Double vision

Recent coverage of the debt negotiations between the newly appointed Greece´s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and members of the European political elite has focused, among other things, on Varoufakis´ fashion style. While in London, the economic professor wore a bright blue untucked shirt and an oversized leather coat; this fashion choice seemed the result of lost luggage at Heathrow rather than a planned sartorial statement. Indeed, Varoufakis is seen dressed a bit more conservative during his Rome visit.

Comments on his attire are quite benevolent: the Telegraph praises Varoufakis´s ability to stay true to his beliefs by not conforming to the “politicians´style”. Indeed, it is one of Tsipras´ promises not to wear a tie before the Greek debt has been written off. Similarly, Italian political commentator Gad Lerner defines him extra-cool for his ability to stand up against the European Central Bank/Union/FMI and because of his great style.

What would we say to Angela Merkel going to a financial meeting dressed less than formally? How did the press react to Hillary Clinton at a news conference in Bangladesh without wearing make up and sporting glasses? From past experience and some guessing, I would imagine that neither Merkel or Clinton would have been greeted with the same appreciation.