At the Wednesday night event dubbed Fashion Chance a dozen designers mostly from Ukrainepresented outfits for physically handicapped women, in a bid to bring attention and dignity to some of Ukraine’s most marginalized citizens. In a country where most buildings lack wheelchair ramps and only a very few public schools accept disabled children, the show was a small but vivid step toward removing the stigma that cloaks Ukraine’s disabled.
“People on wheelchairs, the blind, the handicapped should all feel accepted,” said 26-year-old Ilona Slugovina, an avid wheelchair ballroom dancer, who modeled a lilac-colored glittery evening dress.
Some models moved confidently down the runway — on wheel chairs, or accompanied by handsome young men in elegant suits — flashing smiles and some attempting to mimic the traditional model gait. One blind model coquettishly held her hand on her hip and played with a lock of hair. Others appeared nervous.