STYLE

Josefa Da Silva Celebrates Diversity And Disabilities On NYFW Runway

02/17/2016 01:06 EST | Updated 02/17/2016 01:59 EST

Josef da Silva presented her empowering fall 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week on Tuesday, and more beautiful than the clothes? The models she enlisted for the show.

On the runway in a strapless embroidered frock with a lavender corset and golden yellow skirt was 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, the only professional adult model with Down Syndrome in the world, making her triumphant return to the Big Apple for the second time.

The Brisbane beauty first made headlines back in September when she made her New York Fashion Week debut, following in the footsteps of "American Horror Story" actress Jamie Brewer, who was the first model with Down Syndrome to hit the NYFW runway.

josefa da silva nyfw

"I hope through modelling I can change society's view of people with disabilities, exposure to creating awareness, acceptance and inclusion," Madeline wrote on her website in the past, trusting she could bring down the usual unrealistic beauty standards created by the fashion industry.

josefa da silva

Amputee models Rebekah Marine (known as "bionic model") and Gianna Schiavone took to the runway together, in silk strapless gowns with embellished shoulder straps and detailing.

Marine, 28, dons a i-limb quantum prosthetic hand (an "accessory" she writes on her website), one of the most advanced in the world. The model, who began her career four years ago, was born without a right forearm. But she doesn't let that stop her, as she hopes she can "turn her "disability" into something extraordinary."

josefa da silva

Major props to Josefa and her team!

Sneak peak backstage getting the collection ready! Doesn't get more exciting than this!!! #FTLMODA

Posted by Josefa Da Silva on Monday, 15 February 2016


Check out the full collection below:

Josefa da Silva Autumn/Winter 2016

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