Non-conformity is a magical thing. Individuality is a beautiful thing. It's especially great when you have no choice but to create a 'new identity' or a new way of self-expression. Trends are trends and most people say 'they don't follow trends' but, in some way, we're all influenced by them. Even if we don't know it. However, you doknow it when you literally can't replicate a trend straight from the pages of a fashion magazine or blog - because the muscles in your feet don't work - i.e you're feet can't grip onto/into sky-high heels or even open-toed flat sandals. Or pull-on boots don't work either because you need something solid encircling your ankle. The amount of time I've wasted sitting in shoe stores trying to pull on, zip up, fasten, walk in shoes that were either too high and too flat...is ridiculous. Little shoe shop girls buzzing around, curious as to why I am wearing a plastic splint around my foot and half-up my leg - they never get the hint. I'll never forget the day Dad, the walking stick and I went shopping in the city - I was still under the guise of my 'incapacitated leg' being a temporary hiccup. We went into Nine West and I spotted this luxe pair of gold heels with a gold chain as the T-bar...kind of like these. I put them on and stood up with the assistance of Dad and the shop girl and my right ankle just gave in. The muscle required for me to stand in those heels was M.I.A. I laughed it off, asked Dad to buy them anyway, convinced I'd be donning them within 6 months. Those 6 months came and went. I don't know even what happened to the beautiful heels.
So - I could go on and on about the different things I used to try - ways to pull off the trend 'of the moment' but it's pointless. There's been mountains of tears, frustration and anger over the years. Operative phrase - used to. It took me a few years but I began to accept it - I'd have to find alternatives that were still 'stylish' and still me. I didn't retreat into a corner of sales bins, Juicy Couture tracksuits or maxi-dresses. I've found the feminine, with a hint of the masculine works for me. I love it. Black, white, and denim are my staples but I find time for the occasional printed shirt and short 60s style dress with flat boots. I don't hide my scarred arm or brace. It makes for interesting, albeIt, sometimes uncomfortable social small talk - especially when I can't shake hands and hold a champagne simultaneously.
I've collaborated with fashion photographer Mette Kortelainen from flounce.fi/ to show honest style. Splints and all. Hemiplegia (right-sided paralysis) still affects me so I didn't hide it in these photos. No photoshopping the 'flaws' out here.
Hope you like it.