Hu Jintao

When the annals of early 21st century geo-politics are written, in the section dealing with the rise of China, there ought to be a chapter on sartorial diplomacy. The sub-title would be obvious: outsiders, wear red! Read more

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).

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