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G-20 fashion smackdown: Obama vs. Brown vs. Bruni-Sarkozy

Rage_g20 First Lady Michelle Obama took off for the G-20 Summit in London today wearing an ivory tulle tweed coat with black grosgrain piping made especially for her by young New York designer Thakoon Panichgul. It’s her first trip to Europe as first lady, and fashion enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the chic smackdown between Obama and her European counterparts.

Obama has already met Sarah Brown, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s wife, who brought first daughters Sasha and Malia a TopShop care package when she visited Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Brown scores points for extending a stylish olive branch. (TopShop opens its first U.S. store in New York City on Thursday.) But she doesn't offer much competition in the wardrobe department.

Despite being a cheerleader for London Fashion Week, Brown hasn’t tapped into the British scene’s extraordinary rising talents such as Richard Nicoll, Erdem Moralioglu and Giles Deacon for her own wardrobe. It's a shame, too, because London designers are in desperate need of exposure from someone other than Kate Moss. And though they may have a reputation for being edgy, they could surely be tamed for a chance to dress the British first lady. You only have to look to British designer John Galliano to know that.

At Christian Dior for 12 years now, Galliano has gone from rockabilly transvestite and geisha girl looks to sober luncheon suits after embracing French first lady and former model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as his muse over the last few seasons. And no doubt, when Bruni-Sarkozy meets Obama over the weekend, she will look impeccable, a tribute to her nation's haute couture heritage. But will she look interesting?

Even with the French first lady’s model pedigree and good looks, we’re still betting on Obama to steal the spousal wardrobe stage. Not one to wear watered-down versions of European fashions, a la Jacqueline Kennedy, Obama is likely to continue to take risks, choosing pieces from a roster of multi-cultural, up-and-coming American designers such as Panichgul, the Taiwan-born Jason Wu and the Cuban-born Isabel Toledo. By doing so, she’ll help put those new American names on the world fashion map, and no doubt give us all something to talk about in the process.


-- Booth Moore


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Photo: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama take off for the G-20 Summit in London. Credit: AP / Ron Edmonds

Comments () | Archives (8)

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It's 2009, can we get passed what the obsession with the First Lady's wardrobe? Because she actually has more to offer than this nonsense. Because we're going through several crises globally not the least of which is povery, so subjecting our top leaders to silly focus about clothes seems particularly shallow and insensitive.

And because this is one news angle that has gotten very old, very quickly.

Maybe we should put Michelle on front of that ticket?
You know that her incompetent husband won't still the show in front of that group!!!!

First we hear all about how Mr Obama likes to have his Wednesday night parties at the White House. And of course going on the Tonight Show. Now we're subjected to how well Ms Obama dresses. This "cool" factor is too much. I for one would like to hear less about the "cool" and more about what this so called President is doing to lead this nation. Being a pop star just don't cut it!

Michelle Obama looked horrible during her first meet with Brown and wife. The sparkly top worn mid day at a cancer center was inappropriate. What is with M.O. and the sparkles? Come on this is not Vegas or Miami Beach. Lose the sparkles. Also check the fit.....

Michelle Obama will always look horrible and hideous because she IS hideous, when are people finally going to understand? liberal medias please stop the brainwashing take off the liberal sunglasses she is NOT pretty

The only problem I find with Michele Obama's clothing choices, so far, is the cardigan thing. It's good for some occasions, but not all of them. They're just a little too informal for some occasions. And if she has to wear them, I would like to see her without them buttoned.

I have to say this after reading the first few comments. I don't know who you people are, but the hate that you posted has to come from a very dark and ugly place. This is just a blog about know...clothes, jewelry.

I agree with Brenda---trolls, keep your hate to yourselves. There's hard news and then there's soft news. I read both. If you can't bear to take a mental break from the hard news stories, and they're pretty hard these days, then don't click on the fashion and style stories.
Brenda: I like the cardigans, esp. the sparkly J. Crew, but likewise would prefer them unbuttoned. The dress she arrived in was gorgeous and has been my fave so far. Thought the black and white for meeting the Queen was a bit dowdy, but probably needed to be.

I cannot understand why all the fuss about Michelle Obama's fashion sense? Do you remember the "black widow" dress she wore when Obama was elected? I cringed.Now she is in Europe and she makes me cringe with most of her choices. Sometimes dowdy, sometimes downright clownish like that weird one sleeve plaid with a full skirt? What was that? Her choices make her towering and ungainly and the papers just fawn over her. Since when does anyone wear a cardigan to the Opera? What is going on? This is the First Lady of the US. Enough already with her "sense of style"


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