Michelle vs. Carla: Not much of a fashion smackdown in D.C.
Any time first lady Michelle Obama and France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are in the same room, you can bet everyone talks about what they are wearing. But style experts were stymied this week because no photos were taken of the women — or their husbands — when the Obamas hosted a private dinner for the Sarkozys at the White House. Even so, speculation about a "fashion smackdown" irked Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, who wrote that when the two women met last year in France, the media went into a frenzy pitting the chic Sarkozy against the contemporary Obama.
"Rather than declare fashion a common interest that might draw the two women closer, it has been viewed as a source of antagonism and rivalry. Fashion has been treated like an international wedge issue," Givhan wrote. ".....They became unwitting participants in a diplomatic edition of one of those supermarket magazine spreads that pit two similarly dressed actresses against each other under the headline: "Who Wore It Best?""
I agree with Givhan that it's too bad that we can't simply allow women — whether famous or unknown — to show their individuality without being given the third degree. But I'm also think it's a shame that Obama and Sarkozy care that much about what people think that they wouldn't simply allow themselves to be photographed together this go-around.