STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
...'stylish wheelchair user'. Is that an oxymoron? I really hope not but I have found it hard to reconcile my own personal style with being seated in a wheelchair.
I used to invest in clothing by Issey Miyake, Eskandar and other niche designers who fashion outfits as works of art. However, as my precious wardrobe was bunched, trapped, wrenched, ripped and destroyed around me - call me a slow learner - a light bulb flicked on in my head and I accepted my new reality.
Having concluded that the physical handling of a severely paralysed body, the awkward and unforgiving design of wheelchairs and the changes in physical shape imposed by illness and medication are not conducive to the wearing of precious fabrics and unique styling, I abandoned my old wardrobe. Heart breaking, but, hey, my wardrobe bills are a lot lower.
I am now mostly to be found in a plain uniform of black, natural fibre, pants and tops - a sober backdrop to the dazzle of my personality – shhhh, quiet, no giggling out there!
The originality of my personal style statement is now manifest in my wrappings, dahlings. I wrap up, when I want to, in my – expanding - collection of wraps, throws and scarves, used for both decoration and warmth. Quickly and easily draped around me, in my wheelchair, my wraps instantly express the uniqueness of me.
I have some I love too much to wear (!); some purchased over the counter; some commissioned; some picked up from travels abroad. EaZyD bought my last one, from TSE Cashmere, with a fabulously soft shawl collar. I have barely taken it off in the cold winter weather. Struggling in and out of coats and jackets – gone. Despairing over that special occasion – no problem. Destroying beautiful outfits – no more.
Peace at last. Simple, satisfying: problem solved for me.