Wheelchair disabled fashion blogger PrettyCripple - Dumpster Diving for fashion week. Seen wearing a Junya Watanabe denim jacket.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  The cost of living in New York is astronomical. It is increasingly difficult to keep pace with rising costs. Therefore, I began devising ways to supplement my income. By chance, I read an article in Wired Magazine about a “Pro Dumpster Diver” who makes at least $250,000 a year ‘diving into dumpsters’ behind various retail stores. He makes minor restorations, then sells the refurbished products online for a profit. Dumpster diving is nothing novel. I have read numerous stories about the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008, when people ate from dumpsters behind Whole Foods or repurposed trash for profit.

Initially I thought, “Oh wait, no. That is totally beneath me. I do NOT dig for trash, no matter the circumstance.” But then Paris Couture Week arrived, the week of January 25th. I sat rapt by my computer screen, viewing several designers’ works of wearable art. The swooning led to hallucinations. I had a vision of rolling down  Fifth Avenue, sporting Chanel and Victor & Rolf, while pajama-wearing-zombie-masses seethed with jealousy. Consequently, they fell through cold city grates to their death from couture envy. I need this vision to become reality and ‘Dumpster Diving’ is the ticket.

Paris Couture Fashion Week 2016 - Maison Marginal, Victor & Rolf and Chanel.

I must own one of these three outfits from Couture Fashion Week. From left to right: Maison Margiela – photo by Kim Weston Arnold; Victor & Rolf – photo by Alessandro Garofalo. I can’t decide whether to wear this to my Oscars party or lunch at Panera Bread with friends. Final look by Chanel – photo by Yannis Vlamos. All images via Indigitalimages.com.

You can’t expect me to dig through trash wearing a track set with baseball cap, so I outfitted myself in my ‘dumpster-diving-best’, a Junya Watanabe patchwork denim jacket, authentic art deco velvet cap, camouflage black/grey pants, and futuristic ankle zip booties by Vic Mate.


Wheelchair Disabled Street Style blogger wearing Junya Watanabe patchwork denim jacket

What are you looking at? This dumpster is mine so back off.

Junya Watanabe patchwork denim jacket

Let’s take a minute together to look at the splendor of this Junya Watanabe jacket. Now, if you don’t know him, you should. He is my everything and an exalted Japanese designer who began his career under the tutelage of Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo.

I am hungry for eats all day long, so I headed to my favorite grocer, Trader Joe’s. When I arrived, I didn’t like what I saw. How the hell do wheelchair disabled people dive into dumpsters? These contraptions are not compliant with American Disability Act standards!  My head swelled with couture hungry blood. I needed to do something. I called President Obama’s switchboard, making the following demand: “Why the hell isn’t there a hoyer lift attached to every dumpster in America, so that disabled people can forage in them? I don’t care about the economy or Syrian refugees. This is a travesty! We need the American Disability Dumpster Diving Act now!”

To demonstrate my point, watch this video.

I am a disabled, American/Russian/Polish, heterosexual, lactose-intolerant, gluten-sensitive warrior. (Americans love labels). No one messes with me. I will not be defeated! I posit that the wheelchair disabled community needs to dumpster dive to supplement their income or forever be doomed. I knew from that moment on that I had to design a visual to prove to the Obama administration the necessity of disabled people diving into dumpsters. The government needed to act quickly and prioritize this ahead of poverty programs.

Old man being lifted into a dumpster while wheelchair fashion blogger waits her turn to go dumpster diving.

Dear President Obama: Here is my graphic. Every dumpster in America needs to be flanked by a hoyer lift, as do the dumpsters behind nursing homes. Let’s face it, the elderly are bored out of their mind. Aren’t they entitled to dumpster diving?

Take heed of what I am telling you. People need to look good. I would rather be flayed and sold into wheelchair dominatrix slavery than be seen outdoors wearing a Target track set. Lately, I have been in a couture-state-of-mind. If that means diving into trash bins to look good, so be it. No one needs to know how I end up clothing myself with the finest fabrics from some precious artisanal Italian mills. Bottom line:  Americans with disabilities deserve an equal opportunity to dress couture, even if it means dumpster diving.
I may not walk, but at least I dress better than you at any cost.

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