Arts Look of the Week

Look of the Week: Kiran Ramratnam ’22 Draws Unconventional Fashion from her Culture and Community

M.Levy/The Phillipian

Kiran Ramratnam ’22 dons bright colors and prints, inspired by her Indian-American identity.

Sporting a red and blue striped sweater, Kiran Ramratnam ’22 accents her outfit with a golden locket that dangles from a black choker. Ramratnam completes her look with  chunky, dark Doc Martens.

“I’d say my style is very eclectic,” said Ramratnam. “It comes from a lot of different backgrounds. When I shop… all my clothes are basically consignment, so they come from people who’ve already had different styles.”

Ramratnam creates her own outfits, finding special pieces and altering them to make them her own. The clothes she wears generally don’t come from typical stores.

“My clothes come from everywhere. Probably around the world,” Ramratnam said. “[At] Savers,’ [a thrift store] in Fall River, Mass. — because that’s where I come from — people just drop off clothes that they don’t need in front of the store, and then that’s what I end up wearing. So it comes from everyone around the area.”

A lot of her favorite styles, such as prints and colors, are influenced by her identity as Indian-American. For example, her favorite pair of bell bottom jeans have additions on the cuffs made from “salwar kameez,” a dress made of Indian fabric.

“Over winter break, I took this skirt that didn’t fit me and I cut triangles out of it and then I put [them on] the bottom of bell bottom jeans that I got [from] consignment. And that’s pretty much one of my favorites. It’s really shimmery,” said Ramratnam.

Ramratnam’s artistic combinations of clothing have given her a reputation of having intriguing outfits. One of her friends, Alexander Ashman ’22, admires the unconventional aspects of Ramratnam’s outfits.

He said, “I think that Kiran is really her own person. I think she really isn’t afraid to express herself, and she’s really inspiring just as a person and as a friend. You can really just see her personality in her style.”

Though she was initially insecure about her looks, Ramratnam has reclaimed her image by refining and personalizing her outfits.

“The reason why I dress [in a way that’s] so non-conforming is because of my initial insecurities of the way I look,” said Ramratnam. “So initially, I used to dress in things that were baggy, only shirts that went past my thighs. And then I kind of said, ‘If I’m going to be this insecure, I’d rather be stylish about it!’”

Ashman affirms the confident image that Ramratnam’s style projects, and how it has inspired him.

“I feel like she has become more confident in her style as the school year has gone on. She’s pretty confident. I think that now, with every time I see her, she’s more and more confident in herself, and it’s really good to see that and it’s really inspiring,” said Ashman.

M.Levy/The Phillipian

Kiran Ramratnam ’22 alters thrifted clothing, such as by adding lace to her bell-bottom jeans, to express individuality and boost her confidence.