UNAPOLOGETIC

With indian culture trending recently, there's been an emergence of unapologetic desi women speaking up and forming a kind of global brown girls gang, if you will, to reclaim spaces that have erased or undermined our significance and our voices.

I had the complete privilege of collaborating with Quirk Box, the innovative brand known for it's fun and offbeat prints, to create a look that transcends beyond my usual style choices and has easily become one of my favorite looks to date. To juxtapose the playful, printed vest created by the artistic geniuses Jayesh and Rixi, I wanted to create an all white ensemble incorporating the currently trending skirt over pant look (aka the western version of the traditional salwar kameez my grandma's been rocking since 1950).  

Colorful prints, vests, and all white looks are styles I generally stay far from because they are harder to style and even more difficult to "pull off". It may seem shocking but I haven't always been experimental with my style. I would even go as far as saying I haven't always (consciously) been into fashion. In the beginning, it was more about attempting to fit the beauty ideals set by mainstream media. When I realized that my body and aesthetic would never look like those ideals, for a fleeting moment I started loathing myself. Thankfully with ample time to understand who I am and a whole lot of self love, I found my voice and learned how to slowly incorporate my opinions into my everyday style.

It takes so much to unlearn and dismantle the shit that is ingrained in us as little girls. To be modest, to graciously accept whatever mediocre men come along, to wear more makeup or not wear so much makeup, not to be too loud or take too many selfies. In 2015, when we have made so much progress with women’s rights and have online communities for strong women to share their stories, I’m still expected to be humble and shave my armpits to appease some boring, terribly dressed men on instagram who don’t have shit to offer but an opinion no one asked them for. Fuck being humble. Put yourself first. You matter most.
— Sanam for Refinery29

This whole concept of being able to pull something off, whether it be clothes, or a hair style, or the way you speak or carry yourself generally refers to something people regard as bold or out of the ordinary. Something that takes a special type of person to do.  I want to take a minute to expel that notion in its entirety. If you've ever hesitated to try something new because you were afraid you won't be able to pull it off (hello, hi, yes, you), let me stop you right there. I ASSURE you that you can indeed pull it off. It's amazing what a pinch of confidence and a few "DAMN I LOOK FLY AS HELL" chants throughout the day can do for you. It takes time and a lot of self love to get to a point where you feel comfortable in your skin and to give less and less of a fuck about how others perceive you. Self love can seem like an uphill battle for people who are constantly taught they aren't beautiful because most bodies don't actually fit western beauty standards we've all grown up aspiring to.

Fashion has always been, is, and will always be my medium of expression. I challenge you to experiment with something new, whether it be a new style or something else entirely, and see what happens in those uncomfortable moments, what happens when you don't let your choices be dictated by ideals that were never meant to serve you. Who knows, you might end up surprising yourself! Till next time xx

+++ In collaboration with QUIRK BOX featuring their Vintage Typewriter Vest

photography jasdeep kang
art direction pragya bhatt, jasdeep kang & reva bhatt
styling reva bhatt