Global Fashion Stimulus Program.

The recent, high-profile G-20 summit in London left me feeling distinctly dissatisfied. While many lauded the American president for charming his peers and helping to smooth over differences between them with his well honed listening skills and his rock star smile, I was busy paying rapt attention to the goings-on, the IMPORTANT goings-on: The clothing choices made by the heads of state.


I have a beef with Barack Obama and the other leaders with whom he met (with the exception of German Chancellor Angela Merkel): You’ve gotta vary the colors of your ties and suits. Seriously. The outfits you wore were real yawners. They didn’t inspire anyone. They didn’t distract from what you were saying or amplify points you were laboring to make, which IS the point of high-powered wardrobes, isn’t it? Also, you folks should really consider giving some up-and-coming clothing and shoe designers a chance to flourish in the media spotlight by spicing things up a bit on the world stage. Consider it a global fashion stimulus program.


Judging by the saturation media coverage of the event, it was nothing but a sea of navy suits, white shirts and blue ties. Look at the group photo of the G-20 leaders. By my count, four people were wearing red ties, one yellow and the rest some form of blue, accompanied by dark colored clothing. Merkel distinguished herself in her red suit, but Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner blended in with the rest of the guys in gray. Couldn’t something have been done about the overall dreariness and the dark cloud-like signal the clothing sent?


Then there was THE fashion faux pas that left observers shaking their collective heads, a blunder that could have been avoided had presidential/prime ministerial staffers been on their game. How on earth could the Obama staffers have allowed the president to be photographed with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown while the two men were wearing what appeared to be nearly identical, royal blue neckties (both bearing some kind of diamond pattern), white shirts and navy blue suits? What were the staffers thinking? Clearly they weren’t. They should’ve made CERTAIN that the two men were wearing different colored ties, or at least ones with different patterns. It’s one thing for the leaders of the economic superpowers to dress blandly, it’s another for them to dress identically. Doesn’t their staff keep a spare tie on hand to avoid such fashion catastrophes? Doesn’t the image of the American and British leaders in the same clothing make a statement about a lack of originality?