Wear Indian outfits, more colours: Designers urge Michelle

By Rishabh P. Nair, IANS
Sunday, November 7, 2010

NEW DELHI - She has repeatedly been on the list of the world’s best dressed people and is known for her populist style, but First Lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe during her Indian visit so far lacks the Indian touch and the sparkle of colours, experts say.

The 46-year-old landed in Mumbai Saturday with her husband President Barack Obama as he began a four-day visit. Initially dressed in a formal steel grey buttoned top and matching skirt, Michelle followed this up with a a basic striped greenish top teamed up with a high-waist skirt during her visit to the Mumbai University. Both outfits have not gone down well with Indian designers.

“She could have worn something more colourful, something in keeping with the festive mood since it was the Diwali season, designer Kavita Bhartiya told IANS, but tempered this by adding: “What she wore was so simple and elegant… may be she just wanted to be official and correct.”

According to designer Rahul Jain, Michelle Obama “should have considered this was a very important festival time for Indians. She should have dressed accordingly for the festive season”.

“If it was up to me, I would have dressed her up in something Indian with a little embroidery. They say so much about India’s culture and heritage and one cannot dress more appropriately,” he added.

Often praised globally for her classic and confident look, Michelle Obama has been repeatedly featured on multiple magazines’ “10 of the World’s Best Dressed People” lists. Having become a trendsetter, in particular with her sleeveless dresses showcasing her toned arms, Michelle Obama has also been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy for her sense of style - and to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum.

Her favourite designers are Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Toledo, Narciso Rodriguez, Donna Ricco and Maria Pinto.

Designer Nida Mahmood also expected the First Lady to deck up in attire that had a hint of Indian tradition and with a lot of clours.

“Western sensibilities are different from ours - they usually dress in shades of black on such occasions… although we would all have liked to see her in clothes with an Indian flavour,” Mahmood noted.

“She carries whatever she wears very well. But I would have loved to see her in something more Indian, even it was a dress with an Indian print or a colourful scarf,” she added.

When Michelle Obama landed in Delhi Sunday, she was wearing a blue western dress.

“She’s a smart woman, she knows what to wear and what not to. Of course we were expecting to see her in something more Indian,” said designer Neeraj Chauhan.

“I’m sure she will wear a lot of bright and colourful clothes in the coming days but if it was up to me, I would love to dress her up in a sari,” he added.

Filed under: Fashion, Lifestyle

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