Well hello

Welcome to the blog of me, Paige Tabone; student, writer, nerd, self-critic, telly-addict and self-confessed Cerebral Palsy-er (or wobbly if you will). It is the latter that has brought me to blogging. Ramming my way through the bullshit stereotypes that surround disability, showing the undiluted truth of someone twenty-two years into living on the often bumpy and unpredictable road against what's seen as 'normal'.

I'm aware you might have just got lost trying to navigate yourself to a hilarious cat video; now you are looking bewildered as you see nether a ominous looking jump or an unwittingly naive cat. Yet whether you find yourself here by purpose, mistake or luck I welcome you and offer you to get yourself comfortable, grab a nice cup of tea or a strong, stiff drink and stay for a bit. You see this isn't a story about some poor, unfortunate girl with a disability; it's simply a story about a girl with a set of tits, a set of tires and a mission to set the disability misconceptions record straight...

Friday, 21 August 2015

Only Fools Enter The World of Fashion but 'Only the Brave' Dare to Make a Difference.

It sees like I'm forever starting my blog with some version of an apology; I really am going to have to get my blogging act together! Yet I have no one else to blame other than myself for the lack of blogging that has happened recently and I realized that is lame of me. Okay really lame but life has just got in the way, as it so inconveniently does, and stopped me from treating you to an ever so carefully constructed rant about daily life. That said you're probably relieved for the break, so whatever your view on my blogging absence I either apologizes or accept your grateful hug of thanks and bring you an update. Well rather a counter-entry to my last post 'The Unrealized Struggles of a Disabled Fashionista'. Last time we spoke, let's be fair, I ball-bashed that fashion industry and took on a well-meaning rant about acceptance and its archaic view about fashion only being for one type of person; for the most part I stand by what I said. Last week though I realized that might have been a bit narrow minded of me to group all fashion houses under that same self-obsessed, Swarovski crystal encrusted umbrella. Where did this epiphany come from? Well, it was all due to a little Italian company known as 'Diesel'.

I won't lie, when I got the phone call to say I'd been doing work experience at a fashion house my heart plummeted and I genuinely felt sick. The thought of stepping into the world of fashion terrified me. I immediatly began conjuring images up in my head of rolling into and overly elaborate building, the kind that has endless glass windows, apparently to let light in but really you know it's to make the place look granter than it actually is. Being confronted by a patronizingly chipper receptionist, whose snobbery radiated from the top if her perfectly groomed hair to the tips of her £15,000 Christian Louboutin's; before being  greeted with a sea of size zero fashionistas draped in Channel and doused with the smell of condescendence and Marc Jacobs.  All the while my blatant unsuitability for my surrounding,  as a plus-sized wheelchair user, sitting painfully on my face like a unwelcomed spot that no-one wants to point out. Nevertheless I grew some woman balls and walked into this unassuming building in King’s Cross. I could feel the effortless rawness of the place hit me as a walked in, like a big slap in the face that I wouldn't fit in here. I readjusted my Primark shirt and braced myself for a soul destroying ‘Devil Wear’s Prada’ sequence to begin. I couldn’t have been more wrong and this is where my view on the fashion industry started to change. Instead I was welcomed by a room of smiles and kindness and I soon began to realize, as judgemental as I thought the fashion industry would be about me I was equally about them. Forgive me, but for this reason I’m going to big Diesel up a bit.

I meet some of the most genuine, down-to-earth people I've ever meet and had one of the best weeks ever. Diesel is a glitch in the conformity of fashion and by god it’s amazing! I was confronted with a brand and company whose acceptance of individuality, rebellion, honesty, talent and endeavour to push boundaries stomped over the bullshit bravado of most fashion brands. Plus they do make some kick-ass denim. I was told by someone who knows that brand better than most that ‘Diesel is a company where employees take their jobs and passion for the brand very seriously but not themselves’ and I couldn’t agree more. I have never been in such a fantastic working environment.  I mean, you know your in a perfect working environment when you can have a business meeting in a fashion showroom in front of a table full of Nando's...

Seriously though, I felt completely equal and accepted. That sounds pathetic and annoyingly corny I know but it's true. My disability wasn’t relevant, a small insignificant side-note to a largely individualistic brand. I can’t really ever thank Diesel enough for the confidence and love in fashion they have instilled in me. The people I meet had an enthusiasm that was infectious at it has fuelled a passion in me I didn’t even know existed. It’s true, the title of this post, only fools enter the world of fashion. I learnt that it can be a hard task master and unforgiving critic but equally if you have the bravery it’s  an industry that can make a huge difference.

Last week I saw that fashion is changing. It’s slowly becoming more accepting to those who are different. I’m not allowed to say too much, through pain of death, but Diesel, in collaboration with some awesome young people and myself are going to make sure of that. Soon disabled fashion will no longer be for old people and consist of granny skirts and patchwork knitwear but it will be current, stylish, accessible and sexy. Gone will be the days of skin crawling fashion disasters because of the restraint of workable fashion. Fashion will be unbounded. Here is just a few snapshots of the amazing who are helping make that happen...

and to all these beautiful people - myself not included ...

I want to say thank you.

So in homage to my new founded career as an unlikely fashionista I want to bring your attention to my first ever, uh hum,  blog competition; seamless linkage I know!

I want to know of your worst ever fashion disasters. Those fashion faux pas to make even the most fashion forward cringe. I’m talking, knicker-flashing, colour clashing and all manner of pattern mashing (okay the whole rhyming thing didn’t go as effortlessly as I hoped). My favourite story will win this pair of genuine Diesel trainers (size 8) brought to you directly from Diesel HQ!

Leave your  fashion mishaps in the comment boxes bellow or you can find the link to my twitter and tweet me your stories. How ever you get involved please do and get your stories in by the 31st of this month and I will contact the winner shortly after.

So embarrassing stories at the ready… get set… type!