March 31st 2013. Los Angeles. I should be intimidated. I am sitting, cross-legged, on the floor of Piper Gore‘s warehouse, surrounded by the bustle of busy, important people who are setting up for a photo shoot. Tripods are set; Jimmy Choos are unpacked; gorgeous, unique pieces in lace and leather are pulled from the racks. Really, I should be intimidated.
But this isn’t just any photo shoot. No bevy of models lining up for hair and makeup. No one barking orders or insisting on mood music. Instead, organic hummus and brie are set out, Piper’s French bulldog, Dennis, waits patiently for handouts, and everyone in the room exchanges hellos and stories as we wait for our one model to put on her first outfit.
A year and a half after her cancer diagnosis, Allison W. Gryphon met Piper Gore. They formed an instant bond and a creative union. The goal? A unique, comfortable, easy approach to fashionable clothing for every stage of the cancer fighting process.
“Feeling good and looking good is part of the deal.” Allison reminded us, now at ease in her new post-cancer-treatment body, comfortable in having found support in a new style that embraces the new shape of her body, the hardened and raised breast full of tissue scarred from radiation and a lifelong diagnosis of lymphedema which requires her to wear a compression sleeve when it flares up.
Piper’s line seems tailor-made for the wardrobe ease needed to fight through the long process of waiting rooms, chemo, radiation, and surgeries that is the reality of cancer treatment. She uses soft fabrics, fluid lines, and shapes that flatter any body size [these are Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants pieces; magically, they fit and enhanced any body shape].
With Allison’s cancer fighting background and Piper’s fashion talent, the two of them were able to go through racks of clothing that could be layered, mixed, or separated for any woman’s wardrobe. But that day it was specific: it was for women fighting breast cancer… and it was a group project. Filmmakers. Photographers. Designers. Friends. It was a room packed with love and purpose. People coming together for a greater good, learning about what clothing can do for a cancer fighter’s state of mind and having a blast. Everyone there had brought a talent, and everyone there had stood by Allison’s side throughout her cancer battle
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