POWER DRESSING - KIM JUNG UN
LIL' KIM GETS UPGRADE. NOW WHAT TO WEAR?
North Korea's Kim Jong-Un was given the title Supreme Military Commander yesterday. Not only an interesting Boxing Day gift, but strong affirmation that he looks set to inherit the whole country by right of birth. Quite mental for a 28 year old, (an approximate age, as nothing is clear in North Korea).
As his country grieves/starves for 'Dear' Kim Jong-Il, who many believed was their salvation, newly installed Lil Kim', must be pondering not only his supper, but his future stance. He's the son who was given the directorial nod from Dad, after oldest male offspring Kim Jong-Nam got collared trying to slip into Tokyo to visit Disneyland with a couple of fit, young sorts. A look deemed quite bad for a future communist dictator. So, well covered Lil' Kim is The Man. Aside of the economic mess and the permanent military alert/deadlock, Lil' Kim Jong Un has got to develop his stylistic signature. He's not even claimed a convincing moniker yet. Paps was known as 'Dear', Grandpa, the founder of everything, Kim Il Sung, was called simply, 'The Great'. Maybe 'The Man' would work? Un's currently 'The Great Successor', but given his Dad's penchant for Parisian Fashion Doyenne-esque heavy framed sunglasses, perhaps he needs to come back with something a bit more fashion slanted and impactful. 'The Great Accessoriser' maybe? Then he could really set to work on this whole style thing.
Kim Jong Il made potent, style-driven wraps his thing, teamed with teased/lightly crimped hair. However he also combined a taste in important outerwear, such as C.P. Company touring cabans and field jackets. Note also shaved mink hat. Other occasions would see him champion directional Japanese designers, such as Yohji and Comme des Garcons, despite the two nations being sworn enemies. This underlined the importance Dear-Il placed upon style. See below.
Grandpa's deitific status allowed him to freely flit between traditional Western tailoring based stances and futuristic, highly directional styles of chukka boot, see below. These almond-toed nubuck and rubber contrivances went on to spawn a whole genre of smoothed around shu-boots in the region. Suits made from the Korean Republic's own freshly invented fabric, Vinylon were less successful however.
Back to the 'The Great Accessorisor' in waiting, if Kim-Un is gonna keep up his end on a sartorial front, and that he needs to do, his people in the Ministry for Dictators Chic need to get right on the case with the mood-boards. Currently this navy military thing is clean and smart and rigorous, but far from engaging. We've seen this look before, no? When they've stopped crying, his people are gonna want Now! not Mao. Right?
It's a shame the boy Un didn't get involved more with European luxury style while at school in Switzerland. There's still time. He's got a fine hair line, but I'm seeing a Homburg hat or similar teamed with statement bins (continuing tradition), perhaps power dressy bold black numbers by Oliver Goldsmith or some vintage Carreras. A key piece of custom jewellery might also be an interesting addition. Perhaps the stone stele of Great King Gwanggaeto could be a strong motif cast in gold with a discrete hammer and sickle? This could all work again a back drop of classic communist/Japanese tailoring fusion, (re-igniting a tradition). Maybe a change in colour palette would up the style quotient too? I'm seeing pale ice blues and rich wheaty, golds for summer. As China further embraces consumer culture, Lil' Kim is missing a massive trick here if he does not take the mantle and run with it. Look at Hu Jintao. He's properly letting his side down with that tobacco-sales rep based garb. Alpha-dictators lead the way by looking suitably mental. President Asssad for example is in a right state for not representing sufficiently on the style front. He's doing that whole 'middle-management meets Lord Percy from Black Adder face' thing, and it's getting him nowhere. Isn't it? Kim Jong Un has got to pull his finger out, get 'out there' and amongst it on a common consciousness level. Un, we're expecting something poignant from you. Otherwise what's the point in being a dictator? Don't be shy Un. It's your party, be fly if you want to.