The late Benazir Bhutto has been an icon ever since she took oath as the first female prime minister of Pakistan. However, she’s been cemented in history ever since her Madame Tussauds wax statue was modelled in 1989, originally kept in London but shifted and unveiled in Dubai on Sunday. Apart from her political achievements, she was known for two other things — her brain and her clothes.
We want to dive into her iconic green kameez-white dupatta look and explore how significant it truly is.
It’s a recreation of the outfit Benazir wore when she was sworn in for her first tenure as prime minister on December 2, 1988. This is the moment she made history, becoming the first female head-of-state of not just Pakistan but of any modern Muslim-majority country.
“[The statue] was presented to Benazir when it was displayed. She chose the style and costume with the artists at that time. We were happy that we could borrow a wax figure and have it here. It has been refreshed, and there is a lot of extra work done on the figure,” Sanaz Kollsrud, the general manager of Madame Tussauds in Dubai, told The Khaleej Times.
Her son, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, attended the event and unveiled the statue himself, talking about his memories of her in Dubai.
Shoulder pads were a defining element of both 80s fashion and, more importantly, Benazir Bhutto’s signature style. The biggest appeal of her style, however, was the use of vivid and bold colours and there’s no better example than her green silk kameez and matching shalwar. It was bold, powerful, appealed to the monochrome trend of the time — what’s not to love?
The outfit was created by designer Maheen Khan, who has opened up about it on multiple occasions, particularly on her Instagram. She has spoken about how the outfit came to be, how Benazir only insisted on high puffed sleeves and how the green silk kameez ended up being paired with a malmal white dupatta, reflecting the colours of the Pakistan flag.
The dupatta, worn in her iconic Benazir style, still exudes an air of elegance, as well as adding just a bit more personality to the already powerful look. Adding her signature kajal and red lipstick, this look is undoubtedly museum worthy.