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July 10 2013

Petite histoire des costumes des chefs d'Etat : L'establishment anglais, Khadafi, Moubarak, Mao et…

Petite histoire des costumes des chefs d’Etat : L’establishment anglais, Khadafi, Moubarak, Mao et ses copains

via la liste de géographie critique :

Hillary Shaw de l’Harper Adams University se pose une question :

Ever noticed that most politicians on the TV screen seem to look exactly like each other. Same hairstyle, same clean-shaven look, and above all the same uniform suits. Almost all men’s suits are now in a narow range from dark grey to very dark grey to charcoal grey/black. (at least this is true in the UK, any other obesrvations from crit geoggers elsewhere welcome).

This is backed up by Google. Search under ’mens suits 2010’ and look at Images. Note the (lack of) colour variation. Then go back in ten year steps, 2000, 1990, 1980 etc The colour range expands noticeably with each decade back. The 2000 image shows paler grey, and 1990 you have some beige and blue too. 1980, 70, 60, each snapshot gives a wider range. You have to go back to 1920 or even 1910 to get a narrow colour range once more, and that’s probably due to the lack of colour photography for those times. But even then there was more style variation than now.

When we have a more diverse society (in many ways), when clothes have got cheaper so more styles should be accessible, why has the range narrowed so much? Has this style-narrowing occurred in countries where suits are not customary male business-wear (e.g. Iran, Saudi Arabia). And why, anyway, has the suit and tie (the former invented by a louche syphiltic called Beau Brummel, the latter popularised by a French dictator - Napoleon - who lived the Croat (Hravat) neckwear) become popular, not just in the West but across most of thwe world, including places where the climate is too hot, humid, so not ’suited’ (sorry) to the suit? Any fashion geographers (sure there are some) able to enlghten?

Adam Ramadan ajoute :

This is one of the less explored dimensions of the recent popular uprisings that have shaken the Arab world. One of the defining chants of the 2011 protests in Tahrir Square, for example, was ’the people demand dark grey suits’ - seemingly a direct response to President Mubarak’s overly liberal sartorial choices (check Google Images for Mubarak, and you’ll see a dizzying array of greys, browns and even his infamous ’Mubarak pinstripe’).

Similarly, Muammar Gaddafi’s eclectic wardrobe of military uniforms, Bedouin jalabiyas and African robes was a key driver
of the Libyan uprising. This popular rejection of his fashion tastes was driven home most forcefully during Gaddafi’s brutal death - it is notable that rebel fighters stripped off Gaddafi’s clothes as they sodomised him with bayonets, all the while chanting ’no more colourful suits’.

In light of all this, it’s no wonder political leaders everywhere are increasingly taking safer choices of greys, charcoals and blacks. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Marijn Nieuwenhuis de l’Université de Warwick conclut :

I remember reading about the infamous Mao suit (Zhongshan zhuang) and its current use in critical works of art in China. It is actually still in use by contemporary leaders :
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90785/6775781.html

#apparence #paillette #costumes #déguisement #marketing #image etc...

March 23 2010

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