In an interview for Vanity Fair’s March issue, Selma Blair spoke candidly about her MS diagnosis, and only offered one complaint throughout: the lack of fashionable clothing for people with disabilities.
It’s not something people who haven’t had to think about it would ever really think about, the fact that some disabilities might make certain clothes harder to put on, or might change the way an item of clothing sits on the body. But the reality is they do, and there aren’t that many designers in the adaptive clothing market.
In her first post about her diagnosis back in October, Blair talked about the costume designer on her show helping her get dressed:
“The brilliant costumer #Allisaswanson not only designs the pieces #harperglass will wear on this new #Netflix show , but she carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my tops over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself.”
In the Vanity Fair interview, she describes dressing as a “shit show”, so it’s no wonder she’s had dreams of working with a designer to produce fashionable clothing for people with different needs.
“I would like to partner with someone like Christian Siriano on a line for everyone—not just people who necessarily need adaptive clothing, but for those who want comfort, too. It can still be chic. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style. Like, let’s get elastic waistbands to look a little bit better.”
While designers like Tommy Hilfiger have released lines for people with disabilities, as well as retailers like Target, it’s still uncommon for higher-end designers to consider the needs of a wide range of people when designing clothing (a rare exception is British designer Lucy Jones, who’s won awards for her ‘Seated Design’ collections). A lot of people end up making their own, or adapting clothes they already own to suit their needs, but not everyone is gifted with a needle and thread.
And let’s be frank – a lot of the adaptive clothing out there isn’t exactly red-carpet ready. While they may be great options for people who aren’t particularly concerned with fashion, why shouldn’t people with disabilities have a range of options to choose from?
I would love to see a collaboration between Blair and Christian Siriano, personally. Siriano has a fantastic history of dressing a variety of people, particularly people outside of Hollywood’s ‘norm’.
Fashion gods, please hear our prayer. Thank you. ?