Anxiety-Inspired Fashion Sketches by Alissa Ackerman.



Have you ever struggled with anxiety?

This year has had a huge focus on self-care for me. After years of struggling with anxiety and depression on my own, i finally sought out help, was prescribed medication, and set up weekly appointments with a therapist.

I’ve been working on being extra mindful of how i’m feeling and cutting back on anxiety-inducing activities.

During the beginning of this time, i felt inspired to bring how i was feeling onto paper in the form of conceptual fashion sketches.


I thought i’d share them with you for two reasons:

  1. To give hope that you’re not alone and that others understand what you’re going through.
  2. To shed light on what mental health issues feel like–anxiety in particular–and hopefully bring in some more understanding and sympathy.


My Anxiety-Inspired Fashion Collection — Details About the Concept:


In this collection, juxtaposition is strongly used. One large aspect of anxiety is the feeling of confliction it creates. Juxtaposition and the contrasting ideas it presents can be used to exemplify conflict very well.

There are a few juxtaposed themes that are present throughout the entire collection:

  • Concealed versus Unconcealed – Representing the urge to hide away, along with the vulnerability and fear that every shortcoming, big and small, is out in the open and that ALL of you is out there to be seen and judged by all.
  • Constricted versus Loosened – Representing the feelings of inability, immobility, and tight rules, as well as the feelings of too much freedom or choice and no support or structure.
    The feeling of being stuck or tripped up, and the feeling of being aimless and alone.
  • Symmetry versus Asymmetry – Representing the perfectionistic conflict that often presents itself while you feel both a need to reach extremely high standards, along with the biting feeling that you can’t even reach the lowest expectations.

Similarly, grey will be chosen as the main color because, to me, it is moody, bland, often stressful, and very indecisive. It is both black and white; it is neither black nor white. This indecisiveness gives grey a conflicting feeling, and with its emotional associations, i feel it represents general anxiety fairly well.

There are also features that represent some of the physical symptoms that can occur with anxiety or panic attacks:

  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Heart palpitations and chest pain,
  • Pins and needles/tingles,
  • Muscle tension, and
  • Nausea.

Can you guess which parts of the sketches represent the symptoms?


Anxiety-Inspired Fashion Sketches:


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