Live Long and Prosper: Putin, Jinping, Obama Wearing Star Treck Uniforms
Monday, 10 November 2014


China on my mind? Not quite, as the annual photo shoot at the APEC summit steered away from severe Mao-style tunics. For this year's fashion parade, the traditional Chinese gowns had more of a business logic, Starship Enterprise-Spock feel to them.

The leaders seemed to have arranged it between themselves to play out a covert Comic-Con - putting most of the red suits and shining faces into the front row.

After all discussing the main economic and political issues, the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin had the chance to boldly go where few leaders have gone before.

Resistance was futile and they were all forced to become fashion victims for the next few hours. Dressing up in local attire has become a feature of the APEC summit. Last year it was held in Indonesia, before moving to Beijing for the 2014 edition.

The jackets were based on the "Mao tunics" once beloved by China's leaders. However, they were given a makeover, with the participants able to wear a brown, purple or green version.

The national costume tradition for APEC summits began when US President Bill Clinton handed out leather bomber jackets in Seattle in 1993. Since then, world leaders have worn attire ranging from ponchos in Peru, which were described as looking like potato sacks, to South Korean silk overcoats. 


The photo below speaks volumes of the strained relations between China and the US. Obama was demoted to the Wives club section, whereas Putin stood next to the Chinese president.


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