This week’s StyleCrush is Southeast Asian fashion blogger Ragini Nag Rao, who is behind the long-running plus size fashion and beauty blog A Curious Fancy. Ragini has been blogging for years. Her combo of folk/boho style mixed with a playful mod flair makes her a dear favorite.
WYV: How do you describe your style? What informs it?
Ragini Nag Rao: I’d say that my style is a bit eccentric, somewhat off-beat and vintage inspired. I grew up reading a huge amount and always wished I could dress like characters out of those books. And now I do! I’ve always loved an element of fancy, of wishfulness in my style, hence the name of my blog. I very much believe in dressing the part, so my style is informed greatly by the role I want to play. Right now I’m quite taken with being a bohemian domestic goddess, so the way I dress reflects that. I’ve been inspired by vintage illustrations and children’s literature for a long time and still am. Then there are things like old photobooth pics, vintage circus outfits, Eastern European folk dress and Studio Ghibli films. I can’t always incorporate every element I love into my wardrobe, but I’m working on it!
WYV: What inspired your blog?
Ragini: I started blogging about fashion a very long time ago, almost a lifetime ago in fashion years. That would be in 2009, although A Curious Fancy dates back to 2010. I once tried to recap the not so brief history of my relationship with clothes, which I guess would serve as a backstory of sorts. Throughout the years, I’ve fallen in and out of love with so many ideas and identities, but the one constant I’ve always come back to is fashion. There’s something about dressing up, from the nitpicky process of coordinating a daily outfit to the sociocultural-historical impact of fashion at large, that keeps drawing me back in. I don’t think I could ever fall out of love with pretty clothes, mostly because I can’t ever remember not being in love with them. They’re integral to who I am.
WYV: Who are your three top StyleCrushes?
Ragini: I love everything Noel Fielding has ever worn. My fellow plus-size blogger and friend Marie has the most incredible style. I recently discovered Natalie Johnson’s blog and I love what she’s doing.
WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands/designers?
Ragini: A huge portion of my wardrobe comes from ASOS, which is no surprise considering their sheer variety. Every so often I hunt down a few vintage pieces on eBay and Etsy. I also love Etsy for unique, handmade pieces. Primark, New Look and Topshop are some of my favourite places to shop on the high street. Recently, I’ve developed a thing for Boden, Joules and Monsoon which means I’m probably on my way to being a middle-aged, suburban mum of two.
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
Ragini: Living as a fat woman in India, I often struggle with wearing the clothes I want to for fear of harassment. While this is a problem that fat people all over the world are familiar with, I find the range and volume of harassment to be rather acute here in India.
Over the years I’ve developed different ways to cope like cultivating a determined lack of perception while remaining hypervigilant when I’m out of the house. Even as I force myself to tune out the catcalls and comments, I have to watch out for potential assaults. Whenever I wear shorts or miniskirts, I meticulously plan out my itinerary (including how long I’ll actually have to walk from the cab to my destination.) Naturally, this is stifling when it comes to wearing my voice. But still I persist. For me, wearing my voice is an act of courage, else I wouldn’t be able to venture outdoors, but it’s also an act of love: my love for and commitment towards fashion and my individual style.