Arts Look of the Week

LOTW Miraya Bhayani ’21 Pieces Together Her Diverse Cultural Identity Through Outfits

COURTESY OF MIRAYA BHAYANI

According to Miraya Bhayani ’21, since moving away from wearing crop tops and shorts, she’s become more creative with her style.

COURTESY OF MIRAYA BHAYANI

Dressed in a black ruched long-sleeve top and sheer black tights under a denim tennis skirt, Miraya Bhayani ’21 completes the look with patent leather black boots and a navy puffer. According to Bhayani, bottoms are a vital component of her outfits.

“I think my style varies a lot, but I tend to wear a lot of fancy pant pieces or flared jeans. I don’t even like to wear plain leggings, I like to wear patterned leggings. I think that pants are important because a lot of people overlook the pants aspect of the outfit. So I definitely try to keep my pants lively-looking,” said Bhayani.

Having lived in London, Singapore, and Andover, Bhayani’s style is influenced by her exposure to fashion across different cultures. Styling Batik fabrics into her outfits is one example of Bhayani’s tendency to integrate these diverse elements into her outfits.

“In Singapore, I got into Batik. It’s basically embroidered designs on different pieces on cotton and linen clothing. It’s very soft and durable during the hot weather, and that’s actually really influenced my wardrobe,” said Bhayani.

Bhayani derives inspiration from her mother, who melds recent trends while preserving relatively older ones. According to Bhayani, Singapore-based clothing store “British India” embodies this style and demonstrates the effect of colonial fashion on Indian culture. Additionally, Emily Warren ’21 noted that Bhayani’s everyday outfits reflect her diverse background.

In an email to The Phillipian, Warren wrote, “[Bhayani] likes to express her international identity through her clothing. For example, I remember in [the] spring, she would always wear patterned skirts she got from Singapore and share stories about where she got it from and her memories associated with that place. I always found those very interesting because I would learn more about [Bhayani’s] background and style at the same time.”

Going forward, Bhayani hopes to implement long skirts into her style more often and to make statements with bright sari blouse tops. Even though her style adjusted with the move from the warmer climate in Singapore to the chilly New England winters, Bhayani hopes to continue finding new ways of incorporating her heritage into her style.

“It’s nice to meld more common American fashion, with the crop tops and tighter tops, with this really traditional Indian skirt,” said Bhayani. “I’d say I’m a pretty diverse person, [and] I want my style to show off all parts of my identity.”