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Directing Your Show: Where Fashion & Disability Meet

Directing Your Show: Where Fashion & Disability Meet

“How we are perceived is determined by how we present ourselves. We direct our own show.” 

~George Rector, Popping Wheelies

Introduction: Today I’m thrilled to present to you a friend and fellow warrior, George Rector of Popping Wheelies. Like many of you I’ve befriended, I met George through blogging and found we have some shared interests. One of these interests is our passion for inclusion in the world of fashion for those of us living with disabilities. ~Steph

Disability, Fashion, Style & Confidence

Image 1 photo description is in the body of the post
Image 1

The elephants in my room are paraplegia and the ever-present wheelchair. The disability in my life is Multiple Sclerosis. The important things in my life are my family and friends.

When I first had to use a wheelchair, a nurse told me that she was confident I’d quickly learn how to make it enhance my life. As a Peer Counselor/Peer Support Volunteer, I have talked about embracing whatever piece of technology works for us. “If it makes your life better, don’t be afraid to use it.”

How we are perceived is determined by how we present ourselves. We direct our own show. What are we going to show to the public? Of course, they are going to look at our white canes, our wheelchairs, our crutches, but then they are going to look at us.

This is where disability meets fashion. Where disability meets style. Fashion makes the first impression; style makes the lasting one. It is style that determines how we perceive ourselves, and it determines how we are received in public. They are vital to the person who has a disability.

Your Life, Your Production

Directing Your Show Featured Image description is in the body of the post
Image 2

I am interested in both men’s and women’s fashion. And style. Lots of designers are men. My personal style is simple, basic design with classic colors. If we pick a style that fits our personality and then stick to it, things get easier to manage. What works with your skin and hair color? What works with your daily activities? I am learning to stick with combinations of blue, green, and white. They fit my personality and with my light skin, blue eyes, and blond hair.

My advice is to think about our interests, think about ourselves, and stick with it. I’m getting better at it. I gave away half of the things in my closet and still have twice what I need.

And if you are wondering where I fit into the Bold Blind Beauty Community, I am a “retired” eye doc due to MS. Vision is my training and experience, but I am also a patient. Vision and MS are closely related. I am extremely light sensitive and have a tint for every need. I select a tint based on what I am doing and not by what I am wearing. While my distance vision is good, I have difficulty reading. For that, I have specific reading glasses, enlarge the print on my Kindle, and change its illumination.

Fashion, style, confidence. You can direct your show about how you feel and how others feel about you. And remember that the best fashion accessory is a genuine smile.

Directing Your Show Featured Image Description:

George is sitting on a wooden bench with his left leg propped atop his wheelchair which is next to the bench. He is wearing a green tee paired with khaki shorts and flip-flops. A camera is around his neck and he’s sporting sunglasses. In the background are lush green tropical plants.

Additional Images:

  • Image 1: George is sitting on a wooden bench at Flagler Beach. He is smiling for the camera wearing a yellow tee, dark sunglasses, and minimal jewelry. In the background, waves are washing up against the beach and a pier is jutting out into the ocean.
  • Image 2: In this photo, George is looking stylish in a short-sleeved black dress shirt and black pants. He is sitting on the arm of a sofa and his gold necklace and bracelet are nice accents.

Connecting with George:

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Tempted to Trust


Style & Co Printed Wide-Leg Soft Pants
Have you ever had that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach? I’m experiencing it right now as I’m writing this post. You see, today the contractor was to come by to scoop me up so that we could get the paint/stain for my balcony which he was going to work on today. While he did come recommended I’m feeling uneasy and thinking that the postponing of today’s work due to overcast weather conditions is biding me some time to mull over next steps.

I’m living testimony that being a control freak is not an easy way to live. Trusting contractors, lawyers, automotive mechanics, sales professionals, doctors, or even airplane pilots does not come easy as my major expectation is simply ‘doing the right thing the first time, every time.’ Professionalism, providing an itemized listing of services to be performed, clear & consistent communication, following up & through, being on time & providing quality workmanship and fair pricing are very important non-negotiable qualities.

