Bandhgala for a global audience is Modi’s choice

  • Snigdha Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2014 18:06 IST

During his visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made fashion news as soon as he stepped out on American soil. Wearing a deep burgundy bandhgala jacket adorned with a prim one-point pocket square, the PM continued with his stately attire. His UN assembly speech delivered wearing another bandhgala suit, in a no-nonsense shade of black, continued to prove his preference for classy, Nehruvian style.

“I think that our Prime Minister has done us proud during his visit to the US and has dressed appropriately. His style has evolved from the half-sleeved Modi kurta to more formal bandhgalas, which he carries off with great élan. And of course, the choice of colour and the pocket square prove his attention to detail. He looks sharp, and despite keeping with a traditional ethnic look, he continues to look trendy and with the times,” says designer Ritu Beri.

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Known for not shying away from bright colours, Modi’s American style has interestingly been high on solid hues and neutrals, observes designer Nikhil Mehra of designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil.

“In front of a global audience, the PM’s look was a lot more corporate-ish, and we could see that he meant business. He wanted the attention to be on his words, and not only on what he was wearing. Nevertheless, the fine fabric, sharp cuts, and details like cufflinks proved that his styling indeed is impeccable. The classic Nehru like attire also allowed him to emulate a historical costume, but in a more contemporary, bespoke way in front of a foreign audience,” Mehra says. Modi was scheduled to wear Mumbai-based designer Troy Costa's creation during his visit.

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At New York’s Central Park during the Global Citizen Festival, Modi revisited his eponymous kurta owing to the more casual tone of the event, but continued to be loyal to the bandhgala. “A classic bandhgala is a super smart way to look dapper, while keeping in mind the taste and sensibilities of the audience back home. Modi balanced our conservative political fashion aesthetics with a more refined look to make his international presence felt. The styling was great, with an Indian twist. Two thumbs up!” designer Anand Bhushan says.

The hues came with his Madison Square Garden event, with a signature saffron bandhgala vest, as Modi re-visited a colour he has often sported in the past. But, for his meeting with President Obama, classic monochrome and the continued preference for Nehru jacket ruled. “It is great to see the Prime Minister paying detailed attention to his appearance. Being well turned-out in all spheres starts with one’s appearance, hence, a good step,” designer Nida Mahmood concludes.

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