Every now and then, after stumbling across an article on fashion, I'll wonder, what if these were the scribes who wrote the final draft of history? How would our textbooks read? Where would the emphasis lie?
Attila looks stylishly equestrian in piped breeches with a gold breastplate and sandals to match. But with the always well turned out Attila, form follows function: the high-riding body armor allows for ease of movement as he pivots on his bay mare to let loose another volley at the enemies of fashion. And that cute rabbit fur hat keeps him toasty on those cold Teutonic nights! This Hun is the scourge of everybody who finds grunge acceptable!
Alexander's armored mini-skirt reveals a scandalous amount of leg, but who can blame him when he has such manly quadriceps? Ooh la la! And how jaunty he looks with that over-the-shoulder scarf tossed just so! They don't call him "The Great" for nothing! Even his horse is stylishly attired! And note Alex's haircut, short in front and long in back: wear a mullet and conquer the world! That's our Alex -- subduing the Balkans, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Persia, the Levant, Assyria, Babylonia, and India, all for the right to marry his boyfriend!
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, isn't shy about sporting fancy bling! That ermine cap (dyed red with the blood of his enemies) with pearl headband provides a perfect backdrop for the giant ruby set in a solid gold star, which emphasizes the prince's piercing gaze. If fashion were a car race, Vlad would definitely be sitting in the pole position! Note the fancy brooch holding together the finely textured cape: Count Dracula wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything less!
Tamerlane looks regal in his royal headdress with egret plume, and those spikes on his crown show that he means business! His blue tunic with the paisley/Islamic crescent motif and red lapels set off his flowery silk robe perfectly, while his white undergarment symbolizes the fact that even after all those bloody sieges, his soul is still pure. Think of that stern visage as yet another accessory: it just wouldn't be right to sack a city while looking sheepish!
Atahualpa had absolutely no choice but to bow before the superior fashion sense of Francisco Pizarro! The Incan must have been overwhelmed by the spiked helmet with the sumptuous feathers streaming behind, the royal blue shirt, and contrasting red sash. Long live conquistador chic! And check out the long sword and brown tights -- Francisco is one macho peach, you can't deny that!
Benito makes a bold statement in a cap with red braid and a beautiful gold-plated eagle. The bird matches his epaulets, buttons, and eagle on his arm, adding just the right touch of color coordination. The black shirt reflects Benito's point of view perfectly! And the hands of his German Leica sweep reliably around their axis, letting Il Duce know when it's time to get rid of those pesky limits to his power. Whether you're talking fascism or fashionism, Benito rules!
A true leader doesn't have to wear loud clothes that scream, look at me! Adolf's brown, double-pocket jacket exudes an understated, quiet authority which does far more for him than any loud zoot suit would. It's just enough to keep him warm on those cool Alpine evenings! Adolf's unique mustache shows that he is a fashion leader, not a follower. And while some fuhrers might be torn between wearing a swastika or iron cross, Adolf's final solution was pure genius: he sported both!
Political power may come from the barrel of a gun, but fashion power comes from timeless simplicity and austere elegance, and the buttoned up Mao Zedong embodied both! There is nary a wrinkle in sight, either on Mao's minimalist jacket or on his serene, youthful countenance. It may seem to come easy for the Chairman, but it's actually a long march to such revolutionary elegance.
No one -- but no one -- could rock a camouflage outfit and matching cap like Manuel Noriega! The man was equally at home in a jungle and behind a microphone! Señor Noriega may have been dogged by some nasty rumors about torturing and homosexually sodomizing his prisoners, but he also never forgot his friends: he helped Pablo Escobar export his product, and Fidel Castro export his revolution -- all while retaining his common touch!
The medals that Idi Amin wore, like the titles he bestowed upon himself, were all richly merited. One does not earn that kind of hardware by cannibalizing others' heroism! Even more impressive is the way Idi wore them: with understated good taste and a finely tuned sense of proportion. Amin's well cut uniform perfectly reflected his quiet refinement, proving yet again that high moral standards do go hand in hand with high sartorial standards.
If you have to think of one word to describe Saddam Hussein, it would probably be…..dapper. He looks as if he had practically been born in a homburg, with dark blue overcoat and suit to match! Even his tie, with subtle white dots, adds to his air of savoir faire. Those sheikhs in Kuwait, with their traditional dish dashes and keffiyehs, could never have hoped to be a match for this Beau Brummell! Let others learn from Saddam's example -- his every last accoutrement should be regarded as a weapon of mass instruction!
No man on earth could ever hope to outshine Muammar's breathtaking fashion range. Whether he is sporting a sky blue military ensemble, a wool-lined aviator jacket with Mongol hat, or a color-coordinated kepi with semi-traditional Arab robe, you can always pick Muammar out in a crowd! All those outfits must take some serious storage space though, and he probably uses his formidable all female Praetorian Guard to protect it. Woe to the man who does not let that locker be!
(The "answer key" to this post is located here; you can see how many references you got.)