Opinion: Michelle Obama spotlighted in two fashion-related articles


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

We never saw THIS linkage coming: Michelle Obama and ... Barbara Bush?

Guy Trebay, writing in the New York Times Sunday Style section, admits it’s an unlikely pairing -- even as he makes it. Here’s the lead of his piece: ‘While it’s not often that Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush appear in the same sentence, there are those who think that, as Barack Obama’s historic candidacy powers along, his wife seems to be borrowing from the playbook of the wife of Bush 41 and mother of Bush 43. We are talking here in terms of image and style.’

To see how Trebay backs up his contention, in a story headlined ‘She Dresses to Win,’ go here.

Michelle Obama’s fashion sensibility also figures prominently in a Sunday commentary by the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan (a Pulitzer Prize winner who caused a stir last summer with a controversial column on Hillary Clinton).


Givhan goes on at length about the striking sheath that Obama chose to wear as she shared a stage with her husband last Tuesday before he declared that the Democratic presidential race was over and that he was the party’s presumptive nominee.

Writes Givhan: ‘The choice of violet stands out because it’s not one of the primary colors so beloved by political spouses. ... Michelle Obama seems to choose her hues based on what looks best on her, ignoring the political how-to manual. And so it’s no surprise that we should see colors like violet -- or chartreuse -- that are atypical. She is not standard first lady material. She is a black woman dressing to flatter her skin tone. Can shades of pumpkin or mustard be far behind?

Such questions are far beyond our keen, but now ...

we’ll be on the alert.

Givhan’s complete piece can be read here.

Both she and Trebay, incidentally, take similar note of Obama’s tastes in accessories. Trebay refers to her ‘fondness for gobstopper fake pearls.’ Givhan mentions her ‘signature strand of Wilma Flintstone pearls.’

Again, we’re way out of our league in such matters. But after those lines, might a jewelry makeover be in the offing?

-- Don Frederick