During times like this I really miss my ex-husband because he was a one-of-a-kind, extremely gifted, person in the area of home remodeling and construction. When I was in the process of buying my first home and he was with me on the walk-through he’d say things like “I can move this thermostat over here” or “I can knock out this wall and put in patio doors” or “I’ll take out this door to expand the size of the kitchen”. He was an expert in hanging drywall, custom built-ins, and beautiful crown molding but he also did siding, window installation, flooring, insulation, and painting. The thing I loved most about his work was his attention to detail. When the interior railing and balusters needed updating he took the entire thing down, sanded and repainted it to look like new. He did not cut corners; that just wasn’t his style. Oh well, what’s a new homeowner to do? I know, let’s talk clothing!!

The weekend prior to the big move I had to buy a new outfit to attend a brunch scheduled the day after move-in day. My cousin Charese and I made a day of it by buying new hair, going to lunch (I’m so ashamed of my lack of self-restraint I can’t even tell you what I ate), then it was off to Macy’s.

Surplice Knit Tank

We went up the escalators to the second floor to take in the lovely designer apparel. It felt as if I were in a dream, everywhere I turned there were sparkly embellishments on tops, skirts and sweaters. Oh, and let me not forget to mention the assorted fabric textures, colors, florals, and patterns. Every time something caught my eye another item would draw my attention. I finally settled on an INC International Concepts Paisley River (coral and gray) paisley rhinestone embellished maxi skirt, a DKNYC sleeveless draped asymmetrical hem coral top, an INC necklace trimmed white linen jacket and of course since I was already there I couldn’t leave without a pair of sexy BCBGeneration Tevos Platform wedges. I was so pumped to wear my new outfit on Sunday but by the end of the day Saturday I literally had no strength left and had to cancel my brunch attendance.

As excited as I was over my outfit the real reason for today’s post was so I could share a few of my more recent online finds. I probably mentioned previously that I find it so much easier doing online shopping as opposed to going to brick and mortar stores but as my recent experience demonstrates I can still manage in the physical store from time to time.

Bandolino Acherly Women's Sandals

So, while I was at Macy’s buying the brunch outfit I was eyeballing a few other pieces that I made note of to look up online. Wide legged linen pants, maxi dresses, and some cute tops were a few things that I began with to build my summer wardrobe. One of my favorite ensembles is pictured throughout this post and following is a description of the 6 pieces:

  1. Style & Co Printed Wide-Leg Soft Pants Macy’s

When I saw these pants in the store I loved the lightweight material and I never thought I’d say this in a million years but also the elastic waistband. The pants are so comfy and even when I have a ‘private summer’ (code for hot flash) I don’t feel the need to strip down. The other selling points for me are my favorite black & white color combination along with the ease of dressing them up or down.

  • Allover print is black with white brush strokes
  • Polyester/spandex
  • Mid-rise: waistband sits below natural waist
  • Relaxed fit through hips and thighs
  • Wide leg
  • No pockets

On The Edge Zippered Tote2.  Black Surplice Knit Tank Forever 21

Since I am a pear shape, in an effort to take the attention away from my hips, I look for necklines that draw the eye upward. As soon as I saw this surplice draped front tank top I envisioned myself wearing it with a pair of jeans, khakis or in this case the wide leg pants in today’s post. The material is very lightweight and per the aforementioned ‘private summers’ it’s very cool, comfortable and versatile as it can go from day to evening in a flash.

3.  Bandolino Acherly Women’s Sandals 6pm.com

These sassy flat black sandals with a hint of shimmering copper are so, so cute. The banded open toe has intricate beaded detailing that subtly sparkles when the light hits them just right. The back-zip ankle closure envelopes the foot in cozy comfort.

Tribal-Inspired Drop Earrings

4.  On The Edge Zippered Tote Forever 21

This large, black, fully lined, lightweight, faux leather tote, features zippered side trim on each side that allows you, depending on how you feel, to leave the sides open or zip close.

  • Open-top with magnetic snap closure
  • Double top shoulder straps
  • Interior zip & patch pockets
  • High polish hardware

Iconic Straw Fedora

5.  Tribal-Inspired Drop Earrings Forever 21

For a pop of color, I added a pair of silver turquoise, fish-hook back, drop earrings featuring a tribal-inspired design with a faux stone center. These earrings consist of a burnished finish and are 2 inches long by 1.5 inches wide.

