We all love to meet new First Ladies and get a sense of their style. However, many countries rarely give us a glimpse of their first ladies. Maybe it has more to do with culture than style. Has anyone ever seen Mrs. Putin? Of course, it is rumored that he is trading in his wife for a beautiful, younger one. Maybe this is why he has made a point of being photographed without a shirt, trying to show youth and virility. But, I digress.
The wife of China’s new president, Xi Jinping seems to be breaking with tradition. This beautiful lady, Peng Liyaun, is a popular singer, known throughout China. Does Carla Bruni-Sarkozy come to mind? The first lady’s nickname “The Peony Fairy,” has toned down her brightly colored gowns worn on stage to occasionally wearing military garb. And, she has given up her stage career. However, on the new leader’s first state visit to Russia, Peng Liyuan caused media buzz by wearing a stylish navy coat and stepping off the plane with her husband. She was even shown briefly arm-in-arm with the president – a rare display of affection among communist leaders.
She never stopped smiling on the official visit, attracting widespread attention in China’s version of Twitter. Just hours after pictures of Peng Liyaun wearing a navy coat were published, websites were offering the coat for sale at widely differing price points!
It seems that this new first lady’s style has made a hit with the Chinese people. Whether it is because she has been familiar to them for the last 25 years as a celebrity or whether they are tired of having first ladies stand in the background, the population seems to have embraced this lady’s style. “What elegance!” “What a beauty” were among the praises lauded by the press. Let’s hope this fairy doesn’t get her wings clipped!