The 'Desperate Housewife' look comes to Washington
The presidential race may only just have come to an end, but the battle for fashion supremacy was sewn up months ago. Step forward Michelle Obama, who has wowed the fashion world with her sophisticated take on political dressing.
The look of America's first ladies has been reminiscent of the uptight Bree from Desperate Housewives – think boxy, coloured trouser and skirt suits, often in shantung silk. Nancy Reagan pioneered the neat skirt suit and Laura Bush followed her lead. Their look was a conflicting mix of submissive 1950s Stepford wife in pussy-bow blouse and 1980s businesswoman in shoulder-padded suit. But Mrs Obama has found a more modern way to dress that expresses her femininity.
One of her favourite silhouettes over the campaign has been the fitted sheath dress. She wore a purple version by Chicago-based designer Maria Pinto when her husband claimed the Democratic nomination, and a turquoise V-neck style by the same designer to the Democratic Convention.
In contrast to Laura Bush and her one-time rival Cindy McCain, Mrs Obama is au fait with many younger, more fashion-conscious labels like Thakoon and Azzedine Alaïa. Michelle chooses sophisticated jewel colours, while Cindy opted for garish shades that were intended to be gung ho and uplifting but were actually deeply unsettling. Remind you of anyone? In 2001, Hillary Clinton told a group of Yale students that "hair matters". Mrs Obama may not have heeded this advice directly, but her soft, Jackie O-style bob suggests approachability and intelligence. And her coiffure isn't the only way that Obama has been channelling Jackie O. Her shift dresses and chunky pearls all evoke the iconic first lady. Unlike Jackie O – or Sarah Palin – Mrs Obama has mixed her labels with items that the average voter could afford. The black and white dress that she wore on US talk show The View cost only $148 (£92) from the aptly named White House/Black Market.
One of the few things more exciting than an Obama presidency is what his wife will wear to the inaugural ball. Chances are that she will wear her patriotism on her sleeve by plumping for a US label.
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
One spelling error costs Companies House up to £9 million after being sued for ruining business
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£450 per day: Ashdown Group: HR Systems Project Manager - Surrey - up to £450 ...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An excellent opportunity ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Systems Administra...