Oct 10, 2013
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Brunei Sultan leads Asia summit fashion parade

Oct 10, 2013

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 at the APEC fashion parade | Source: AFP

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 organisers 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 likened to potato sacks.

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