Fashion is integral when it comes to building an image and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands this perfectly. In all his appearances his outfits have been planned in advance according to the occasion whether it’s for the United Nations General Assemly Speech or for a rally in an Indian village, he always turns out his fashionable best.
When dressing up in public places there are always a few purposes that govern our choice of attire. We often dress to leave an impression; express ourselves to prove a point; do not dress in a certain manner to make a point; or dress up to match the occasion. In all the above cases, our own personal style comes in to play. We can either chose to dress smart, casual, elegant or modern.
So much has been written about Narendra Modi and his style and even though there have been many who have criticized his style it can’t be ignored as it always leaves an impression.
Even at 64 years old and running the country, Narendra Modi was quick to learn about how fashion can be important. He accessorizes, uses appropriate colours, fabrics, silhouettes and designers. He also uses fashion as a medium of connecting with those who are from different regions to seem more appealing to the public and to reinforce his status. For example, Modi refrains from using strong colours like saffron that could indicate his present political point of view. He prefers to wear lighter tones or orange.
While visiting the United States and during his speech at Madison Square Garden in New York, Modi wore a light orange bandhi over a yellow kurta so that his Indian audience could identify and connect with him and while addressing the United Nations General Assembly and meeting international officials like heads of states, he wore a duller and more serious charcoal, navy blue, grey and black Nehru Jacket with pants and a pocket square to represent his appreciation of the West and the East.
For the most powerful Indian today, Modi’s attention to dressing communicates his sensibilities to match his ethic heritage while also indicating his contemporary outlook.
When giving a speech to the ISRO scientists soon after the Indian satellite into Mars, Modi was seen wearing a bright red Nehru waistcoat indicating the countries passion and ambition for success.
Modi has also approached Mumbai designer Troy Costa to design a range of outfits for him, which shows Modi is spirited enough to relate to the youth and to be dressed by the youth like younger designer Troy Costa. Modi also believes that the youth of this country are its future and can lead him forward, which is the reason he chooses to dress in a manner in which he can seem relatable to them.
While Modi prefers to wear more modern indigenous textiles other than khadi to demonstrate he is a man of the present as opposed to the past, his penchant for dressing well stems from his ability to match colours and take an interest in his appearance.
Often seen sporting half-sleeved crisp shirts, now popularly known as the ‘Modi Kurta’ that is usually linen with smart tailored jackets he is sure to stand out from other politicians that dress in the mundane white outfits. Modi also has a hashtag for his style known as the #ModiKurta. Modi’s fashion choices for hats and scarves in the different colours he wears them also helps him connect with people from various regions.
Some however claim and condemn Modi to make intentional exclusions to his wardrobe as he is barely seen in the colour green. Further Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav criticized Modi for being overly conscious about fashion and stated that Modi could devote more time to the nation instead of changing his outfits repeatedly in the same day for meetings.
Nonetheless, Modi has the strong support of India’s illustrious industrialists and businessmen and manages to even carry a Mont Blanc pen to all meetings, wear Bvlgari glasses and even have a Movado watch to make him seem formal and business-like like his associates.
This self-made leader of the nation is definitely making a strong fashion statement with each of his outfit choices!