Why This Fashion ‘Kolaveri’ @ ASEAN Summit?

The 10th  Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit at Cambodia seems to have germinated a new concept in World Diplomacy – that of ‘fancy-dress’ gala dinners. I would say that it was rather sporting on the part of the world leaders to agree to wear colourful local designer made garments but Cambodia could have had at least given this leaders the luxury of bespoke tailoring.

The dinner hosted at Cambodia’s Diamond Island Convention Center had ill-fitted shirts for almost everybody. The big and wide collars were funny and poor Barack Obama’s shirt-sleeves were a few inches too-small. Well our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn’t seem comfy at all in the orange shirt with a logo/emblem embroidered on the left breast. Agreed Cambodia took the opportunity to promote it’s heritage textile but the effect would had been better if they hired a qualified tailor if not a designer to make those shirts as per their sizes.

Balinese fashion parade on the 19th night was comparatively sober. ASEAN leaders donned colourful Indonesian shirts and attire. U.S. President Barack Obama wore a dark green shirt with motifs in black and red running down the front placket and  our PM wore a tonal rust coloured one. The tailoring was much better than the Cambodian affair and of-course the fabric was less glitzy.

Should India put global leaders in traditional Indian wear whenever next a global summit is hosted here? I am sure our designers will do a great job! 


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