My name's Emma, self confessed fashion addict and recent fashion graduate. Office worker by day, shopper, browser, dreamer and blogger by night.
The name for this blog, Styleability, came about as I sat in a hospital waiting room one rainy Tuesday morning. The reason I was there, to get new orthotics in an effort to improve my walking. Certainly not my style.
As a full-time crutches user and part-time wheelchair user, obstacles to style are no stranger to me.
The fashion industry, by its very nature, unfortunately favours the ideal of perfection and all that goes with it - the form-fitting clothes, heels, beauty and lifestyle all creating the picture-perfect result. Even the fashion environment favours image over comfort, from the retail outlets to the party venues.
This idealism unfortunately means that quite a chunk of the fashion market is excluded from participating.
If you don't 'fit' these pre-set standards, the clothes, the image, the environment, why should you be left out?
It's time for the industry to expand its thinking and let all the fashionistas with disabilities in to their world - into the stores, boutiques, magazines, photo shoots, and dare I say it, the fashion shows.
Having been a fashion addict from about the age of 5, (see why, Here), this issue has been high on my list for quite a while now.
At age 12, my mam brought me to see a fashion show by a local youth group. And guess what, there were kids, just like me, confidently making their way up and down the catwalk. What an eye opener that was!
Not that I ever had notions of modelling, but that day, I knew someday the fashion industry would have to find a place for me, somehow.
Fast forward a 'few' years, when some charity fundraising led me to organising my first fashion show.
This show, unlike most at the time, saw models with and without disabilities on the wheelchair accessible catwalk. Together. Promoting the same highstreet, boutique and designer outfits.
So you see, it can be done.
Ever since, I've been dreaming of the day I can go to one of the high profile catwalk shows when it's no longer a big deal to see a model with a disability proudly representing the brand with other, non-disabled models.
As for Styleability, my reason for being here is to create an outlet for sharing ideas, asking questions, finding solutions, and having fun whilst doing it. Hopefully this will somehow help in highlighting to the fashion industry both in Ireland and abroad that us customers with disabilities love fashion too.
My belief is, that as human beings, and as consumers, we all need and deserve to feel good about ourselves. We also, all wear clothes.
If those clothes can help to express creativity, develop self image, boost confidence, and above all, have fun, then the choices available should allow just that.
This space is for enjoying fashion, finding and creating personal style and being a magpie for all things shiny.
Having a disability myself means this will feature in some pieces. I hope this will help those of you in similar situations, but not exclude those who aren't.
If you agree, have any questions, opinions or experiences to share, please do get in touch via the comments, by email or social media. I look forward to hearing from you!
Bye for now,