First Lady of Fashion
As Washington, DC prepares for President Obama’s second inaugural celebration everyone’s starting to buzz about who the first lady might be wearing during the historic events. Since 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama has jump-started the careers of many little-known, independent fashion designers and has brilliantly mixed high and low fashion, so expectations are very high.
There’s also a growing interest regarding what role fashion will play post-inaugural. The feeling is that too much was made of the first lady’s fashion choices in the president’s first term and that it’s time for Michelle to step off the runway and tell us what she really thinks. Admittedly, I’ve wondered what Michelle’s opinions are on matters of the day, but I don’t think her style has been a hindrance to her success or substance as first lady. In fact, I feel that the first lady’s style has made her relatable and inspiring, especially to young women.
As New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn stated recently:
There is a modern element in Mrs. Obama’s understanding of her role as first lady that has been taken for granted, and that is a culture obsessed by celebrity and style. How much was she aware of that in 2008? It’s hard to know. She was proud to relate to young people, but did she realize that fashion magazines like Vogue had ceased being elitist bastions and were embracing new role models: athletes, pop stars, celebrity designers? In hindsight, her decision to shift from mom and busy professional to glamour figure was a brilliant one. It effectively protected her [from criticism].
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