Melis Alphan Hürriyet Daily News
As far as Kim was concerned, the world thought of him as a weird guy, including his clothes. In fact, Time magazine once chose him as one of the worst-dressed leaders of the world. When it comes to what Kim’s wardrobe consisted of, we cannot talk about much variety. AFP PhotoThere must be a curse over the fashionistas of the world’s political stage. After the loss of Libya’s eccentric leader Gadhafi, North Koreans’ “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il has passed away, too.
We can only call him a fashionista in an ironic way, though.
It was never the fashion authorities of the West who thought he was a fashion icon; only his people thought so.
Last year in April, the Communist Party-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported that Kim’s style had set the fashion world on fire and we should all be ready to see the “mini-mes” of their leader around the world. There was even a quote by an un-named French stylist who had witnessed a wave of Kim style all over. “Kim Jong-il mode, which is now spreading expeditiously worldwide, is something unprecedented in the world’s history,” said the supposed French stylist.
The article went on to say:
“The reason is that the august image of the Great General, who is always wearing the modest suit while working, leaves a deep impression on people’s minds in the world... People around the world are attracted to and following not only the jacket our Great Leader is wearing, but also his attitude, facial expressions, hand gestures, and even his handwriting… To sum it up, this is because his image as a great man is so outstanding.”
The article concluded that the Dear Leader’s humble jacket was considered “the most valuable and noble item to have.”
Well, this was all a big joke to the rest of the world.
As far as Kim was concerned, the world thought of him as a weird guy, including his clothes. In fact, Time magazine once chose him as one of the worst-dressed leaders of the world.
When it comes to what Kim’s wardrobe consisted of, we cannot talk about much variety.
He was mostly seen in boxy and oversized zipped-up tunics and matching trousers, usually in khaki or blue-grey. This suit was a version that replaced the trademark Mao five buttons with a zipper down the front. He even wore this suit when receiving foreign dignitaries. He also wore a bulletproof vest under his tunic.
When he was not wearing his tunic suit, he sported a shapeless classic grey anorak with cargo-style pockets and violet trimming. His matching gloves and faux fur ushanka hat completed the look.
His elevator shoes were a trademark, too. He obviously did not wear his 160 cm height with pride, so he had 6 inch platform shoes custom made. He was said to have worn heels, or shoes with thick insoles, from a young age.
After he had a stroke he was seen in public in sneakers instead of high heels. His bad health conditions must have led him to wear more comfortable shoes.
We cannot pass without mentioning his bouffant hair and Kanye West-sized sunglasses. He hated the United States very much, but that was no drawback for him to own many Hollywood DVDs and a hip-hop star’s sunglasses.
That Kim was something. God rest his soul.