Three junior fashion design students were named winners in a competition to create uniforms for a new hospice inpatient care facility that is part of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) Hospice and Palliative Care program.
The "Designing for a Difference: New Approaches to Hospice Uniforms" competition challenged students to create uniforms that reflect the soothing and therapeutic atmosphere of VNSNY's new 25-bed Haven Hospice Specialty Unit.
First-place winner Hannah Ross of Washington, Connecticut, was recognized for a design inspired by graffiti artist Banksy's image of a doctor holding a stethoscope. She created a three-piece look from 100% cotton that is comfortable and professional in the care facility and stylish on the streets of New York City.
Second-place winner Jefferson Musanda of Lynn, Massachusetts, was recognized for a sleek design that includes a pale sea-foam green top of stretch cotton with lavender-colored cotton bottoms that compliment the decor of the Haven. He was inspired to incorporate modern day activewear into the design of the uniform, considering that the nurses move like athletes around the care facility in their daily work.
Third-place winner Alicia Arlotta of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, was recognized for a unisex uniform design that reflects the colors of the Haven and her research into color therapy, which indicates the most healing and calming shades are light green and beige. Arlotta was inspired by the competition since two of her best friends lost their mothers to cancer and both spent time in hospice care. One of the women encouraged Arlotta to pursue a career in fashion, and Arlotta dedicates her work to her.
"The VNSNY competition provided our students with the opportunity to engage in a very meaningful project that makes design matter," said Jennifer Minniti, chair of Pratt's Department of Fashion Design.
Jeanne Dennis, senior vice president of VNSNY Hospice Care, added: "The look, feel, and function of the clothing worn by healthcare professionals can have an important impact on everyone involved in patient care. These wonderful new designs by Pratt's talented young designers promise to inspire an even deeper sense of caring and comfort."
Ross received a $2,500 scholarship from VNSNY and will have her design produced and manufactured locally for hospice staff members at VNSNY's Haven Hospice Specialty Unit in Manhattan. The three top designers were presented with scholarship awards from VNSNY.
Text: Amy Aronoff
Photo: Kevin Wick