6.  Iconic Straw Fedora Forever 21

I knew early in the season that a hat or two were in my future and this natural colored straw fedora with black band was calling my name. To finish this look I added a pair of aviator sunglasses and a silver cuff bracelet.

When I was working, my wardrobe contained mainly business attire that I’ve since retired with the exception of a few pieces for the occasional meeting. I’m in the process of reinventing my style for a more casual and relaxed chic look and this summer is going to be the beginning of major fun!!

Stay tuned for more updates.

Ciao

“I love things that age well – things that don’t date, that stand the test of time and that become living examples of the absolute best.” ~ Giorgio Armani

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WOTM 9 Featuring Emily Davison

Featuring Fashioneyesta – Prepare to be Awed!

I find it interesting how we can meet people in this high-tech virtual world we live in and feel a kindred spirit that can’t be duplicated even in face-to-face interactions. For me Emily Davison is one of those people who, while there is a span of decades between us, we share common philosophies.

Collage of 6 Images of Emily Davison Fashioneyesta.com
Emily Davison
Fashioneyesta

Emily, who spent her entire life in South East London, is currently studying for a degree in English Literature at Goldsmiths University, London. As a Journalist on the Huffington Post UK, Emily simultaneously works at the University as a paid Student Ambassador. In July 2012 she founded Fashioneyesta an online Fashion and Lifestyle resource for blind and partially sighted people.

Fashioneyesta.com serves to present visually impaired people with the tools, the skills and, the knowledge of fashion, beauty and, style to enable them to use their remaining senses to gauge the world of fashion and to create their own unique style.

An advocate at her core, Emily also works with a number of different charities and organizations to raise awareness of Fashioneyesta. She functions as a fashion correspondent alongside the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB’s) Insight Radio and Able Radio.

Being blind or visually impaired does not automatically mean that you have to be unfashionable. That is the message at the crux of my blog “Fashioneyesta.”

Fashion has always been a huge element of Emily’s life. When she was growing up, she was captivated by old Hollywood films and style icons like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The fashion houses, vintage stores and many delightful chic-lits were the inspiration for her to delve into the history and the beauty of fashion. By the time she was 14, her mother bought Emily her first designer bag and the rest as they say, is History!

“Fashioneyesta” aims at giving visually impaired people the right set of knowledge and skills to be able to develop their own unique style.

Emily describes her style as feminine, with exotic flares, vintage twists and a lot of costume jewelry. She’s very versatile and changes her look as her mood dictates. One day, she may step out in an Asian inspired outfit and on another day go full-out Vintage with Victory Rolls and a 1940s inspired tea dress.

My thesis as a fashion blogger is that style should reflect your own personality and that you should put your own stamp on an outfit.

Septo-optic dysplasia, a rare congenital anomaly, is the condition responsible for Emily’s visual impairment. The condition has disabled her optic nerves, leaving her with no sight in her right eye and 10 percent central vision in her left. Even with this debilitating disability Emily has not allowed it to hinder her love for fashion.

Now, with her beautiful Guide Dog, Unity, in tow, Emily is exploring the world and expanding her blog. A blog that she hopes will inspire other visually impaired people to embrace fashion, old and new, to find their own unique style.

Always remember to be daring and don’t conform to what society expects you to be!

Mainstream media is good for bombarding the public with news of gloom and doom. In such a fast-paced world as we live in today I am always overjoyed to hear about young people taking it upon themselves to make positive change happen. Emily you are to be commended for your selfless volunteerism and your dedication to banishing the aged-old stereotypes of blind and vision impaired people. Thank you Emily for all you do. Because of you we are one step closer to eliminating the erroneous misconceptions by education and building awareness.

For more information on Fashioneyesta or Emily Davison please see links to her social networks at the end of this post.

“The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” ~Author Unknown

Social Links

“My blog is featured every week on RNIB’s Insight Radio at 2:15 pm on the Daily Lunch every Friday. I have also been featured on BBC4’s inTouch radio. I do regular blog posts every week, they cover different topics from certain styles and how to achieve them to a selection of my top picks for a particular month.”