Designers ask Nepal’s politicians to have better dress sense

April 7th, 2008 - 11:55 am ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, April 7 (IANS) With all eyes on Nepal as it holds a historic election Thursday, the Himalayan nation’s designers are suggesting a dress makeover for their top politicians so that they can cut a more impressive figure. Two well-known Nepal designers - Shailaja Adhikari, who runs a fashion institute in Kathmandu, and Meher Bajracharya, who owns a flourishing boutique - are proposing that politicians revamp their wardrobe now.

With the Maoist guerrillas, who fought a savage 10-year war to overthrow Nepal’s royal dynasty, undergoing a sea change and now readying to fight the elections, the designer duo is suggesting a new look for Prachanda, the chief of the formerly banned party.

Prachanda, known by his trademark moustache, which once earned him the sexiest man in Nepal title from admirers in a magazine poll, should not let his hair down, the style maestros have advocated.

Coming under sniper fire for his growing girth, the Maoist supremo has been asked to trim his hair and moustache, wear more vibrant coloured shirts instead of the corporate whites and greys he customarily wears. The designers also suggest that he trade in his formal suits for the traditional daura-suruwal - tight trousers topped with a long shirt tied sideways.

Former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who made history in Nepal’s politics by being sacked by King Gyanendra twice but is still determined to occupy the top executive seat in future, has been asked to cut short his kurtas, if not speeches.

Deuba, known for his flair for doing the deuda, a traditional dance that involves some energetic hip-swinging, has been asked to smarten up the long kurtas he favours reaching below the knees by bringing them a little up.

The mighty Koirala himself, nearing mid-80s but still keen to become the first president of a republic Nepal, has been advised to look younger by donning western wear more frequently instead of the daura-suruwal that make his long legs look skinny.

One of the top seven leaders, who is also eyeing the post of prime minister, has been told what to do to attain greater heights.

The tip for the diminutive Madhav Kumar Nepal, who heads the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and is a former deputy premier, is to wear blue that compliments his complexion and wear shorter, vertically striped kurtas that will give the illusion of greater height.

Though politicians are known to be weather-wise, a maverick leader whose party will be making its debut in the April 10 election has been advised to follow the climate closely.

Upendra Yadav, chief of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, is being watched closely since he is regarded as the emerging force in the Terai plains that will challenge the supremacy of Koirala and Nepal.

The swarthy and corpulent Yadav, seen in public in suits, has been asked to switch over to the kurta, pyjamas and sleeveless jackets favoured by Indian politicians and a better option in the hot, sweltering plains.

However, the designers are silent about a key player in Nepal’s politics - King Gyanendra.

Generally seen in the traditional Nepali suit and cap, the king’s designs, it is felt, will become clear only after the election day is gone.

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