By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Prime Minister Narendra Modi displayed it right at his swearing-in ceremony here on Thursday by choosing a humble pale grey waistcoat to go with a crisp white kurta-pyjama, say experts.
Modi’s sartorial choices have been noticed since he first took charge as the Prime Minister in 2014. Back then, he wore an understated beige jacket — now identified by many as Modi jacket — over a white kurta-pyjama.
This time also, Modi choose a soothing colour to face an audience at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan on a hot summer evening.
Designers and fashion experts gave his choice of colour and design a thumbs-up, especially as he continues to be a flag-bearer of cultural dressing.
Sunil Sethi, President of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), India’s apex fashion body, told IANS: “Even though men the world over have moved away from traditional greys and charcoals, what’s intriguing is that a charismatic leader, who has won by a majority and shook up his opponents with a crushing defeat, chose this hue.
“But it came with aplomb, in classic Modi style, a pinch of wit peppered with sarcasm — a grey waistcoat, his constant companion teamed with a crisp white kurta peeking through in a sea of suits.”
Sethi decoded how Modi didn’t let the ceremony become “overwhelmed” by his choice of clothing.
“He let it be an absolute contrast to the rather debilitating weather. He opted for a cool, natural and breathable look,” he said.
Modi took oath for his second term as Prime Minister after leading the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to a smashing victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Celebrated fashion designer Rohit Bal, known for his culturally-rooted creations, described Modi’s fashion as “very elegant, suave and quiet”.
“The pale grey enhanced the colour of his hair and beard. Very sophisticated, stylish and very dignified,” Bal told IANS.
Well-fitted bandh-gala suits, half-sleeved kurtas, sleeveless jackets or his style of adding a touch of local culture to his dressing wherever he travels, Modi has been quite on point with his fashion game.
As veteran designer Madhu Jain put it: “He is always elegantly and impeccably turned out. His sartorial choices reflect an Indian sensibility that he dons proudly. Today was no different, right from his crisp white kurta churidar to his light jacket.”
This endorsement of heritage dressing makes designer Raghavendra Rathore, who is synonymous with bandhgalas, happy.
Commenting on Modi’s style, Rathore told IANS: “Building upon the India equity ‘Make in India’, there seems to be a conscious awakening amongst all, not only with regard to the importance of hygiene in life but also the ‘hygiene’ of looking elegant with the accent of heritage and cultural dressing.
“It is now the incumbent and accepted norm – once possibly looked at less approvingly by many a rank, but in today’s modern India, these looks seem electrifyingly contagious among news readers, actors, corporates, politicians and bureaucrats alike.”
To him, the message is clear: “The nation has spoken and reiterated the culture of heritage clothing is here to stay.”
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])