US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama bid India farewell yesterday after a three-day visit. Everyone talked about the renewed N-deal, the R-day parade and the town hall, but of course I’ll be talking about fashion. 🙂 Here’s my take on the fashion hits and disasters of the Obamas’ India visit. (More disasters than hits).
Disaster #1: Michelle Obama’s arrival dress
As her “arrival” dress, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a printed dress made by Indian-origin designer Bibhu Mohapatra. My take: not impressive! The floral print on the dress was too big, even for someone of her height and frame. Plus the lines across the dress added more confusion to the outfit. Maybe she could have skipped the matching jacket for a plain one.
Disaster #2: President Obama names PM Modi a “style icon”
At the state banquet Sunday evening, President Obama stated, “The Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] is a style icon. I would also like to wear a Modi kurta.” Sure, while the Modi kurta is perhaps Indian politics’ latest contribution to fashion (remember Nehru jacket?), I don’t think PM Modi is a style icon. Yes, his wardrobe his carefully selected and he ensures he is well-groomed, but style icon? Nope! (one good reason below).
Disaster #3: Narendra Modi’s “selfie” suit
What looked like a pinstripe suit from afar at the chai pe charcha (evening tea), was actually lines and lines of the PM’s name all over. Take a look:
Now you know why PM Modi isn’t a style icon.
Disaster #4: … And the grey one
In the 1980s I remember all the male members of my family wearing grey “safari” suits, but the truth is that grey is not a flattering colour for most Indian men. But PM Modi wore light grey at the state banquet and well, didn’t carry it off. A darker grey or a navy blue would have looked so much better. And the tan shoes with the grey bandhgala? Oh no, no, no! :-O
Hit #1: Michelle Obama’s state banquet dress
Ms Obama’s navy blue billowy dress with a gold and red print looked fantastic. She was a picture of poise and elegance as she greeted Indian VIPs. It was the right touch of colour, a pleasing print and totally appropriate.
Hit #2: Indian First Lady gifts FLOTUS a pashmina shawl
Awww… sweet gesture from Indian First Lady Suvra Mukherjee. I’m sure Michelle Obama receives plenty of gifts wherever she goes, but an authentic pashmina shawl is always special. I wonder if she will ever use it though? (No, don’t answer that).