Fashion that embraces differences: 'Une mode qui sublime le handicap' with Celyne Durand and Chris Ambraisse Boston

The lights went up on the catwalk and... a wheelchair rolled onto the runway.

The Fashion Show "Un mode qui sublime le handicap" held in Paris was both the same and different from many runway shows. There were cocktails, a concert and celebrity guests. But instead of featuring people percieved as perfect prancing around in their pants à la Victoria's Secret, this show sought to show off beautiful garmets modelled by both able-bodied people and those with physical disabilities... hence its name, which translates as "Fashion that underlines the beauty in disability."

The man behind the magic

Designer Chris Ambraisse Boston, who created many of the garments, is the head of the association "Mode&Handicap," French for fashion and disability.

"I don't make clothes for disabled people, I make clothes that take into consideration the problems brought by a disability," Boston said. Example? His clothes are easy to put on.

Boston first became interested in fashion for everyone when he was a student.

He told French publication 20 minutes that he was drawing one day while crossing Paris in the metro when a girl in a wheelchair asked him a thought-provoking question: "Why don't you design for handicapped people? You need to think about us!"

Creating the costumes

Chris spent two years working on his designs that would work for both able-bodied and disabled people. He consulted doctors in order to construct clothes that were easy to put on and made with accessible openings.

The result? Clothes that really do work for everyone. Boston reported to 20 minutes that 60% of his clients were able-bodied and 40% disabled.

On hand to present the show was French actress and TV presenter Celyne Durand.