Posted on August 11, 2011 by admin
I just read a fascinating book, Power Dressing by Robb Young. It covers women in politics, both past and present, around the globe. I had never seen a number of the women and knew very little about others. I want to share with you some of those I thought were the more interesting.
Of course there were those one would expect. Michelle Obama is commended for her habit of selecting unknown designers and helping them launch their careers. Sarah Palin was quoted as choosing Patagonia and North Face as her favorite designers. Hillary Clinton was pictured with six of the thirteen different hairstyles she wore while first lady. Just an aside, I do wish she would revisit some of them. Of course, we know the lovely Carla Bruni Sarkozy, first lady of France and Rania Al Abdullah, Queen Consort of Jordan. We also remember the classic style of Margaret Thatcher. Giorgio Armani praised Condoleezza Rice as having set the standard for others to follow in her choice of “quiet sophistication and elegance over showmanship”.
Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom brings a youthful charm to her position. She chooses not to wear suits but skillfully combines designer items with less expensive tops from Zara or H&M to show a fresh stylish presence. “She never looks like a politician’s wife,” states Lucy Yeomans, editor of Harper’s Bazaar UK while Christian Louboutin was quoted as saying, “She will definitely end up on the list of the most stylish first ladies.” Truly a breath of fresh air for England!
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is known for her boring pantsuits. They all have black slacks with varying shades of jackets, each exactly the same style. Her German designer Bettina Schoenbach’s brand motto is “Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.” Author Young commented that her style (or lack thereof) may be a political asset. The dull outfits for which she has become famous demonstrate her consistency and prudence, qualities valued in German politics. Karl Lagerfeld summed it up this way; “She should perhaps wear a little less color and find someone who can tailor better trousers for her.” It is obvious that this head of state has much more important things on which to focus that fashion!
Chantal Biya, First Lady of Cameroon, is probably the most flamboyant first lady in the world. “Known as Africa’s most glamorous first lady, she looks like a lioness. She could carry a few cubs in that mane anyway.” Booth Moore, Fashion Critic for the Los Angeles Times. Biya has a wardrobe to make any socialite wife jealous. One observer stated that she had never seen her wear the same dress twice. Not necessarily a positive image for the first lady of a very poor country. Couple her dramatic appearance with her larger than life personality, Biya manages to dominate any gathering of first ladies.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina could very well be the fashionista wife of a wealthy businessman instead of president. She is confident in how she expresses her beauty, keeping her thick hair long and wearing heavy makeup. She chooses local Argentenian designers along with famous names such as Armani and Gucci. Fernandez de Kirchner does not slavishly follow fashion trends but sticks with her sexy shirt-dresses with fuller skirts and brightly colored stilettos. Having been in politics since 1989, she decided to run for president in 2007 to succeed her husband who had brought the country back from the brink of financial ruin. Obviously, her provocative style does not take away from the confidence the electorate has in her.
Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, consort and wife of the Emir of Qatar, is possibly the most glamorous first ladies in the Middle East. Anything but a retiring first lady, she is very involved in many civic projects at home and abroad. At home she wear the traditional black kaftans with her hair fully covered. However, when traveling, she chooses beautiful long dresses with a turban, pushed back to expose about an inch of hairline. Susan Sabet, chief editor of Middle Eastern fashion magazine, Pashion was quoted, “She has risen above the rest of the Middle Eastern style icons. The way she covers her hair with the turban, the beautiful couture gowns and, above all, the way she carries herself never fails to remind me of the eternally beautiful Grace Kelly.”
Some of the more colorful prominent ladies I did not include were the porn star, elected to Italy’s Parliament a while back who continued her acting career during her government service. Then there was Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines who gained world-wide recognition for her extravagance including 3000 pair of shoes. And we need to mention Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom who could have been a candidate any day on What’s Not to Wear.
What does your style say about you? If you would like to discover your “signature style”, call us. That’s what we do! Then we guide you to build your own wardrobe to reflect the real you. Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527.