Fashion Q&A with Llinos Edwards
CD: Hello Llinos, Please introduce yourself...
LW: Hi, my name is Llinos Edwards and I’m from Wrexham, Wales. I am currently a Masters student studying Special Educational Needs and Disability at the University of Chester. I also have achondroplasia, the most common form of Dwarfism.
What is your favourite piece of clothing and why?
I gravitate towards anything with sequins on, something that can make you feel ‘fancy’ and ‘spruced up’, and not just for ‘smarter’ occasions, but in everyday wear too. I possibly have a few too many pieces of clothing that are dazzling with sequins. My favourite would be my selection of sequin dresses which I would wear for going out, celebrating etc (although not being used at present due to the pandemic!).
That’s great! We love an excuse to dress up, Where do you usually shop?
I tend to shop at Next and ASOS. They have a great choice and I always like the quality. I’m currently interested in seeking more ecological brands too. Goodordering is a small independent company in London that make colourful, unisex bags with many of the items now created with sustainable materials, such as recycled water bottles. I have a couple of these items and the style and quality are incredible.
Sustainability is key for our future wardrobes, when you’re shopping, what do you look for in a garment and why?
Durability. It can be quite frustrating when a piece of clothing can lose its quality after a couple of wears. Particularly with the present environmental issue with clothing, I like to purchase things that I know will last and have been a good investment.
We 100% agree! Good quality clothing always outlasts a cheap purchase, which can be more affordable in the long run. What do you think is your top challenge with clothing?
It’s quite often trousers, hats and dresses. As I have achondroplasia, accessing a wide range of fashionable trousers is often difficult and can be limited to a select few. Often with dresses, I tend to seek out shorter dresses for the average height person to be at least knee-length on myself. Also, shoes can be a little bit of a challenge as individuals with achondroplasia tend to have ever so slightly wider feet than the average. Although fashion retailers are expanding their range of shoes to be more inclusive, this can be a little bit of a challenge at times, particularly with occasional wear footwear.
Is there anything that you’d love to wear, but feel you can’t?
I’d love to wear long, maxi dresses, although I feel like I often look ‘swamped’ in them due to my shorter height. These items that are available in present fashion are often for individuals over 5ft 4”. I feel like this sort of dress would be great in the summertime.
I know you’ve briefly mentioned this previously but, how much do you know about sustainability and how does this influence your buying habits?
I’m aware that sustainable fashion is a very present movement that is prioritising fostering change in fashion for greater ethical, ecological and social integrity. I believe much of ‘fast fashion’ contributes to this with the continuous demand for changes and fashion choices. For myself, the very increasing concern surrounding fashion sustainability has made me more conscious about my purchases, ensuring higher-quality investment for long-term gain. I’ve always been quite conscious of the world of ‘fast fashion’ and have always directed my purchasing habits to ensure I consider items that have good durability and ‘life’ value, something that has multiple uses for different outfits and ensure things are only replaced when they can no longer be worn well (e.g. items have become damaged beyond repair etc). Quite often it can make you appreciate that item more too.
Again, we completely agree. Buying quality pieces that you can wear over and over again is the way forward and we definitely find that our ‘investment’ pieces get the most love and care. All this being said. If you could send one message to today’s fashion designers, what would it be?
To perhaps think outside the box. I think as a society, we’re certainly heading in the right direction, but I think there could be more work. Utilise and include more diverse voices in fashion development to truly gain a deeper insight into adaptability and presenting a wider diverse and inclusive sense of fashion, considering the minority and not just the majority.
Yes! Speaking to diverse voices is the way forward for sure, representation and giving people a space to speak is so important! We’d love to know, where do you look to for style inspiration?
I would say that I don’t have a particular person or approach to seeking style, but rather inspiration arises from general browsing or ‘window’ shopping so to speak. The best ideas tend to arise when you’re not consciously seeking it, but it arises spontaneously.
Definitely, we always say: ‘we do our best thinking on our walk to work in the mornings’, the extra space in our brains allows for creativity to flourish. And lastly, what is your top styling tip for women with a similar body type to yourself?
Rather than a specific tip, I would say wear what makes you feel comfortable and enables you to be the best version of yourself. Fashion is so powerful in structuring this and I think it’s so important to remove ‘expectations’ in fashion with ‘trends’, but rather creativity and the ability to use fashion to embrace oneself and one’s confidence to be your best self.