Political fashion is not a new thing. There’s the iconic Nehru Jacket, a mandarin-collared coat named after our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Fast forward to today, and it’s all about the Modi kurta — the half-sleeved variant made popular by PM Narendra Modi.
Away from home, a case in political dressing is being made in the US, by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. On her Twitter bio, she defines herself as a “pantsuit aficionado” and her first Instagram post featured a rack full of colourful suits captioned ‘hard choices.’
In the past month, Hillary has also donned her signature monotone pantsuits in a flurry of colours including baby blue, bright orange, hot pink and even a pristine white, during her campaigns, as a run-up to the presidential elections. With American fashion editor Anna Wintour believed to be her style advisor, Hillary’s suits are being spoken about constantly. While she has received both, brickbats and compliments for her sartorial picks, including the Twitterati, there’s no denying that the 68-year-old’s style is impossible to ignore.
Back home, experts think her pantsuit prowess is related to bending gender rules. “Hillary wants to break gender stereotypes and emerge as a strong woman with a serious flair for style. Her look is calculated and defines her image of a feminist front runner for the White House,” says designer Anand Bhushan. Designer Rina Dhaka sees her style as unassuming.“While her look is very thought after, it is not there to make a loud statement. While it’s clear that she loves bold colours, my only wish would be to see more experimentation.”
Why the white suit mattered
Hillary’s white Ralph Lauren suit that she wore last month to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president has been labelled by international media as ‘historic’. The suit is a stark departure from the traditional ‘patriotic’ convention of wearing blue and red to the event. Her choice of white is believed to be an ode to women’s suffragist movement that fought for gender equality and saw the colour as a symbol of honesty and purity.