How Modi became India's fashion icon

How Modi became India

Fahion plays an important role in image building. No one is more acutely aware of this than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Narendra ModiFahion plays an important role in image building. No one is more acutely aware of this than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Each time he makes an appearance, his outfit selection is well thought out, deliberate and calculated. Whether it’s something he wears while addressing a rally in Meerut or what he picks up for his UN General Assembly speech, there is always a fashionable agenda.

Enough has been written about the PM’s choice of clothes. While many have commended his style, some people critiqued it. Like it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.

Behind every sartorial fashion choice, the man of the moment uses his discretion to opt for something that creates a lasting impression. The 64-year-old walks a fine line. While consolidating the nation has been no easy task, the PM was quick to learn that the language of fashion is loud and far-reaching. He has taken advantage of accessories, colours, silhouettes, fabrics and designers. Costume has helped him benefit in more ways than one - bridging linguistic gaps, connecting with people of various regions within the country, enhancing his appeal and reinforcing his position in the global power circle.

Modi keeps a safe distance from deep tones of saffron, reflecting his current political outlook. Instead, he now prefers to go for softer hues of orange.

During the US visit, at Madison Square Garden in New York, Modi chose a pale orange bandhi over a yellow kurta-pyjama, asserting his roots to connect with the desi audience. However, while addressing the UN General Assembly and meeting international heads of state, he chose to wear sombre and serious tones of charcoal, grey, navy blue and black and silhouettes like Nehru jackets with trousers and pocket squares to maintain a balance of eastern and western sensibilities. Addressing the ISRO scientists after witnessing the Indian satellite ingressed into Mars’ orbit, the prime minister wore a fiery red Nehru collar waistcoat that resonated the country’s fiery ambitions for the future and its most recent success.

He also selected Mumbai-based menswear designer Troy Costa to create a line of ensembles for him. This showed that Modi is dynamic enough to connect with the youth, his largest vote-bank, and to dress for - and be dressed by - them.

The Gujarati stalwart has confessed that his ability to mix and match colours is “God-gifted” and that he has a penchant to dress well.

Crisp half-sleeve shirts, now known as the ‘Modi kurta’, linen kurtas and sharply tailored jackets help him stand out amongst a sea of politicians dressed in starch white outfits.

He even has a hashtag for his fashion #ModiKurta - not bad for a desi politician. His vast collection of hats and scarves has helped him connect with the Indian diaspora. Hats of all sizes, shapes and colours make him one with the different cultures reflected in India’s many states.

However, his deliberate inclusions and exclusions have not gone unnoticed. Some have high-lighted the lack of the colour green in his wardrobe, and others like Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav have slighted Modi for being too fashion-conscious. MSY said he wondered how much time Modi would have for the country when he “changes 500 kurtas a day and wears a new kurta to every meeting.”

He carries a pen at all times, sometimes a Mont Blanc, his glasses are rumoured to be Bvlgari and his watch Movado. So when it comes to being fashionably business-like, he can keep up with his associates.

The self-made politician is making new rules for fashion in Indian politics. In India, clothes are a statement, and Modi is making this loud and clear.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories