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World leaders dress for business at Cop27 in Egypt – World Water Day

LONDON — There were no cuts in ties at Cop27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the UN climate summit due to take place there until November 18.

For the official group photo at Monday’s opening ceremony, political leaders and representatives from 190 countries posed in their best formal suits to discuss climate change adaptation, climate finance, decarbonisation, agriculture and biodiversity over the coming week. .

The somber picture is miles away from the more relaxed scene at the 48th G7 Summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; US President Joe Biden; Then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood on a plank in crisp white shirts with open collars and no ties in sight.

The affair was a short-lived breath of fresh air to the usual hustle and bustle of political uniforms.

At Cop27, we went back to business and formality, as most leaders opted for the classic and confident suit in black, navy and grey.

Featured at the summit were leaders from the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent who wore traditional costumes from their home countries.

the Crown Prince and Deputy Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah; Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa donned their gold-trimmed bisht.

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the Crown Prince and Deputy Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah; Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, and Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, donned their gold-trimmed bisht (a cape typically made of camel hair and wool). goat) worn with a keffiyeh and agal, the traditional scarf with the black cord attachment to keep it in place.

World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala wore a navy blue wax print top and skirt with matching gele, a traditional head tie.

“Overall, it feels stark, aloof and traditional, with the only force of personality or presence coming from leaders wearing more elaborate clothing,” said Peter Bevan, a London-based menswear stylist.

“It seems that the Western world is out of date, in stark contrast to those who are clearly proud of their culture.”

SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT - NOVEMBER 7: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the UNFCCC COP27 climate conference on November 7, 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.  The conference will bring together political leaders and representatives from 190 countries to discuss climate-related issues, including climate change adaptation, climate finance, decarbonization, agriculture and biodiversity.  The conference will take place from November 6 to 18.  (Photo by Steve Reigate-Pool/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wore a dusty pink double-breasted blazer with a pink T-shirt and a small beaded necklace. Her uniform of flashy blazers with black pants has been standard since the early 2000s, when she was part of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet.

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who made a U-turn in his decision to attend the summit, arrived at Sharm El Sheikh airport wearing a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up paired with navy blue trousers and brown Oxford shoes.

Sunak, who was better dressed than his predecessor, later donned a black suit with a patterned turquoise tie for the official photo. He has been a big supporter of British tailoring, eschewing Savile Row in favor of a discreet young tailor like Henry Herbert, who makes much of his suiting.

A few days earlier, Sunak was mingling with Stella McCartney during a reception hosted by King Charles at Buckingham Palace for Cop27.

“I think it is not the end of the tie and they are not dying. I hear from customers and people who are buying more ties now because they have always been something really beautiful that doesn’t cost too much money that you can collect and spice up your wardrobe,” said Dominic Sebag-Montefiore. , creative director of Edward Sexton.

The intention of buttoning up at Cop27 is a sartorial message from world leaders that they are aware of the current problems that surround us all, such as the cost of living crisis.

“We are currently in a state of crisis: the recovery from the pandemic, the rapid increase in energy and gas prices that is forcing some European countries to return to coal-based power generation, with some even facing food shortages, so leaders may be trying to send a strong message that they are serious about addressing the important issues at hand,” Bevan said.

Although fashion does not always take center stage at these summits, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment will present the Green Fashion program at the conference.

The show was created in 2018 by three young natives to address and raise awareness of ethical fashion practices in Egypt.

If political leaders walk away with anything on November 18, it should be the recognition that fashion is as much a part of the climate change conversation as oil and gas.

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