Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Outshines Michelle Obama With Airport Outfit
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India began with a pair of style statements.
It was not Mr. Obama who sent a sartorial message, but his wife First Lady Michelle Obama and his host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Few men wear paisley as well as Mr. Modi who donned a saffron-colored shawl embroidered with the teardrop pattern when he greeted Mr. Obama on a windy winter morning at New Delhi’s Palam air force base.
Mr. Modi was not expected to meet Mr. Obama at the airport but changed his mind at the last moment, according to India’s foreign ministry.
Mr. Obama is on an official three-day visit to India where he will be chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade on Monday.
Mr. Modi paired his statement shawl with a cream-colored long shirt and sleeveless vest with a stiff Roman-collar, sometimes called the Modi vest. The final flourish was the saffron shawl.
This is not the first time the vibrant shawl has made an appearance. Mr. Modi wore it during his official visit to Nepal in May, pairing it with a saffron shirt during a prayer session at the Pashupatinath temple in the capital city of Katmandu.
Just as it stood out then, the shawl stands out now.
In photos from a drab Sunday at Palam airport, the bright shawl was the only splash of color on a grey and foggy morning that stood out drawing one’s eye to the host premier and away from the guests, in spite of the First Lady’s dress.
Never to shy away from color Mrs. Obama showcased the work of one of her favorite Indian-American designers, wearing a tailored dress and matching jacket, printed with splashes of black, white and blue–by Indian-born designer Bibhu Mohapatra.
Mr. Mohapatra’s office tweeted about the dress as soon as the first images of Mrs. Obama arriving in India appeared on television.