Milan Shahani B.A, M.F.A.

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Milan Shahani,
B.A, M.F.A.


Milan Shahani holds a Master in Fine Arts Degree specializing in Costume Design for Theatre, from the University of North Carolina’s School of The Arts. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Bombay University.  Milan has worked as a Costume Designer for various theatre and film productions in Toronto, New York and India. She has worked on Broadway and off-Broadway Productions as an assistant costume designer. She has taught designers, mentored students through industry commissioned projects and provided apprenticeships for graduates. Milan received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant in 2015 for her research on Adaptive clothing for women with hemiparesis. Her applied research interests lie in designing garments for healthcare and particularly for persons with disabilities. She is an active member of the community advisory group at Toronto Rehab Institute: University Health Network. She is actively involved in bettering the life of stroke survivors. She has completed the “Peers Fostering Hope,” a training program for volunteer mentors, which is organized by the March of Dimes in collaboration with the Stroke Survivors Network.  Milan joined the faculty of George Brown College in 1999 and has been enjoying teaching here ever since.

Academic Credentials

M.F.A .Costume Design, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 1996.

B.A Psychology/Sociology, Bombay University, 1986.

Diploma in Fashion Design, Sophia Polytechnic, Bombay University. 1985.

Areas of Specialization



Costume history and design

Applied research in Adaptive Clothing

Areas of Expertise

Costume design for film and theatre

Adaptive Clothing

Career Highlights

1999-Present: Professor, George Brown College

2015-2020: Research on “Adaptive clothing for persons living with hemi-paresis.” Funded by SSHRC

2018: “Upcycle for College Students.” A research project focused on sustainable fashion

January 2015- June 2015: “Design of a two piece incontinence system” Funded by IRAP Business Innovation Access Program

2014-2015: Research Using Participatory Action Research to Develop Adaptive Purses for Women with Chronic Hemiparesis. Funded by George Brown College Seed Grant

2011: Costume Designer ~ Theatre. The Post Office (an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s play “Dak Ghar”) Pleiades Theatre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2010: Costume Designer ~ The Africa Trilogy, Volcano Theatre in coproduction with Luminato and Stratford Theatre, Canada

2009: Costume Designer ~ Shakuntala Pleiades Theatre. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2008: Costume Designer ~ Digital Installation. When the Gods came down to Earth. A Public Installation for Luminato Toronto, On, Canada, ROM museum.

2007: Costume Designer ~ Film. When The Music Speaks. A music video for CBC and APTN television. Toronto, On, Canada

2005: Costume Designer ~ Metamorphosis. St. Lawrence University Dept. of Speech and Theatre Canton, New York, U.S.A

Other Activities

Contributions to Training: Supervised students in applied research projects, trained them in interview techniques, ethics application,running focus groups and administered the development of garments accessories for various research projects.

Adviser: Independent study in Costume design.

Mentor: Supervised fashion students as costume design assistants in research and design skills, understanding the role and collaborating with the design team of set,lighting and technical designers, interaction with actors, actor costume fittings,reading and understanding the script and characters.

Volunteer: Member of the community advisory group at Toronto Rehab Institute: University Health Network.

Member of Peers Fostering hope stroke survivors helping stroke survivors organized by March of Dimes Canada.

Presenter: 2015 “Adaptive Clothing” Keynote speaker at Linden School for Girls, Toronto, Ontario.

May 2020 “Universal Design in Adaptive Clothing” Virtual presentation to Stroke Survivors through March Of Dimes Canada (MODC).


2019: Research Mentor of the year award

1993-96: Non-Resident Tuition Award ~ North Carolina School of the Arts


“Engaging Students to Create a Mural Inspired by a Museum Visit A Creative Approach to Teach Textiles” Conference Presentation

“Style meets function: The inclusive winter jacket.” Conference Presentation

“Design and Technological Innovation in the creation of clothing to support autonomy, participation and Inclusion”. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) conference 2019. Chicago, Illinois. Conference Presentation

“Re fashioning adaptive clothing for persons living with hemiparesis.”

 “Using participatory design to test the functionality of adaptive bra and blouse.” At the International Textile and Apparel Association Conference 2020. Denver, Colorado.