Street Style: Ajay

Remember when I said I was going to try to feature people I didn't already know? Well, I sort of gave up this week. To say I have too much on my plate would be the understatement of the year, but let me just elaborate on my situation: I'm on campus two days a week where I'm in class from nine in the morning to six at night, albeit with a few breaks in between, often followed by meetings. When I'm not on campus I'm either in New York City for my internship, and when I'm not fulfilling either of the aforementioned obligations I'm doing homework and picking up the pieces for Style contributors who have not met the deadline. So how's that for self-justification?

Street style can get boring and predictable, not only in the format but also in the content of the article. Does anyone really care about a random student's style inspiration or favorite article of clothing? Probably not. Just like when I inquired with Sola about her sandwich of choice, I used my insider knowledge regarding Ajay's current musical obsession (based on our lengthy discussions of Beyonce's album over a cup of Starbucks) and made an effort to be timely and relevant. His answer was also phenomenally sassy, and it is because of moments like this that I have decided keep Ajay in my company.

Ajay Raghavan, senior, biomedical engineering

Jacket — Bar III, T-shirt — Target, pants — Urban Outfitters, scarf — American Apparel, boots — Kenneth Cole

Q: How would you describe your sense of personal style?
A: I’d like to think my sense of personal style changes from day to day depending on how I feel or what I’m doing with my day. You could call me a chameleon in that sense, I suppose.

Q: Are you more prone to invest in statement pieces or staples?
A: At this point, definitely statement pieces. However, I think a delicate balance of both is crucial. Too many staples make you look blase and basic, and too many statement pieces and you run the risk of looking like Professor Trelawney from “Harry Potter.” But, I suppose if that’s your prerogative, more power to you.

Q: What were your new year’s resolutions?
A: I guess be the best version of myself? I just try to make every year better than the last.

Q: How do you feel about Beyonce?
A: I’m sorry, if you don’t like Beyonce or find her to be “average at best,” you can sign yourself up for an investment banking class, buy a whole lot of stock in Raymour and Flanigan and proceed to take SEVERAL seats. Seriously, I don’t think you could find a more exemplary version of a musical icon in today’s day and age.



 Coat - Target / Elma skirt and Lauren blouse - Club Monaco / Chelsea boots - Asos / Sloane satchel - Madewell

One of the perks of working at one my favorite stores is being able to snag a piece or two (or three...or four) during a crazy town banana pants sale. That being said, most of what I earn at work goes towards food and school things for the most part, so while in an ideal world my wardrobe would consist entirely of my store's offerings, that's very far from the truth. The point of this little side note is that I grabbed this frog print shirt during our Black Friday sale. That's right. Frog print.

As it was cold enough to warrant the slightest bit of snowfall, I was only able to keep my coat off for a minute or two before my arms started to get numb. With the streets outside my apartment still laden with snow and ice (kudos, Philadelphia Streets Dept.), the snowfall captured in these photos is comparatively minuscule. When I bought this jacket last year, I didn't think about how its color would make me stand out. After first being pulled aside by a fashion design professor who wanted to take pictures of my coat, some students in the lobby of the media arts and design college building complemented its color and told me they had "seen me around campus." Is it normal to feel weird about that? Because I do, only a little bit. Regardless of how easy I may be to spot in a crowd, I'd take this coat over a drab gray one any day.



Cults at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia 

Goal for 2014: shoot more concerts.


The Rodin

The Rodin museum re-opened its doors last year after several years of renovations. The beautiful French garden had been open to the public, but this past November marks my first time inside the small museum. Several smaller sculptures are still on display in the PMA, but most of Rodin's work sits in this tiny but beautiful building. I couldn't help but draw comparisons between the pieces I saw in the Musee d'Orsay this past summer, which holds one the original plasters of the Gates of Hell.

As per usual, my student ID gets me in for free (yay!), a perk I'm going to miss once I graduate. Because it's so small, my friend Katie and hit up several other Parkway museums on this unseasonably warm Saturday. I'm never one to complain about warm weather out of season, especially when it means I can wear one of my blazers in lieu of a proper coat. However, these warm spells are long gone, and as a matter of fact it's snowing just so lightly outside my window right now. Welcome to winter.


2013: A Reflection

To say this year kicked my butt would be an understatement. In preparation for this post I took a look at my last yearly recap in 2011. If my 19-year-old self thought that was "a trying year," I can barely imagine what she would do with herself had she been around these past twelve months. Thankfully, she's grown up quite a bit. Somehow, all of the troublesome things I encountered this year managed to be equally matched by the amazing opportunities that came my way.

I went to San Francisco for the first time, but surely not the last.

I had several independent study opportunities this past spring where I worked in digital content creation. This stop-motion video was my favorite project to work on.

I watched a dragon boat race for the first time on the Schuylkill River. 

I studied abroad in Prague!

I also visited Rome...






...and London! I know. I still can't believe I saw everything I did.

The beginning a long night finalizing the Style layout; our color palette for the magazine, dubbed "a rainy day in April".

I also started working as editor of the Style section of my university's newspaper and as editor-in-chief for a student-produced magazine.

I finished my first internship, fulfilled my long time aspiration of visiting Paris and I traveled by train and lived out of a small suitcase for several weeks. I started applying for internships like it was my job, and I'm lucky enough to be starting a new one in New York City this January. I can't wait to get started and see what I can learn.

On a different note, I noticed I never posted my recap for 2012. I started a draft but I never wrote more than a couple of sentences. I came close to deleting my blog on several occasions last year but something always made me change my mind. I wasn't passionate about what I was doing and I knew I needed to make a change. In October, I had the chance to talk to Crosby of PR Couture during one of my media-related classes. After our video chat I was inspired to re-brand my blog, the first step of which involved buying my own domain name. Especially after everything I've experienced this year, most of which is far too personal for me to post on the internet for (potentially) half the world to read, I have decided it's most important for me to channel my energy into things I'm passionate about. And that's that. I feel so much more confident than I did two years ago, more confident in my abilities and with myself in general. Rather than just speculate about all of the things I wanted to do, I went out and actually did them. To be honest, sometimes that confidence is coupled with a crippling insecurity or overwhelming emotion that I just don't know how to process. And even though I have far too much on my plate and some days I just want to give up on this never-ending quest for fulfillment, most people think I have my shit together, and I guess that's all I can ask for.

If you've managed to read this all the way through, thank you. I'm wishing all of you lovely, faceless readers the best in 2014. Hopefully we'll see more of each other.