POTUS, LOTUS and R-Day Fashion

Michelle Obama’s India Wardrobe is Petal-Strewn:

Of the many reasons there are to admire Michelle Obama, her seemingly effortless resistance to jet lag has got to be one of them.  It was a parade of floral for the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama who visited India alongside her husband Barack Obama for a three day trip to India, on the occasion of the nation’s 66th Republic Day celebrations.

There is no denying that Michelle Obama has got a groundbreaking style. From colorful cardigans to her arm-baring dresses, the First lady has donned them all. She’s got a killer wardrobe stocked with all the best designer ensembles. So this time around we were eagerly waiting, and definitely delighted to find that she had fun with fashion during her stay in India.

Michelle collage 3

She descended the Air Force One wearing an Indian-born designer Bibhu Mohapatra’s exotic ensemble. It was a floral knee-length dress with a matching coat, paired with black kitten heels. For the state dinner on January 25, Michelle looked stunning wearing a stark navy blue cocktail dress with red and white flowers.

The only non-floral outfit that she wore was at the Republic Day parade which was a black overcoat that she teamed with a red scarf. Later in the day, for the tea party hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Michelle Obama chose a beige A-line floral dress that had purple flowers printed all over it. Cinched at the waist she wore it with a matching cropped jacket.


On the third day, the First Lady of United States continued dressing in her signature-style – printed knee-length dresses. She arrived at Siri Fort for the Town Hall address in a black knee-length fitted dress in black with prints of white and light pink flowers.  A wide black leather belt accentuated her waist. We love how she is playing with color and pattern, something commonly found among Indian designs.

The First lady of US Michelle Obama was also gifted a beautiful handloom saree from the famous city of Varanasi (Kashi) during her visit to India. We are always impressed over how many amazing looks FLOTUS can cram into such a short trip, and can’t wait to see what she pops up in next.

The Opulent style sense of POTUS:

U.S. first lady joins President Obama to greet the crowd at the conclusion of his speech at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi

President Obama has, predictably, stuck to a wardrobe of dark suits with his ties adding the missing color to his dress code while visiting India. As he started his speech, Obama said, “We feel your friendship, ‘dosti’ and I am deeply honoured.”

He recalled a headline back home which asked who is the new fashion icon other than Michelle Obama and visibly showed his interest for the Indian attire by saying “I was thinking of wearing a Modi kurta myself.” He even appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he is tough and has a style, at his address at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The suit NaMo wore had something to say: His name

When it came to fashion, Michelle Obama seemed to fall short compared with Modi’s extremely tailored look. How was she to compete with Modi’s navy bandhgala suit that had his name embroidered on it a thousand times?


The Indian suit that he wore during bilateral talks with Obama at Hyderabad House on Sunday looked from afar to be navy blue with wide gold stripes. But it conveyed a message. The stripes were actually embroidered letters that spelled out his name –Narendra Damodardas Modi. It wasn’t clear if his trusted label, Ahmedabad-based Jade Blue, was behind the design or Mumbai-based designer Troy Costa, famous for designing Modi’s ensemble for his US visit last year.

Modi has made a number of bold sartorial choices during Obama’s visit. When he met the president at the airport – a break from tradition – Modi was clad in his signature kurta a cream-colored outfit with a bright orange shawl with paisley at the ends draped over his shoulder. He donned a colorful turban to Monday’s Republic Day parade. The turban went with Modi’s personality and reflected the fact he is grounded and rooted in tradition. He wore another orange piece at the India-U.S. CEO forum later that day – what appeared to be a vest with a neutral shirt underneath.


Modi has long been known for his flair for fashion, especially his bespoke collection of sleeveless jackets and “Modified” versions of a kurta with short sleeves. His fashion sense was even noticed by the US President who called 64-year-old Modi a style icon at the dinner banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan. A Wall Street Journal article declared Modi the clear winner in terms of fashion: Narendra Modi Outshines Michelle Obama With Airport Outfit”.

In a funny take on Modi’s outfit, Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs. Funny bones wrote on her blog with the title ‘Scribbles on a monogram’: “….our Prime Minister was ready to welcome Obama again at Hyderabad House in a rather dashing pinstriped suit. Err…On close inspection, it was not stripes after all but a radical interpretation of wearing a nametag. Milord, in defense of our beloved Mr Modi, I would like to say that if people can carry bags with LV and GG written on them then why must our Prime Minister be lampooned for proudly flaunting his own name? Marketing mavericks please take note; this is how a product should be branded for immediate recognition.”



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