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Disability Visibility Advocate, Rue, Shows Off Her Favorite Looks

by Rosemarie Lundgaard

Rue is a Wales-based influencer and disability visibility in fashion advocate. She shares her vintage-inspired looks on instagram @rubyrouxbijou

What was the inspiration behind these two looks?

I have loved fashion throughout history, and I like to feel beautiful. This vintage ’50s blue tulle dress is just such a fairy-tale piece. The purse reminds me of 1930s boudoir beauty; the shoes are just princess shoes!

The linen-trousers-and-waistcoat look has a very ’30s Bonnie Parker feel to it but with a modern twist, as I’ve worn it quite unconventionally. And of course, the pièce de résistance: my glittery gold-flecked walking stick. Having a mobility aid that is also beautiful is such a big deal and helps break down stigmas surrounding disability.

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How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe it as an eclectic mix of old and new, bright and beautiful, and bringing big disabled energy.

Who is your all-time favorite style icon? 

It has to be Vivienne Westwood. She was fiercely unafraid to do her own thing.

What role (if any) do you think your disability plays in your personal style?

My disability plays a huge role. I used to be so embarrassed to be seen using walking sticks in my late 20s, as my inner ableism made me feel like it was something I should be ashamed of. I had those ugly gray hospital-issue walking sticks and crutches, and they just aren’t it. Then I found an amazing company run by a disabled woman who makes all these beautiful walking sticks, and it helped me become more confident using mobility aids in public. I collect them like fashion accessories now. I stopped trying to hide or blend in and started dressing for the sheer joy of it. It’s a big part of my identity!

What are the thoughts behind your personal expression in your sense of fashion?

Disabled people are fashionable, too! We make up 15 to 18 percent of the population but are often forgotten or overlooked. I’ve been working with amazing independent brands who work hard to make a difference ethically, and they want to see equality in fashion. We need more visible representation out there.

Copy Cat

Learn the art of dressing for sheer joy 

8UNblSJQ b42f8 Lisou Belle Metallic Lamé Tiered Dress, $480,

vE7yNZ c 666fcAna Nevi Goz Nuru Bag in Pearl Blush, $317,

H7v4 fOw 50f80Charlotte Stone Paz Clog Boot in Lilac, $284,

3PI4KIQQ da16dBagtazo Party Hat, $110,

IoNKfnV4 f0bc2Emmy The Gentlewoman Waistcoat in Cream Herringbone Linen, $125,

FwUWCQNQ 1a445L.O.M. Forest of Dreams Layered Chaps,$149,

All non-product photos are courtesy of Rue

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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