Kurtas with Nehru jackets, contrasting shawls, bandhgalas and overcoats — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making style statements one after the other on his Britain visit. And he has got his fashion quotient spot on, say designers.
Whether it was his black overcoat that he flaunted when he landed in London, or the black ensemble with an eye-catching black and white polka-dotted pocket square — Modi’s sartorial choices have been subtle but interesting. Designer Gautam Gupta, who found his looks to be “classic”, said: “I guess he downplayed a little bit after seeing too much focus on his clothes and the overhype. I liked what he is wearing (during his visit) and he is looking like a statesman.”
At Chequers, he went beige with a warm stole in a slightly deeper neutral hue. When Modi stepped out to address the British Parliament, he looked suave in a black bandhgala suit, and you couldn’t miss the polka-dotted accessory on him. It suggested he’s with the times when it comes to fashion. According to designer Varija Bajaj, it’s impressive that Modi “managed to create a perfect balance of traditional bandhgala with a (contemporary) polka dot handkerchief.”
“Mr. Modi is a brilliant speaker and popular with communities abroad owing to his extensive visits to address our foreign nationals. He has been looked upon as a symbol of progressive growth… therefore it becomes hard for him to be under a scanner everytime where he is judged to be progressive, yet rooted,” said Bajaj.
For his meeting with the Queen at the Buckingham Palace, Modi chose to go desi in a clean-cut cream kurta and churidar teamed with a maroon-coloured evergreen Nehru jacket — which, well, if one goes by the present times, has been ‘Modified’. Even for his grand, almost rockstar appearance at the Wembley Stadium, where he faced an audience of almost 60,000, Modi kept his look subtle. He wore a kurta churidar again, and teamed it with a bluish black bandhgala and teamed it with a contrasting textured shawl.
Fashion designer Samant Chauhan said that Modi has “played it safe” with his fashion on this visit. All in all, he has been promoting the traditional Indian way of dressing. So enthused was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife Samantha that even she flaunted a sequinned sari for Modi’s Wembley Stadium address.
Modi has also spread the magic of Indian weaves by gifting pashmina shawls and tanchoi stoles among other things to the high-profile names that he has been meeting.