Renowned British fashion designer and couturier, David Emanuel, has created a bespoke, wearable gown made entirely from toilet tissue to help raise awareness of overactive bladder (OAB).
Astellas Pharma Ltd. have launched the campaign, Not As It Seams, and have also partnered with UK charity, the Bladder & Bowel Foundation (B&BF), to help eliminate the embarrassment and misconceptions about OAB that currently exist amongst the public.
Over half of people with bladder problems are either too embarrassed or don’t think their condition is serious enough to visit their doctor. As part of the campaign David has created a bespoke, fully wearable gown, made entirely from toilet tissue.
The campaign will auction David’s bespoke gown, his original designs as well as photographs taken by one of the biggest names in British photography, John Swannell. The silent auction will take place from 23rd June to 4th July and interested parties will be able to bid for the items, with all proceeds donated to the B&BF. Visit NotAsItSeams.co.uk for further details.
David has enjoyed designing a gown from a material outside of his usual portfolio: “I am incredibly excited to be involved in a campaign where I’ve been able to create something to raise awareness of a condition like OAB, which if treated, can change lives. It’s fantastic to know that the proceeds from the auction will go to a worthy cause – the work the Bladder & Bowel Foundation do to provide help and support is brilliant. People are embarrassed about discussing problems they have ‘in that area’, but as I have realised, it’s so important to tell someone and get help.”
For over 7 million adults with OAB in the UK, toilet tissue is an item all too familiar and the campaign wanted to utilise this everyday item so it can be associated with something positive, beautiful and creative, rather than an everyday necessity. OAB is characterised by a sudden and compelling need to relieve the bladder, which is difficult or impossible to put off (known as ‘urgency’). The condition can also be associated with the frequent need to go to the toilet during the night or the day and may be associated with urgency incontinence.
As part of the campaign, David has released a short video showcasing the gown’s design and creation process, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the photo shoot with David’s former muse and supermodel Marianne Lah Swannell. Visit NotAsItSeams.co.uk to watch the video and view the photographs available for auction.
Debbie Stuart, Clinical Manager at the Bladder & Bowel Foundation, says: “This is such an exciting campaign which we hope will help to raise awareness of OAB on a national scale. We hope that people suffering from the condition will realise there is help and support available, and that there’s no reason to be embarrassed. The toilet tissue gown does not detract from the negative side effects experienced by sufferers of OAB, but such a beautiful dress should encourage open discussion about a subject that is all too often hidden.”
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