Obamarama – Fashionable Politics

Not since Jackie Kennedy-Onassis have we seen a stylishly clad First Lady make such an impression upon the fashion world. But now there is a new challenger who walks the halls of the White House. Kelly Jin talks about the fashionable phenomenon that is ‘FLOTUS’ or the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

As we draw closer to the glorious spectacle that is the conglomerate of September fashion weeks, designers and the rest of the crew prepare themselves for some couture crazy. Fashion greats are no doubt abuzz with the adrenaline that emanates from the mere mentioning of the word ‘September’; fashion greats including the House of Chanel, the House of Prada, the House of Dior and might I add the White House? Yes, you heard me – the White House.

Barack & Michelle Obama

Barack & Michelle Obama

The year 2008 brought us many things- the recession, the Beijing Olympics, Twitter, the return of Rickrolling and of course the first black President in US history. Considering the magnitude of the aforementioned events, it is easy to forget about what made 2008 truly stand out, that is, the advent of the Commander in Chic. Michelle Obama, or FLOTUS as former West Wing addicts and political pundits call her, is the new ‘It’ girl of Washington and since her arrival on the political arena, she’s drawn admirers of all shapes and sizes including the size zero fashion pack.

Michelle Obama in Jason WuIn fact, Michelle Obama has become a fashion patroness of sorts and has shown a penchant for taking young up-and-coming designers under her wing. She has given the likes of Jason Wu and Maria Pinto the Obama bump- a bump that both young fledgling designers and, according to Fox News, terrorists, could only dream of. For example, Michelle Obama dons a Jason Wu gown at the inauguration and bam! Wu is now practically a household name. Sure, he may not be in the same league as Galliano yet, but as long as the FLOTUS keeps baring her guns in his colourful sheaths, who knows where he may be in a couple years or so.

Michelle & Barack ObamaIt is safe to say that Michelle Obama has ushered in a new era of polichic. Gone are the days of women being confined to boxy pantsuits and school-marmy garb. Say hello to understated yet sexy tailored dresses coupled with the FLOTUS’ must have accessory- the belt. Michelle Obama is not one to shy away from bold hues and prints, frequently favouring such colours as canary yellow over pastel pink. Another part of the signature Michelle Obama look has been funky jewellery. Check out the megawatt necklace she wore at the National Governors Association Dinner. Of course, it helps to have a suave young president as your arm candy.

However, Michelle Obama is certainly not the only fashion savvy gal in ol’ Washy DC. The White House Social Secretary, Desirée Rogers, has become a fashion fixation with her chic cropped hair and daring, oh-so-fabulous wardrobe choices. Seated next to Nuclear Wintour below, she fits right into the fashion élite.

Anna & Desiree

Anna Wintour & Desirée Rogers

Of course, the American political scene is not alone in its possession of gorgeously dressed women. France has the eternally chic Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (although, I am hard pressed to think of an outfit which would make this woman look less than magnificent). Spain has Sonsoles Espinosa who is charismatic to boot and the Ukraine has the marvellous Yulia Tymoshenko, beloved for both her policies and her girlish plaits.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Sonsoles Espinosa

Sonsoles Espinosa

Yulia Tymoshenko

Yulia Tymoshenko

So there you have it. 2009 is rife with sassy ladies decked in couture and dripping with intelligence. The FLOTUS has set the politico-fashion scene with her striking ensembles while other fierce women light up the arena with their unique styles. Seeing all these sleek stylish ladies strut their stuff in the world of global politics reminds me of something Shakespeare once said, that is, that all the world’s a stage. Perhaps in the 1600s it was a stage but it’s 2009 now and from what I can see, all the world’s a runway.


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