BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei – Asia-Pacific leaders have staged their second summit fashion parade in just days following the recent revival of the tradition on the international diplomatic scene.
Leaders from the Asia-Pacific as well as the US and Russia posed for the cameras late Wednesday in shimmering shirts made from hand-woven fabric “meticulously designed” by the office of the Sultan of Brunei, the host of this year’s East Asia Summit.
Each shirt had a unique pattern enhanced by a traditional flower motif woven into the cloth, the organizers said in a statement Thursday.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — one of the world’s wealthiest men — wore a stylish olive shirt as he greeted his guests for a gala dinner in the oil-rich state.
US Secretary of State John Kerry — filling in for an absent President Barack Obama — sported blue while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang turned out in cerise.
It comes just days after a guitar-strumming Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led a stylish parade of leaders in Balinese-designed shirts at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia.
The APEC fashion show — which had last been staged in Singapore in 2009 — has seen its share of fashion disasters, sometimes leaving leaders looking grim-faced at group photos.
President Bill Clinton started the tradition in 1993, handing out leather bomber jackets in Seattle.
Blue-and-gold South Korean silk overcoats called durumagi were the bold choice in Busan in 2005.
The next year, then-US president George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin were required to don flowing silk ao dai tunics in Hanoi.
Peru topped that with brown ponchos which unkind fashionistas