Canada's Alleles Design Studio has developed a collection of prosthetic leg covers designed to add a human silhouette and a variety of patterns to mechanical artificial limbs (+ slideshow).
Created to be worn over existing prosthetics, Alleles Design Studio's covers are formed to mimic the shape of the calf muscle and lower portion of the leg.
"Many of the prosthetics people wear now are quite robotic and mechanical, as there has been a push in the last 10 years towards more functional prosthetic components such as robotic knees, feet and ankles," said Ryan Palibroda, who founded Alleles with McCauley Wanner in 2013.
"Although the functionality is better than ever, it has less relationship with the human body," he continued. "While some people are fine with the bionic or robotic nature of the prosthetic itself, others want to regain the silhouette of the body."
As well as creating a more natural form, the covers come in various colours and patterns for different personal tastes and to match with outfits – "empowering amputees through self-expression".
New product launches will align with the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter fashion calendar cycle, enabling amputees to choose covers in the same way they choose their clothes.
"The mission of the Alleles Design Studio is to do for prosthetics what fashion did for eyeglasses," said the designers. "We really think of the covers as 'part of a whole' whether it is part of the body, or part of an entire look."
Designs currently available in the range include Ohm, Hifi and Salt Pro, each with different patterns.
"With the Ohm we wanted to create an entire look with the leg covers and matching dress," Palibroda explained. "The Hifi is a future performance driven design, inspired by the shift from amputees being seen as having a disadvantage to maybe even having an unfair advantage."
"The Salt Pro was inspired by Paralympic snowboarder Michelle Salt, one of our models, who humours us by doing high fashion and editorial photo shoots, but day to day needed something to go with gym shoes and the whole athletic look."
The covers are made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic and fabricated in-house using computer numerically controlled (CNC) technology.
Photography is by Alison Andersen.