Dictators are a peculiar bunch, and Gaddafi’s peculiarity was fashion. He started on the safe side to be sure, but that’s not uncommon among absolute rulers.
Gadhafi and friends.
Hard to tell, but I’m pretty sure he’s already wearing eyeliner.
The old drag queen was notorious for aging poorly. Here is an account of one plastic surgery that’s just too entertaining to pass:
It was well past midnight when the Brazilian surgeon says he was escorted deep inside a bunker in the Libyan capital.
His assignment: to shave years off Moammar Gadhafi’s appearance by removing fat from his belly and injecting it into his wrinkled face. The Libyan leader also got hair plugs.
“He told me that he had been in power for 25 years at that time, and that he did not want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man,” Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro recalled. “I recommended a facelift, but he refused.”
The secretive four-hour procedure in 1995 was done, at Gadhafi’s insistence, with local anesthesia because he wanted to remain alert. Midway through, the Libyan leader stopped to have a hamburger.
Gadhafi was worried a facelift would be too noticeable, so he opted for the less radical procedure, the plastic surgeon told The Associated Press.
“I warned Gadhafi that the effects of the operation I performed would last for about five years, that it had an expiration date after which the skin would sag and the wrinkles would reappear,” Ribeiro said.
“He said he would call me if he needed me to come back,” and about five years ago there was such a request, but Ribeiro had a family obligation. “They never called me again,” he said.
At the time of the surgery, Gadhafi was 53, but Ribeiro said he looked at least 10 years older. A photo taken at the time shows the smiling doctor posing next to the Libyan leader, who wore a white suit, floral shirt and had pronounced wrinkles crisscrossing his face and neck.
After the procedure, “he looked like a 45-year-old man,” the doctor said.
Ribeiro insists he is speaking out now only to provide insight into a man about whom little is known, and certainly not to boast.
“Gadhafi is not looking very good these days,” said Ribeiro, noting that the 68-year-old leader has appeared jowly in recent appearances, his skin puffy, loose and deeply creased. “To let potential patients know that I operated on him would be counterproductive.”
One suspects the colonel wore his trademark sunglasses to hide the hot mess around his eyes.
If not a facelift, he should have had lip augmentation.
The photo above was snapped in Belarus where Gadhafi visited his fellow dictator Alexander Lukashenko. In nearby Russia he looked decidedly Biblical with his earth-toned robes.
With Russian shadow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
A pop of royal purple donned for a hand-in-hand walk with Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. Note Mubarak’s tie. Ties are never worn by Islamists who consider them too Western.
East meets West... or something. The bodyguard on the left is a bit hefty.
You think it was easy to be Gaddafi, but it wasn’t, it’s really wasn’t. The robes have to fit just right, and require multiple adjustment, sometimes on the UN podium.
Careful there: Make sure the folds don't cover the map of Africa pin.
Speaking of accessories, the feather-like object of unidentifiable purpose, the gold-trimmed cap, the map of Africa; it’s all there:
Oh, and the robe is is looking like it's made of a costly fabric. Living high!
Gaddafi’s style is the kind that elevates the onlooker, that makes him think. Consider this curious juxtaposition of hippie tie dye and national flags. What is the message here: World without borders or nationalism?
And what do we make out of the checkered hat? Very intellectual, he.
Well, hippies are not opposed to third world nationalisms, no matter how murderous, so perhaps there is no contradiction. But just when it’s decided that Gaddafi was a die hard African patriot, he turns out to be a multiculturalist. Here he is, channeling Rasputin, but in a slightly more disheveled than the Mad Monk, with a goatee, and, for some reason, on his trip to France:
This hat with a pair of designer sunglasses, what do you think?
In wearable art department we have this marshal caftan, worn in Italy, accessorized with a picture of a Libyan nationalist fighter of some sort captured and killed by his Italian colonial masters. Dissertation idea alert: Sartorial expressions of temporal and spacial reality of post-colonialism in pre-liberation Libya. If the last sentence doesn’t sound like English — well, it’s not.
Sharp! I'm sure this outfit was duly admired at Trinity United.
The high end upholstery look below could serve as inspiration to the oddly monochromatic Restoration Hardware.
Way more fashion forward than the guard.
And who do you like better, the gentlemen who can blend with the curtains or alleged “Palestinian students”, presumably female, caught protesting Gaddafi a few months ago?
How quickly they forget...
Although occasionally his outfits did seem a bit over-designed,
Knots, and shreds, and stripes -- oh my!
this fashionista knew how to strike the right chord with an elegant white suite, accessorized with a simple black map of Africa (what else?) and a sheer shroud, also black. He could model it, too. In the photo below, Moammar’s picture-perfect absolutist hand wave reveals the see-through nature of the fabric.
Sharing the stage with Barack and Ban.
And oh boy, could he to rock a dress-down look!
Olive military shirt with a green map of Africa and a simple gray shawl -- in case it gets chilly in the late pm hours. All that against some sort of desert hippie background and, of course, spotting a pair of styling shades.
I originally thought about doing a different pick-me-up, but there was only one Colonel Gaddafi, and the occasion of his all too timely death should deserves a fashion special.
While the tyrant sat in his hole in North Africa, Russian hipsters, most likely of National-Bolshevik extract, held several rallies in his support. This young participant holds a poster proclaiming “Peace to the world!” and “Oil to the people!” (could be translated as “Oil to the nation!”) “Peace to the world!” was the slogan plastered on every other tall building in the late Soviet days, probably because Soviet Union never invaded its neighbors or or displaced nations. “Oil to the people” is reminiscent of Lenin’s “Bread to the workers, land to the peasants, peace to the nations!”
I wear my sunglasses in the rain: The fact that he got the right color umbrella (Libyan green) would fill the late colonel's heart with pride.