Popular figures inspire others to don clothes with their names on it. Potentates splash their own names on their own
clothes. Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak used to wear suits with pin stripes of his embroidered name (stitched at the bargain basement price of $25,000 from a London tailorey).
Apparently, the same suit tickled the fancy of India's Potentate-im-Potentia Prime Minister Narendra Modi who showed up for his "chai and chat" session with President Obama in a close-necked version.
Such a suit has its advantages, of course, as FirstPost, a lively Indian website, pointed out: It is theft resistant and can't be mixed up with someone else's (dirty) laundry. It also beats white tourists in kaftans with "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" scribbled all over them.
Still, it does exceed the bounds of good taste. Modi is not known, however, for his sartorial modesty – or any other kind, for that matter. He beams larger-than-life holographic images of himself in multiple rallies at one time around the country to give the impression of omnipotence and omnipresence. He also had an artist draw a massive portrait of him live on stage in Madison Square Garden where he spoke to cheering crowds, Dear Leader style.
And he loves clothes as much as any Bollywood actress, who will typically change outfits at least a dozen times in a single five-minute song-and-dance sequence. While not quite there yet, Modi changed his outfits three times in one day – more even than Michelle Obama (who actually looked pretty snazzy in this off-beat suit by an Indian designer)—for Barack whom he is love-bombing with bear hugs too. Still, this is less than the five changes in one day during his US visit in September.
Apparently, Modi and Obama have great chemistry and Obama even praised Modi's style, noting that he wants to wear one of Modi's kurtas (tunics).
That might be fine, so long as he stays away from Modi's stripes.
Accompanying image by reason.tv's peerless Todd Krainin