Mubarak's Trial: A Pajama Party Parade

Published September 14th, 2011 - 09:36 GMT

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Image 1 of 8: First outing to court, August 3rd, facing charges of conspiring to kill protesters: Mubarak presents a dramatic site for Tahrir eyes: Wheeled into court on a stretcher bed, in a metal cage, he is fitted out in white pajamas, hospital gown and convalescent-like, a shadow of the Mubarak once-mighty, now pale and meek, as the patient-defendant..

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Image 1 of 8: Another hearing, another pair of PJs: Still on a trolley- entering and leaving the docks' metal defendants' cage, flanked by his two sons. On this second public trial appearance, August 15th, he tries for a smarter pajama- a grey jacket , like a robe, or outer garment, over the white night shirt; adding a little panache to the hospital whites.

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Image 1 of 8: His accused kids could not pull off any extra frills to their prison-jumpsuits. Not Guantanamo Orange, but the more drab and clinical white. The sons face corruption charges.

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Image 1 of 8: 3rd outing: He was trying for a stiffer collared navy-colored austere look that might embolden him or allow him more gravitas once again. Not quite the style he pulled off once-upon-a-time in those presidential days. See next...

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Image 1 of 8: Recalling his hey-day, dignified with a characteristic suave and neat style, it can't much 'suit' him to be so publicly exposed in his hour of vulnerability. Reduced to the characteristic 'training' or home- PJ wear as we've more recently seen him, it is easy to forget his elegance and refined choice clothes and settings.

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Image 1 of 8: Oh how the mighty do fall and land flat on their backs: Times have been better for Mubarak, as right now we're more likely to see him clad in this typical convict get-up, characteristic prison-striped uniform than in his former pin-'striped' signature-tailored suit-- See next...

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Image 1 of 8: From Savile Row to (desired verdict by some) Death Row?? Once, not so long ago, Mubarak mindful of his sartorial image to the 'fine-print', ordered his name stitched into the pinstripes of his suits. Signature bespoke suits, betray a dash of meglomania, given the cost in time and money for the intricate weaving required by the tailor.

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Image 1 of 8: Gaddafi gear: What will this man of theatrical costume be wearing on his next appearance, dare we suggest, captured or on trial? He might need to stock up on some 'training suits' or night dress, like his peers. On one point, we can be sure: that he will pull out all the stops to impress us. The exhibitionist in him will fight to the finish.

Since Mubarak's hospitalization and subsequent arrest, we have only seen images of him in the mode -- and gear-- of patient or prisoner.  A far cry from his heady prosperous days where he insisted on his tailored suits bearing his own stamp: a personal weave, emblazoned in his 'running stitched' name. A vanity outfit if ever there was one. Now, he is reduced to choices in colors of pajamas, as befits convalescence or penal clothing.

Mubarak's first appearance in court was memorable for the extraordinary images of the ousted dictator, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, commanded respect and instilled fear, being wheeled into court on a hospital 'trolley'.

After the first two trial rounds, 3rd August and 15th August, the decision was taken to ban further air time for the hearing sessions, broadcast live for the first two runs.  Instead, for the sake of the fair trial and public safety, the remainder of the trial would be conducted off camera. This was the case September 5th for the third hearing, whose proceedings were held off-camera.

But that didn't stop us getting a glimpse of the dictator's 'training' suit or patient/ prisoner 'gear'. We are left wondering, what next for Mubarak, an orange jumpsuit, a new line in hospital gowns, or maybe a horizontal monochrome striped outfit, popularized as prison-wear by Hollywood and cartoons.

The first outing of Mubarak for his court trial was quite sobering to see, but by the second and third hearings we had acclimatized to seeing the former President of Egypt in his night gear, doubling as patient and defendant-dock clothes. Instead, we were left wondering if he's had to supplement his wardrobe with pajamas to see him through the end of his public trial (now banned from the camera).

 

 

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