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  • Debbie Murphy

All will be Revealed

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

The idea for Coverstory began in 2013 not long after my sudden departure from the fashion world thanks to kidney cancer. This quick change from fashion victim to cancer survivor brought about a series of events that would alter both my appearance and my outlook on life.

Not only did I close the business but also dropped out of social media for some time while I recovered. Running a fashion business required me to post regular upbeat accounts of my work with images of the designs, the models & quite often, me. Cancer & fashion don't mix well. Not only was I feeling dreadful, I looked pretty awful too. My wardrobe pre cancer had been nothing short of silly, I favoured colours that clashed & clothes that stood out. Post surgery I realised I didn't posses anything comfortable which meant I lived in dungarees for months.

The real eye opener was the hospital gown, it needs no explanation if you've ever had the misfortune of wearing one. It was actually the back that opened, revealing whatever was on show underneath. I found myself modelling more than my fair share of these peek-a-boo garments in various washed out shades of green, brown and blue. After Googling the history of this design I was shocked to find it hasn't changed in nearly 100 years! There have been a few modernisations along the way but nothing that's made much of an impact in most hospitals across the UK.

So it was that during my recovery I set about redesigning the hospital gown as well as customising some variations to reflect the wearer. It's one thing losing your dignity to a flapping gown but your personality is also lost when you're dressed in drab, duplicate polycotton sheeting. As my designs progressed I began adding accessories, bags to be taken into hospital as well as smaller ones that could disguise drips and drains.

Then there was another pause. The illness hadn't only taken my kidney, I was also lacking in confidence so starting the business back up would be delayed a lot longer than I'd anticipated.

Throughout this time I was doing my utmost to ensure the cancer would not return, lifestyle changes included a healthier diet, yoga and running. This in turn led to a complete wardrobe rejuvenation which saw my return to the sewing machine proper where I began running up leggings and loose fitting tops. Another branch of Missfit was growing, Activewear had become part of my wardrobe and a new design opportunity.

With a huge amount of vintage clothing and fabric in storage, the tools to set back up in business were all in place but my hospital gown idea remained undercover. Until now.

It's a complete departure from everything I've done before but this new chapter is about to begin.