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Dictators of Fashion

There seems to be a common trend with the world’s enigmatic tyrants of nations: they all take eccentric liberties with their sense of fashion because, you know, if you take the piss out of them, you’ll disappear faster than last year’s megging trend.

When not dictating humans they dictate fashion. They police the state, and they are the fashion police. We’ve rounded up the hottest fascist bachelors because it’s not just skeletons hiding in these guys’ closets...

HOSNY MUBARAK: Mubarak ruled over Egypt for 30 years, with his ego growing bigger than his bank account, enforcing posters of himself in every nook and cranny of Egypt’s streets. Taking “you are what you wear” to a whole new level, Mubarak famously wore suits with pinstripes that spelt out his own name…

FRANCOIS DUVALIER: President For Life, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier was dictator of Haiti from 1957-1971. We’d like to think of him as the hipster - or ‘blipster’ - if you will of dictators. Look at those large, round-framed glasses, bow-tie and look of insouciance. Papa Doc? How about Papa Doc Maartens? If his fashion style isn’t alternative enough for you, just look at his ruling style: he once ordered the death of all black dogs in Haiti, thinking interim president Clement Barbot turned into one after an attempted coup. He also claimed that he controlled Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot JFK with voodoo…

MOBUTU SESE SOKO: Mobutu was the president of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo). It can’t be a coincidence that eccentric fashion mogul from the movie Zoolander was called Mugatu… He once banned all leopard print hats from Zaire, except his own. If that’s not dedication to having your own style, we don’t know what is…

ROBERT MUGABE: Everyone knows this summer’s hottest trend is monochrome, but Robert Mugabe is a step ahead the game, rocking homogeneous outfits for years now. His style is as one directional as his land reform policies…

MUAMMAR GADAFFI: The deceased dictator of Libya is arguably the Lagerfeld of authoritarians, cultivating an infamous collection of bizarre ensembles, from Islamic dress with designer sunglasses to army tops boasting images of fellow Arab nationalists. You might ask why Gaddafi dressed in head-to-toe purple for the closing session of an African leaders' summit in Khartoum, 2006, but the more relevant inquiry is, why didn't he go velvet? Talk about sodomising fashion (Sorry)!

SAPARMURMAT NIYAZOV: Niyazov was the President for Life of Turkmenistan from 1990-2006, and is most famous for naming months and days of the week after himself… He once banned gold teeth, probably because they don’t go well with anything. When not slaughtering his own citizens, Niyazov liked to wear mops on his head and Superman capes. We think they’ll definitely be in fashion this Türkmenbaşy (The new name for January which means “The Leader of Turkmen).

KIM JONG IL: Recently deceased, Kim Jong-Il ruled North Korea from 1998. Kim travels with his “Pleasure Squad,” a group of beautiful women. Kim is praised as the “Creator of the Universe,” along with his father. Kim is praised as having had a supernatural birth, and claims that North Korea is the most democratic, free, and respected nation on earth. He claims that he invented the hamburger and that he is the greatest golfer in history. School children are taught that he never defecates, and he had two South Korean directors kidnapped to kick-start North Korea’s film industry by forcing them to make a remake of Godzilla, only Communist. We like a man who takes risks! Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for his fashion sense but that’s not to his determent. Choosing to stick to a conservative, deconstructed look for most occasions it’s no wonder why The Onion voted for him as ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ (North Korea actually took this story to be true, not understanding that The Onion is a satirical publication)!

Vlad III: Fashion fades but style is eternal… as Vladimir’s life apparently. He is famous for being the first ever vampire AKA Dracula, and lived in Romania between 1421 and 1476. He was post-humously dubbed ‘Vlad The Impaler’ and his preferred method of executing people was to leave them to die slowly impaled on steaks. His macabre style has been immortalised in an infinite number of Hollywood productions…

 

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