This iconic costume is one of the key items for a project funded by Wandsworth Oasis with Spectra to educate & inform MSM and Young People in Wandsworth, about HIV & STI prevention, plus increased Sexual Health Awareness.
To continue the decline in HIV infection rates – PHE recommends prevention message and reduction of high risk behaviours needs to continue. Of concern also are the increasing STI rates e.g. gonorrhoea, syphilis, are the highest rates of STI’s in 16 – 24 yr group.
This project promotes the HI/ STI prevention message. The project will also include production of a HIV prevention themed – fashion show working with young people from youth groups, to include the showpiece costume at various functions and to go on tour around the borough.
Anthony Hunte, Spectra Programme & Volunteer Manager, Costume Designer
Anthony views the work of sexual health organisations like Spectra and Wandsworth Oasis as “warriors”, fighting against the prejudices and stigmas associated with HIV prevention work in the communities they work in.
London and the Caribbean are the two main merging elements for the design and as the costume has affectionately been named “Gaia” after mother earth, this reminds us “We are all bound together as humans on this world we reside in”.
The costume was created from drawing on his design experience working as a Carnival and theatre costume designer back in Barbados and Trinidad and he’s blended the vibrancy of a carnival costume with the elegance of the Victorian era of English fashion.
Giving life to the two regions he’s lived in he has made the skirt consisting of over 2018 hand crafted HIV ribbons paying respect the people working in the HIV prevention movement, to the persons who passed over and the future generation of those living with the virus.
The headpiece in true carnival drama showcases feather work reminiscent of the carnival season back in the Caribbean and is emblazoned with the HIV ribbon drawing attention to the purpose of the costume in raising awareness to the continued work we strive to provide.
The back pack carries the colours of the two organisation giving a vibrant artistic depiction of those working at Spectra and Wandsworth Oasis.
Nothing says “look this way” than a statement piece like this.
For more details on the project and how you can exhibit “Gaia” please email firstname.lastname@example.org