A Paper in ‘ Academia.Edu* ( The Half Naked Fakir),got my attention along with yesterday’s screaming Cannes’-glaring-red-carpet -2013-indian-WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY WEARING ? flavour-
Much as I love our silver screen darlings, am thinking of what Heroes and Heroines in Media’s glare really want : Global Attention. Gandhiji earned it when he shrugged at dress code and walked into Sir Churchill‘s Dinner in a dhoti. He did more than that, as a result. How did he pull that one off ?
Just say am invited to Cannes or the Grammys’ (sigh) and walked in, in rural Indian gear, Khadi and barefeet… ! Not all of us can get much good with a provoke like that, but if I had the Presence of our National Champs, from Sports persona, to Actors, Politicians, Writers… yes I would. Esp if it could inspire the next Oscar winner.
*THE HALF-NAKED FAKIR
Winston Churchill disparagingly referred to Mohandas Gandhi as the ‘half-naked fakir’. Gandhi regarded the expression as a compliment. He felt unworthy of being called “a fakir and that (too) naked – a more difficult task.” He then implored Churchill: “[T]rust and use me for the sake of your people and mine and through them those of the world.”
A recent collection of visual images from around the world reveals Gandhi’s impact on popular culture as ‘the conscience of humanity’. But it also demonstrates how globally identifiable the man in the dhoti is…
Gandhi’s journey towards sartorial integrity :
By ‘integrity’ is meant the quality of wholeness, completeness, moral soundness, honesty, genuineness, freedom from corrupting motives;
‘sartorial integrity’ : a state in which one’s moral well-being affects the way one dresses and presents oneself to others. It is a state of perfect symmetry between one’s identity and appearance, between one’s substance and form. To be a sartorially integrated person means to reflect the honesty of character through the dignity of bodily decorum in the face of all costs, difficulties, and imperative urges.
It is common knowledge that clothing is an important way through which one’s personality is communicated. Yet, how does dress add credibility to the wearer? To an external observer, sartorial consistency with the values one lives by can only be measured holistically, that is, within the broader framework of other verbal and nonverbal signals. The quality of ‘completeness’ is natural to a well integrated life and a strong indication of its credibility. In the presence of sartorially integrated individuals one is aware of their genuineness, that they are not merely playing a role or dressing solely to impress.
For most of us, attire is a given datum, a product of our culture and context. We usually follow the status quo or the dominant trends in fashion promoted by our peers and associates. Gandhi, too, began his clothing experiments in similar circumstances. But he gradually evolved, thanks to his habitual soul-searching in pursuit of deeper significance. He interpreted and reinterpreted the personal and social meanings of his sartorial identity through nearly sixty years of his life: from a shy and impressionable adolescent eager to imitate the English dress code, he learned to discover his Indian identity and its implications amidst the rabid racism… he dared to choose the poor man’s dress (khadi, dhoti…) as a statement ….
- Cannes Film Festival 2013:
Weekend highlights (myfashionlife.com)
- LESS IS MORE photos/cannes-2013-indian-flavour-
- Mahatma Gandhi’s last will and testament and the iconic sandals he wore in the 1920s sell at auction (dailymail.co.uk)
- Cannes 2013: ‘Bling Ring’ women shine with sartorial diversity (examiner.com)
- Eva Langoria has a Wardrobe Malfunction at the Cannes Film Festival (worldsannakhan.com)