Dictator Chic

Originally posted May 19, 2010

People like to suggest things for me to write about. Usually the conversations go something like this:

Friend/incredibly twee topic suggester: “Hey you should write about that Nora Ephron play. It has something about clothing in the title.”

Me: “Um, no thanks. A hot poker to my left eye is a more likely scenario. But really, thank you for the idea. It’s so nice of you to suggest I tread lightly onto the shores of mediocrity. I’m sure I’ll be much more comfortable here in the emergency ward with this flaming piece of iron protruding from my eye socket.”

Then the other day, when my esteemed colleague and fellow wacky-glasses enthusiast J Brown sent me an email with a blog topic suggestion, I was prepared to be all smug and, “No thanks, J Brown, I am far too cool for everyone in the whole world.”

But you see, I forgot that me and J Brown are on the same page pretty much all of the time. Yep, old J Brown was on the money, baby! He suggested I write about Kim freaking Jong-il. And he didn’t even know I am mildly obsessed with Dear Leader.

So here we are—me, you and the littlest despot ever to don an olive drab leisure suit, some funky specs and a thinning Elvis pompadour. All I have to do now is try to figure out a way to work in a military-chic reference without seeming like a complete and utter hack.

Okay, here goes: Dear Leader charms his way into my fashion book each and every season. How, you ask? Well, first and foremost, a penchant for wearing fatigue-inspired duds even though he is not exactly active-duty worthy. How Christophe Decarnin of him. Flaunt the olive drab season after season, you little kook. Just like denim, that military chic will come back in style every few years or so.

The number two way Dear Leader hits my hit parade: eyewear that boggles the mind—and doesn’t look right on anyone other than grandmas and old-school rappers. Get a load of the sunglass version. They are like Korean Cazals. Those babies are minty fresh, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army! (The fourth largest standing army in the world, according to a quick Wiki search—not too shabby, KJI.)

And the number three way Dear Leader makes my heartstrings sing: picking a style and sticking with it. Just like Anna Wintour, her banged bob and her beige old-man sandals. KJI only varies his public look by throwing an equally drab parka and a jaunty fur hat on for outdoor sightings. Way to stick to your fashion guns, cupcake.

And the final way His Greatness continues to amaze: the cult of personality surrounding KJI includes the “fact” that Dear Leader once shot 11 holes in one during a round of golf, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. But when you consider that he did it wearing that khaki leisure suit, well, then it’s practically a miracle.


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