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Impeach her suit

Whatever she does, says, moves or shakes, a woman will always be noticed for her dress

Sulagana Biswas   |     |   Published 21.01.21, 01:02 AM

Amid the astounding events surrounding Donald Trump this month, one minor detail escaped neither Twitterverse nor television anchors. Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Suit.

As House Speaker Pelosi struck her gavel to announce Trump’s second impeachment, she was making history. But apparently, she was doing more. Her black dress with a high mandarin collar and a gold necklace gave many the feeling of déjà vu. Pelosi had worn the exact same dress to Trump’s first impeachment over a year ago. Her Impeachment Suit created almost enough noise as her voice.

Around the same time, Kamala Harris as Vice-President Elect appeared on the cover of American Vogue wearing a blazer and pants, and her trademark Chuck Taylor sneakers. Many were disappointed because the first American woman Vice-President didn’t look fancy enough.

It is 2021, and “what she wore” is still as important or maybe even more than “what she did”.

It’s the same everywhere. Recently, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, known for her outspoken rightwing views, went to Bandra police station in Mumbai to record her statement in a case related to sedition. She wore a see-through white sari and a tiny white blouse that had her fans on social media gushing on her “swag”. Again, her clothes did the talking, sedition charges be damned. Her fans also pointed out how, at the peak of the drugs probe in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, when Rhea Chakraborty and Deepika Padukone had to meet the cops, they came in white or pastel salwar kameezes, totally lacking Kangana’s sartorial oomph.

A few years ago, when a top actress rumoured to be heartbroken after her break-up with a married superstar came to Mumbai for a visit, people looked for telltale signs of grief in her “airport look”.

Many more years ago, a pretty girl in a short dress having an ice cream cone outside India Gate, her handsome husband in tow, was clicked by celebrity photographer Baldev. Years later, Sonia Gandhi would always be dressed in handspun saris as befitted her role as the leader of the UPA. Through her saris, the Italian-born Mrs G proved she was truly wedded to India and her inherited political legacy.       

Sometimes, women do use their clothes to turn the story around. Our very own Kareena Kapoor Khan, pregnant for the second time, is arguably the first Indian woman to make the baby bump a fashion statement like a boss as she flaunts dresses, gowns and ethnic wear on runways and magazine covers. And few women will forget that night of November 7, 2020, when Indian-origin Harris made her first address to America as Vice-President Elect. Her “I may be the first woman in this office, won’t be the last” speech became all the more iconic for her — you guessed it, suffragette white suit.

American judicial and gender rights icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last year, definitely knew to hand out jabs with her jabots. Think of her “dissent collar” that she wore most famously when Trump was elected President in 2016. (It ended up spawning a cottage industry of RBG dissent merchandise).

Come to think of it, canny Pelosi was using her suit as a statement, too.

Amid the astounding events surrounding Donald Trump this month, one minor detail escaped neither Twitterverse nor television anchors. Nancy Pelosi’s Impeachment Suit.

As House Speaker Pelosi struck her gavel to announce Trump’s second impeachment, she was making history. But apparently, she was doing more. Her black dress with a high mandarin collar and a gold necklace gave many the feeling of déjà vu. Pelosi had worn the exact same dress to Trump’s first impeachment over a year ago. Her Impeachment Suit created almost enough noise as her voice.

Around the same time, Kamala Harris as Vice-President Elect appeared on the cover of American Vogue wearing a blazer and pants, and her trademark Chuck Taylor sneakers. Many were disappointed because the first American woman Vice-President didn’t look fancy enough.

It is 2021, and “what she wore” is still as important or maybe even more than “what she did”.

It’s the same everywhere. Recently, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, known for her outspoken rightwing views, went to Bandra police station in Mumbai to record her statement in a case related to sedition. She wore a see-through white sari and a tiny white blouse that had her fans on social media gushing on her “swag”. Again, her clothes did the talking, sedition charges be damned. Her fans also pointed out how, at the peak of the drugs probe in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, when Rhea Chakraborty and Deepika Padukone had to meet the cops, they came in white or pastel salwar kameezes, totally lacking Kangana’s sartorial oomph.

A few years ago, when a top actress rumoured to be heartbroken after her break-up with a married superstar came to Mumbai for a visit, people looked for telltale signs of grief in her “airport look”.

Many more years ago, a pretty girl in a short dress having an ice cream cone outside India Gate, her handsome husband in tow, was clicked by celebrity photographer Baldev. Years later, Sonia Gandhi would always be dressed in handspun saris as befitted her role as the leader of the UPA. Through her saris, the Italian-born Mrs G proved she was truly wedded to India and her inherited political legacy.       

Sometimes, women do use their clothes to turn the story around. Our very own Kareena Kapoor Khan, pregnant for the second time, is arguably the first Indian woman to make the baby bump a fashion statement like a boss as she flaunts dresses, gowns and ethnic wear on runways and magazine covers. And few women will forget that night of November 7, 2020, when Indian-origin Harris made her first address to America as Vice-President Elect. Her “I may be the first woman in this office, won’t be the last” speech became all the more iconic for her — you guessed it, suffragette white suit.

American judicial and gender rights icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last year, definitely knew to hand out jabs with her jabots. Think of her “dissent collar” that she wore most famously when Trump was elected President in 2016. (It ended up spawning a cottage industry of RBG dissent merchandise).

Come to think of it, canny Pelosi was using her suit as a statement, too.

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