Wonder Woman Wednesday - Avisha Patel

Avisha Patel in Desi Ever After

How do you express yourself through fashion? 

Expressing myself through fashion was never something I thought would be an ideal form of my identity. Growing up I was always given what to wear and how to wear it in the traditional sense with both Indian and non-indian clothing. As I got older, I tried to change it up by clashing my cultures together, and almost always I was shot down (“That doesn’t go together” or “these styles don’t match”). When I’d get shot down, my motivation to try different things got shut down. It took a lot more growing up and self-actualization to come to my senses and ignore what others thought, and to be happy with the way it chose to express myself. And now all that seems to come to mind when putting an outfit together is how can I make this look like ME? Going out of style is not my style, I’m always working on putting pieces together that will continue to break average and will state what I feel like expressing that day. Traditional, urban, or maybe even both! How do I express myself through fashion? With confidence. 

Your desi style? 

MIX & MATCH! Honestly, I do it for the "Auntie Stare". You know that look you get when you wear something they wouldn’t normally see put together? Like the day I showed up to a family event wearing a t-shirt, a vintage silk saree wrapped around my waist like a skirt and some sneakers. Clashing my cultures together in one super outfit is my most favorite form of desi style. Why? Cause it’s literally all of my favorite things put together! I barely use the traditional blouses that come with most outfits now because all I ever want to do is be comfortable and wear a cute t-shirt. Old lenghas that I haven’t worn in over 10 years? Now I’m either cutting them up to create something new, adding something to create flare, or tucking them in to look like dhoti pants. Jean and leather jackets on almost every outfit are my most go to style mainly because my mom will chase me around with a knit sweater begging me to wear it so I look ‘normal’. My favorite desi style is anything that’s gonna’ get me that “Auntie Stare”. 

What did you love most about your childhood as a brown girl living in America?

Something I loved most about my childhood as a brown girl living in America is the hardships I went through growing up when expressing my culture. Yeah you read that right, the hardships. Why? Because they made me into the confident, crazy, and sarcastic human being you see today. Being made fun of about the food I brought for lunch, the “Indian Princess” Halloween costume I would wear each year because my parents couldn’t buy me a new costume, or when I’d come to school with a dot on my head cause my mom decided to slap that on for the day after prayers. All those things were criticized in one way or the other. When I’d come home upset the one thing my parents would remind me to do was ignore it, and continue to be who you are because if you change yourself at the expense of others, they win and you begin to lose yourself. Apart from the hardships, my India born and raised parents are what I loved most about my childhood as an American born brown girl. They taught me to love my culture, and always show confidence in who you are.