Why not budgie smugglers?
How unimaginative to line up the APEC visitors in brown coloured raincoats? It was a great photographic possibility to show up Australia's costumes such as budgie smugglers or board shorts.
Raincoats wash out APEC fashion parade By Madeleine Coorey
Agence France-Presse Last updated 11:51am (Mla time) 09/09/2007
SYDNEY--The oilskin coats worn by world leaders at a summit photo here may have been practical, but they failed to impress fashion critics, one saying it left them "looking like something washed up from an estuary." The bulky, all-weather Drizabone coats -- so-called because they keep you dry as a bone -- provided protection from the unusually inclement weather as 21 Asia Pacific leaders posed in Sydney for a group photoshoot.
Georgina Safe, fashion writer for The Australian, said the coats made the group standing on the forecourt of Sydney's Opera House look like "they blew into town for the Royal Easter Agricultural Show. They were probably appropriate for the weather but they were probably not a strong statement about Australian fashion," she told AFP. "All I saw was brown, which left them looking like something washed up from some kind of estuary."
The question of the APEC group photo costume had posed a particular problem for Australia which does not have a national dress.
Not for Australia the medieval silk tunics seen last year in Vietnam, the leather bomber jackets donned in Canada or the colorful assortment of shirts, blouses and ponchos worn over the years in Latin American countries.
Local media had been alive with suggestions the leaders could be dressed in khaki like the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin or the red and yellow of surf lifesavers.
The most touted, but least likely option for the grouping which includes three women, were the scant swimwear for men known as "budgie smugglers" which are an all-too familiar sight on Australian beaches.
Howard had only said the outfit would be "distinctly Australian" while his Treasurer Peter Costello predicted that it would be worn more than once and "compares well with batik shirts."
"We can expect to see them wearing them down the streets of Beijing, Washington and Jakarta in the years ahead."
Howard, a 68-year-old conservative who looks immaculate in a suit but tends to wear Australian rugby team jerseys or tracksuits on his daily morning walks, could have chosen something more personal, Melocco said.