Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dictators' three piece suits

If we were at a fashion show in Milan and espousing on the virtues of miltary olive drab for this fashion season, which world leader would pop into your head? The answer, of course, is quite obvious -- Fidel Castro.

Think about other authoritarian regimes of today and yesteryear -- in many, if not all, cases, one can probably discern a mainstay vestment category.

Consider the selections --
Hitler = khaki military uniform, schwaztika armband;
Kim Il Song/Kim Jong Il = grayish "workman's uniform" (plus spikey hair and fabulously outrageous sunglasses in the case of the son);
Mao = button up version of the same;
Hugo Chavez = red shirt and hat combo;
Amadinejad = "man of liesure" top-button-open dress shirt/casual jacket.

The list could go on to be sure.

The question then passes to why: Are these heads of state trying to "brand" their "revolutions"? Are they trying to encourage their cult-of-personality? Are they seeking to project an air of stability through attire? Is it to inspire confidence through visual identification?

DeTocque's guess is probably a combination of all of the above, plus a few more. If anyone decides to do a PhD dissertation on the topic, please pass on your conclusions...

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