Here are some photos of Selma Blair looking super cute while out in LA yesterday. She’s wearing a mask but I’m seeing in her eyes that she’s in good spirits – and it’s good to see her in good spirits. If you follow her on Instagram you know that she’s open about when she’s in good spirits and when she’s having a rough day. Selma is living with MS and she’s sharing with people how she’s learning “how to use this body, brain and emotions”. That was from a recent post, from a good day, when she was able to go riding:
Selma is a prominent personality using social media to normalise the experience of those living with disabilities. So that those who are differently abled can take up space in the conversation, in public settings, in culture, and yes, even in fashion.
Recently I interviewed disability styling expert Stephanie Thomas for etalk. Stephanie created the Disability Fashion Styling System, a three-point guide that assesses the accessibility of a piece of clothing. As an able-bodied person, I’ve been largely ignorant about how exclusionary most clothes can be for those living with disabilities – even though I have a parent who has a disability – and this is the purpose behind Stephanie’s disability fashion and lifestyle company Cur8able. Stephanie says that one thing those who are able-bodied don’t think much about is that clothing is designed for standing so for fashion to be inclusive of those with disabilities, we should take into consideration how pieces feel and look for those who cannot stand. And then, of course, there are the details in a garment that can be a barrier: zippers, buttons, collars – if you are a congenital amputee, like Stephanie, fastening a clasp, or doing up a button on your wrist, isn’t as straight-forward.
My awareness in this area was limited to footwear because my ma walks with ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) and sometimes a roller-walker, having lost mobility in her legs and feet due to her illness. She loves shoes but because the braces slip over the back of her feet and along the bottom, and run all the way up her shins, she has a hard time finding cute shoes that can accommodate her braces. For years now she’s only been wearing shoes that look like the doctor and nurse footwear from decades ago.
Stephanie aims to change all that, working with brands to expand their options without sacrificing aesthetic and, of course, helping her clients find outfits that make them feel comfortable while at the same time making them look amazing. Selma featured Stephanie on her Instagram page in June:
And Selma is also actively encouraging companies and tech leaders to innovate in their respective industries to provide increased mobility and access in every corner of modern life.
This is what I’ve been actively trying to think more about as I move through the world. Hopefully it’s the same for you.
Yours in gossip,