people deal with them in a multitude of ways. Many of the people I know with CF turn the negative aspects of CF into positives to help cope mentally with the peak and trough nature of many chronic illnesses.
This isn’t the first time Halima has been in the spotlight. At the age of nine in 2002, she presented the Queen with a posy of yellow roses during her visit to Nottingham in 2002 to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Just one year later at age 10, she underwent a double lung transplant.
‘I have always said I would never regret anything about having Cystic Fibrosis, but I would only regret it stopping me from living my life. That’s something I have always lived by, and I am proud to now be finishing my degree’.