Posts filed under ‘politics’

The Obama girls: influencing fashion


Rick Wilking/Reuters

When all the world is talking about politics, I want to talk fashion. But not Michelle Obama’s fashion (though her selection for the inauguration was bold, and also fantastic), but Sasha and Malia’s fashion for the inauguration. 

Unlike their Mother’s outfit, the girls remained bundled up for the inauguration in fantastic pea coats that were custom made for them by American retailer, J.Crew (one of my absolute personal favorites). 

The coats, which were spinoffs of coats available through J.Crew’s children’s line, Crew Cuts, mimicked the Obama campaign and mantra perfectly: American made, middle-class, but with a personal touch. 

I’m not one to openly sing high praise for political officials (at least not in writing) as politics are essentially synonymous with manipulation and deception and I hate being made a fool of; but from where I stand right now, the Obama’s have it down to a science– or at least their advisors do. 

For months, Women’s Wear Daily and various other political and fashion blogs, magazines, and news sources have been speculating which designers the Obama’s would wear on inauguration day. Sketches poured in from designers like Isaac Mizrahi to Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka and Christian Lacroix and so many more– it’s a designers dream. But Michelle Obama selected an American immigrant– Isabel Toledo– relatively unknown to the mainstream fashion world– and J.Crew– a classic, “Americana” brand. 

The decision to wear J.Crew (Michelle wore J.Crew gloves and heels– as opposed to a pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choo heels) decisively  grounds herself as “one of the girls” and instantly makes her more relatable.

In addition to this, by continuing to dress Malia and Sasha in conservative and age-appropriate clothing, Michelle and Barack are subconsciously reinstating positive images of conservative and educated young women in society– young women that don’t look like “Hannah Montana” and don’t have to use sex as an avenue for getting ahead in life. Though it seems like a little thing, by choosing to dress Sasha and Malia in more conservative (but appropriate) clothing they become age appropriate role models for young girls: something that this world needs. 

And it might be a reach, but maybe it all starts with a cute little pea coat.


January 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Let’s get a little political

Since it’s an election year and the candidates are on their best behavior (as far as fashion goes), it’s a great time to see what some of the women in politics are wearing. 

I’ll be honest and disclose my bias upfront: as far as politics, morals, and beliefs go, I’m not a fan of Palin. I’m also not a huge Obama supporter, and find myself more towards the middle rather than either extreme. However, I will say this. Palin is doing a number on political fashion, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. 

Sure, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein Condoleeza Rice, and Barbara Boxer are all known for their “power suits”– the nearly-tailored, expensive female versions of the male two-piece that are often mocked and used in political jokes. But Hillary, Diane, and Barbara typically don pants so they can “run with the big dogs” and, they do a damn good job of it. Sure, they sacrifice skirts and feminine touches for power, but hey, that’s alright with me as long as they’re good at what they’re elected to do: run their part of the country. 

But Palin’s a different story. A relative newbie to the political sphere, she not only touts extreme beliefs, but she takes her fashion to a different level. Sure, her suits consist of skirts and tend to be much more tailored and fashion forward than her female counterparts, but she also passively slaps feminism in the face. By wearing skirts to nearly every political function and speech, Palin gives in to something that many women fought long and hard for: the right to wear trousers. Sure, I think it’s great to show some leg every once in a while, but when you’re gunning for the job that puts you second from the top, sometimes it’s good to show a little less leg, and instead, show a little more logic. 

Maybe it’s the Republican way, but photos of good ‘ol Condi shoot that logic down. Sure, Condi also rocks the skirt more than Hillary, but she also wears the pants when it comes to business. Sure, she falls victim to the same fashion crimes as Hillary sometimes, but she also dresses appropriately for the situation and environment in which she is placed. Palin, on the other hand, wears four-inch patent leather stilettos to a two-hour long debate. (Yes, I liked them, yes, they “popped” like all shoes should with an outfit, but no, they totally were not appropriate for the situation and instead, just reiterated the fact that sometimes Palin mocks he institution (both politics and feminism) she represents, without even realizing it.) 

Yes, politicians like Clinton often find themselves on the “what not to wear” or “what was she thinking” pages of magazines for their safe and inherently un-sexy pantsuits, but their conservative attire begs the question of, at what point does fashion interfere with focus? I suppose the question is still open for debate– perhaps she’s being an extreme feminist by empowering women to break out of the pant suits and prove that women in skirts CAN have power; or maybe she’s being an anti-feminist and is trying to revert back to super conservative methods by wearing classically feminine pieces. Either way, I’ll agree– her fashion sense is pretty spot on, even if it isn’t appropriate for the situation.

October 9, 2008 at 5:12 am 2 comments

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