Yangon, May 29 (IANS) At 66, Aun San Suu Kyi is not just an enduring inspiration for millions in Myanmar but also a style icon with her elegance and sheer simplicity.
The pro-democracy leader, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Tuesday, has been the picture of grace through her years of house arrest and personal tragedy – losing her husband to cancer and being unable to visit him while he was ailing.
A gentle smile, flowers tucked in her hair tied in a bun and dressed in the traditional blouse (anyi) and sarong (longyi) with just the slightest hint of makeup, the willowy Suu Kyi has aged little over the years.
The Irrawaddy magazine’s website recalled how the Suu Kyi fever first took root in the 1990s with Myanmarese women showing support to their icon by ordering their tailors to copy her clothes.
An “Aung San Suu Kyi-style front-fastening tunic” and a “Daw Suu-inspired neckline” were requests that were heard.
According to an estimate, just over half of Myanmar’s population of over 54 million are women.
Suu Kyi, who spent 15 out of 21 years under house arrest, reportedly received many gifts of clothes but mostly ordered fabrics from Yangon’s Scott Market, and designed the patterns herself.
On the day she was set free from house arrest in November 2010, she wore a light plum-coloured outfit. The pink-purple combination soon caught on.
Always in the public eye, the Nobel laureate who won the April 1 by-election campaign that her party swept, has been meeting a galaxy of world leaders who have been frequenting the country.
She has shown her openness for a rich variety of colours, and Myanmar’s many women have been quick to take tips from her impeccable style statement.