* Image attribution: http://im.rediff.com/news/2014/feb/25modi11.jpg
Crumpled dhoti and unkempt look have long been the style statement of Indian politicians until Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived on the scene. His crisp kurtas and churidar pyjamas are now the headturners. In fact, his fondness for bright colours and well-cut jackets reflect a distinct sartorial taste. The world acknowledges it. While the US President Barack Obama indicated that Modi out-styled Michelle Obama during the latter’s India visit, a US news daily said that Modi looked “like a peacock in the country’s crowd of drably dressed politicos”.
It’s interesting to know why the world is convinced that Modi is the new style icon of India.
#1. Modi Kurta
Everyone remembers the day when Modi was announced BJP`s PM candidate ahead of 2014 elections. He looked dapper in pistachio green kurta. Believe it or not, the half-sleeve kurtas that he wears were inspired by Modi’s own design. During his years as an emerging leader he used to cut the sleeves of the kurtas short to serve the dual purpose: he had to wash little and the kurtas occupied less space in his bag.
In case you don’t know, Ahmedabad-based Bipin and Jitendra Chauhan are the ones behind Modi’s signature kurtas. The stylish PM also has an envious collection of stoles and scarves to drape over his kurta. By the way, have you ever wondered why Modi buttons up his kurta till his neck? The man considers Rajesh Khanna as his style guru.
* Image attribution: http://static.dnaindia.com/sites/default/files/2015/01/09/300324-modi-13.jpg
#2. From Nehru Jacket to Modi Jacket
Those who know Modi personally, say that he is conscious of his looks to a fault. That partly explains his penchant for jackets. His wardrobe has quite a few button-up and open jackets. They are strikingly different from Nehru jackets by virtue of their unconventional colours – bright pink, blue and yellow as well. Fashion experts endorse the fact that Modi jacket has darts at the pockets that give a slimming effect to Modi. It is also two inches longer than the Nehru waistcoat. More importantly, the Modi jacket does not have the trademark hook at the neck.
Unlike Nehru, Modi wears these jackets on his foreign trips.
#3. Western Wear
* Image attribution: http://www.rediff.com
The dandy PM has embraced western outfits like no one else. Most of us distinctly remember the day Modi wore his name on his suit. He made a joint appearance with Obama at the Indian presidential palace. The pinstripes carrying his name evoked amusement (and outrage) across the nation. According to Modi’s close associates, the man fell for western wear in 2001 when he became the chief minister and started travelling abroad to woo the investors. His polo shirt and cowboy hat made first public appearance at the 2009 Uttarayan celebration.
Those who have seen him at international kite-flying festival in Ahmedabad in 2011, said that the black polo cardigan, jacket, designer eyewear and a beige cowboy hat “sat well on him”. Much before this, he had made himself acquainted with full-sleeved jersey, corduroys, sneakers and shades. Faded denim was also on his list.
#4. Modi’s Eyewears, Watches and Pens
Modi`s ‘sartorial explorations’ have given him exposure to European designers. According to his biography, Bvlgari is his favourite shade and Movado – Swiss luxury watch company – is his favourite watch brand. The fountain pen that you often see in his top pocket is a French Mont Blanc.
* Image attribution: http://im.rediff.com/money/2014/sep/23modi1.jpg
#5. Texan Hats
Even when Modi is not wearing trench coats, he pairs western-style trousers and denim with Texan hats. It is said that he and his hats go back a long way. Even during his stint as a chief minister, he was often spotted wearing stylish Texan hats along with jeans and t-shirts at his residence in Gandhinagar.
When Modi hired a top Mumbai designer to create outfits for his US visit, many thought that he was “selling his vision of a confident, aspirational India” to the world. They argued that the PM “gives a sense that India can be prosperous again. There is no scruffiness there.” However, those who don’t read too much into Modi’s style statement say, “He doesn’t believe in a brand but in making a brand”.
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