Oscar de la Renta, the designer who was for decades the bipartisan go-to man for first ladies from Nancy Reagan to Hillary Clinton to Laura Bush (he even made Jenna Bush’s wedding dress), but who has been somewhat sidelined during the Obama years, stepped back onto centre stage last night in Tampa — metaphorically speaking — thanks to Ann Romney, whose brilliant, very Republican red, belted dress came from the brand. It was a meaningful choice, alluding to Washington tradition as well as the LA-NY-DC financial/social nexus, for whom Mr De La Renta is a go-to name. And it put Mrs Romney in pretty stark opposition to Michelle Obama. Read more
In a week of big American political news, from Rick Santorum’s campaign “suspension” to the furore over a comment from a democratic strategist over Ann Romney’s stay-at-home Mom-dom, one piece of new has, at least on-line, almost trumped them all: the bombshell revelation, in a piece in American Elle, that Hillary Clinton’s staff is secretly horrified at her penchant for hair scrunchies. If anyone wants to debate whether or not appearance matters when it comes to politics, I think the viral reaction to this information, which was buried in a much longer, non-fashion profile, pretty much answers the question.
Hillary Clinton isn’t the only politician smart enough to let her clothes do the speaking: German chancellor Angela Merkel also demonstrated great fashion fluency when she wore strict, unrelenting, unforgiving, unapologetic black for her speech to the Bundestag. Things were tough, she said, and they were going to get tougher. She wasn’t going to lighten anything up — or distract from her message — by adding a pastel or a pattern to leaven her words. Read more
Hillary Clinton’s historic trip to Myanmar, which began on Wednesday and ends today, was an example of many things, from Obama-era outreach to real politik, but as far as I am concerned, it was also a primer on effective sartorial diplomacy. What lessons can we learn?
The rumours that Hillary Clinton wants to be the next president of the World Bank have now gone public thanks to Reuters, and though they’ve also been publicly denied by her camp, I can’t help keeping my fingers crossed. After all, if she did want/get the post, and Christine Lagarde does succeed in her quest to head the IMF, think what this will do to the image of bankers around the world!
I admit: at first, when I saw pictures of Michelle Obama at last night’s state dinner in her Alexander McQueen dress, I got excited. It marked her second english designer outfit in as many days during Hu Jintao’s state visit (she wore Roksanda Ilincic for their arrival), and seemed to suggest an end to the conventional use of dress in such occasions, which says the First Lady has to either fly the national flag and wear a local designer, or, if she wants to be rebellious, only go so far as to wear a designer from the country of her guest (ie, Naeem Khan to the India state dinner).
Last Saturday I wrote a column about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the way he dresses, looking at his decision to stick with the hoodie uniform even as he becomes part of the establishment, and ever since it was published letters have been pouring in, at least half of in his defense (even though, to be fair, I never criticized how he looks; I simply noted it). Read more
It seems that, just as the poltical pundits have become disillusioned with Barack Obama, the style set is over Michelle Obama.
Over the last few days I have become increasingly struck by what seems to me a serious shift in the US political weather – and no, I am not talking about the Tea Party (I think everyone else has talked enough about that). I’m talking about Hillary Clinton’s hair. Read more
For someone who likes to be seen as a white knight, moral and true, Tony Blair made a odd sartorial choice for the cover of his much ballyhooed-memoir, A Journey. Read more