Modi's fashion statement is cool, say designers


There is a world beyond political, financial or territorial issues that Prime Minister Narendra Modi trailed into during his visit to China, when he...

There is a world beyond political, financial or territorial issues that Prime Minister Narendra Modi trailed into during his visit to China, when he walked out with black glares staring at the fashion world with a new style statement. Modi, who was on a three-day visit to China from Thursday, made a savvy style statement -- with a stark white kurta-pajama and a shawl. But the thing that stood out were the dark glares.

The fashion fraternity gave a thumbs up to his gesture to lighten up things and bring the grassroot fashion aesthetics of India into the spotlight. Samant Chauhan, a designer known for painting a story in calm hues with Indian textiles, mentioned that Modi understands the basic principle of fashion which is "expect the unexpected".

Designer Gautam Gupta thinks fashion plays an important role in lightening up the serious atmosphere and bringing the otherwise boring stuff into the limelight. "It is a very cool way to give a new dimension to serious headlines," he told IANS. "It is a kind of tensed situation between India and China so when Modi goes over there and does little things like these it breaks the ice. He gives a reason to the people, busy with their professional or personal life, to read about the visit," he added.

In January this year, Modi sent ripples across the fashion world with a bandhgala pinstriped suit that he wore for a joint appearance with US President Barack Obama. The fact that the pinstripes also carried his name in fine print and sent waves of mirth, amusement and derision across the political and media world is another story.

During the same tour, he also sported brightly coloured Nehru jackets, something that is rarely expected from a politician.Modi also incorporates his ambitious "Make in India" campaign in his style quotient by injecting Indian art and weaves in his ensembles. Another designer Varija Bajaj feels that Modi is taking India's real fashion to foreign shores with panache.

"He has brought the attention to what India stands for in terms of fashion on ground reality and not in a runway week, but in terms of artisans who are actually developing the grassroot fashion," Bajaj said. Talking of his fashion sense, the style gurus give him a thumbs up. "He is just going perfect with the kurta look and the jackets he is wearing as they are very comfortable for somebody like him, who goes in and out of several meetings," Bajaj said.

Whereas Gupta suggests a scarf to get the groove on. "We cannot make much of a fashion statement on the diplomatic level. So may be a scarf, shawl or a pocket square. One cannot play with much colours at official level either," Gupta said. However, designers want to see in his performance the same winning elements that he is creating with fashion.

"I don't know why people are bothered about what Modi is wearing. What he is doing in terms of fashion is fantastic, but I think performance is what matters. As a Prime Minister heading a new government, people have a lot of expectations so we need surprise element from his work," Chauhan said.

Bajaj too echoed the same thoughts and says the country still waits for "Acche Din" from his governance. Bajaj noted that talking about his fashion statement with the performance meter on the back burner is 'frivolous'. "After one year, the country is now looking forward to his performance and if his performance is good any statement that he carries will become a fashion statement," Bajaj said.

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