Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Narciso Rodriguez

Michelle Obama chooses Narciso Rodriguez again


Undeterred by the stir caused by her red-and-black Narciso Rodriguez election night dress, Michelle Obama chose to wear a camel-and-black color-block coat and skirt by the New York designer for the "We Are One" concert in Washington on Sunday. The graphic style made her stand out against the marble edifice as she and Barack Obama descended the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. She looked strong, elegant and, above all, modern.

--Booth Moore

Photo: President-elect Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Secret Service code names -- a fashion bias?

Rage_secret Sister paper Chicago Tribune is reporting that the soon-to-be first family has received their Secret Service code names: The president-elect is "Renegade," Michelle Obama is "Renaissance," Malia is "Radiance," and Sasha is "Rosebud" (which may finally solve the ending of "Citizen Kane" after all these years...).

The Rage has always been a fan of this time-honored tradition because it gives us a lighthearted look at how the federal agency tasked with protecting our nation's leaders seems to perceive them. President Reagan was famously dubbed "Rawhide," for example, while President Carter was "Deacon." Our favorite, given President Kennedy''s oft-rumored amatory dalliances, was JFK's code name: "Lancer."

So Obama's moniker of "Renegade" seems appropriate enough, but does the first lady-elect's tag of "Renaissance" indicate a fashion commentary by the Secret Service? (As a rule, family members all have nicknames that start with the same letter.) Style watchers around the globe (including our own fashion critic) have noted that Michelle Obama's high-low style that includes Narciso Rodriguez dresses and J. Crew ensembles may be ushering in a new era of inside-the-Beltway style.

We can only guess the Secret Service secretly approves of her fashion sense -- after all, they could have dubbed her "Ready-to-Wear," right?

Photo: (From left) Malia, Michelle and Sasha Obama, on stage at the Democratic National Convention in August, have been bestowed the Secret Service code names Radiance, Renaissance and Rosebud, respectively. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times


Woman to woman: Diane English on Sarah Palin, single motherhood

Narciso Rodriguez staged a fashion show in the film "The Women," which opens this weekend, but he's been fairly low-pro when it comes to promoting the remake, starring Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan and Annette Bening among a bevy of other beauties.

None of them was in the audience at his real-life fashion show Tuesday night, but the film's director Diane English was in attendance. She said she'd been getting a lot of questions about Sarah Palin's teenage daughter being pregnant, because of the single mom storyline in her TV show "Murphy Brown," and the outrage it sparked among the GOP, specifically Dan Quayle, VP at the time.

"I'm very piquant about it," she said. "She and her family are posing for the cover of US Weekly, so I figure they are fair game. I just wish I still had my show."

Oh, the fun she could have.

-- Booth Moore


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