On Narendra Modi's 71st Birthday, Here's a Look at Indian PM's Most Iconic Fashion Moments
06:24 GMT 17.09.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
From lighting 71,000 diyas (earthen lamps) at the Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to distributing 150 million monthly ration bags, organising blood donation camps, and much more, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going to celebrate the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with much fanfare on 17 September.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been hailed as a true style icon thanks to his sartorial choices and powerful fashion statements, be it tuxedos or traditional Indian attire such as the Kurta, churidar pajama, colourful headgear, or shawls.
As the Indian prime minister celebrates his 71st birthday on Friday, fashion designers tell Sputnik why Modi's fashon choices are so spectacular:
Colourful Kurtas With Churidars
By choosing to wear traditional Indian attire like the kurta and churidar, Modi stands out from a crowd of world leaders, and makes local textiles, including khadi and linen kurtas or silk shawls, famous abroad.
"Modi's style of dressing exhibited Indianness and carried gothic colours very well. He is more colourful than prime ministers of other countries because they only wear black, blue, grey, and white. But Modi carries colourful kurtas, pashmina shawls, and stoles (gamcha) with a swag", fashion designer Gautam Gupta tells Sputnik.
Nehru Jacket or Bandhgala Jacket
Another striking feature in Modi's attire is the Nehru jacket or "bandhgala jacket".
"Whether it's beige, orange, lemon or green, the colourful combination of crisp kurtas paired with bandhgala jackets reflects Modi's vision of oneness as an Indian globally and rooted to the heritage and culture of the country. Modi has tried to become one with the common man and reflect an Indian statesman's look through his power dressing", fashion designer Leena Singh says.
Modi Suited Up
Dressed in tuxedos and a bandhgala coat, Modi upped his fashion game during his trips abroad, making him look dynamic and stylish.
"Being the premier of a country, Modi represented India in a nice way through fashion, not just diplomacy. Hence during his international conferences, the kind of fabric and colours he chose for his suits were classy and gave a global appeal", Gupta opines.
Modi's Classic Monogrammed Suit
Modi rocked the fashion scene with his monogrammed suit that he wore during his meeting with former US President Barack Obama in 2015 in New Delhi.
The dark blue coloured suit had his full name "Narendra Damodardas Modi" etched on it. The latter made it into the Guinness World Records as "the most expensive suit sold at an auction".
The suit was purchased for INR 43.1 million ($586,073) by an Indian diamond trader, Lalji Patel, who owns the Dharmananda Diamond Company.
When it comes to experimenting with his looks and dressing, Modi has become a little subdued and sober in the past two or three years.
"One of the best looks of Modi was when he wore a suit that had his name written all over. But now Modi is choosing the colours of his outfit very cautiously, maybe because of the mood, the sentiments, and the situation in the country. He might have made a conscious decision to not look too noticeable as a fashion person. Travelling has also been cut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that's another reason for him to keep a low profile when it comes to fashion", Gupta tells Sputnik.
One of Modi's most striking features in terms of fashion is the headgear he experiments with.
"The kind of variation Modi has brought with different pagdis (headgear) is fabulous. Be it festivals or visiting a particular state in India, he made special efforts to look different by wearing the headgear of that particular region, occasions and adapt to their dressing culture. He embraced every state of India by wearing something from their dressing culture", Singh adds.
Modi's unique style of using a gamcha as a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic has also impressed many, including image consultant and stylist Meha Bhargava from Styl. Inc.
"His personality and persona shines through what he is wearing, be it a gamcha mask, half sleeves kurta, a bandhgala suit or Nehru jackets. His fashion choices have been electric. He was upbeat with the colour choices and outfits", Bhargava tells Sputnik.
Born to a Gujarati family in Vadnagar on 17 September 1950, Modi was elected Gujarat's state chief for three terms (2001 to 2014) and is the current and 14th prime minister of India.
During his early life, Modi worked with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation. He later joined politics and worked with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the national and state level.