Friday, January 18, 2008

Fidel Castro

"It's the accessories that make a look" a Guardian article stated last year. Taken from their Best Dressed of 2007 list, it didn't refer to Sienna Miller's belt or Kate Moss' hat, but to the fashion sensibility of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. You might have sneered and coughed up your morning espresso, but - politics aside - Castro is one of the most stylish 80+ in the world. Could your dad get away with publicly appearing in a multicoloured tracksuit top, looking like something from a Andrew Davis shoot, or indeed, like Davis himself?

But it's not Castro's sportswear credentials I admire the most. Or his sneaky politics (rebelling against the regime only to become a dictator himself - what's that all about?) It's his ability to make an ordinary communist uniform - the olive green jacket and casual hat - look like a catwalk outfit. Add his black thick frames - worn in his heydays - and a cigar and you'll have an excellent 9-5 work uniform.

Like many left wing politicians, Castro favours khaki colours and uniforms of a minimalist cut. "I'm one of you, the people" it screams. Of course, we know that's not the case, but we're not here to condemn his politics but to celebrate a life in style and his 22nd place (out of 22 admittedly) on the Guardians list of last years most stylish celebs.

On a list that include Take That, Prince and Jennifer Aniston, Fidel is a welcome interruption among pop stars and Hollywood stars. The only politician and easily the oldest person on the list, he too have discovered the importance of a trademark look. In his case it's the beard, cigar and khaki uniform. The Guardian is right, it is the accessories that make a look.

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