“Fashion icon” Michelle Obama has bragged about wearing a sensible, $148 White House Black Market dress on The View. However, she wore a $900 blue Maria Pinto dress for her speech at the DNC (the price of that dress was much more difficult to find,) as well as another Maria Pinto dress with a ~$1000 Azzedine Alaïa belt for her husband’s speech. Not to mention:
In an effort to forge a relationship with the potential first lady, the fashion industry gathered Tuesday evening at an official meet-and-greet with her at an Obama fund-raiser in a Chelsea art gallery.
Vogue editors Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley were there. Designers Calvin Klein and Zac Posen, as well as locally bred Tory Burch and Ralph Rucci, came to gush and awe and probably secretly take down her measurements so they could send her a tailored surprise via overnight FedEx.
One can only wonder how many thousands of dollars that “tailored suprise” cost.
Now, Sarah Palin wears a stunning, tasteful, $2500 Valentino jacket to her speech at the Republican National Convention, and the NY Post says (italic emphasis added):
Insiders tell Page Six Palin has a secretive circle of stylists who dress her for events. For her big speech in St. Paul, where she accepted the GOP’s vice-presidential nod, this fashion-conscious team encouraged the Alaska governor to splurge on a $2,500 jacket from Saks Fifth Avenue designed by Valentino Garavani.
Cindy McCain wore an equally stunning $3000 Oscar de la Renta suit for her speech two nights before, and was mocked because her outfit might have cost $300,000, including jewelry (the “$280,000 earrings” value was based on vague estimates and whether or not it they were real.) Notice how Michelle Obama’s jewelry never made it into the tabulations.
Who gets the flak?
Imagine if Sarah had just worn some pitiful Gap jacket to the speech. The entire fashion community would be decrying this rough, mannish, tasteless, backwoods woman. They would spit sweeping assumptions that conservative, American women have no sense of style or fashion, and designers would be issuing unwarranted “fashion tips” for this pitiful “hockey mom.” And I bet you could expect fashionistas smugly asserting “lipstick on a pig” far before Barack Obama did.
An insight into the minds of liberal, “cultured” types:
Barack and Michelle Obama: FASHION ICONS! (in their clothes made by “local Chicago designers”)
Sarah Palin and Cindy McCain: Pretentious elitists. (in their dastardly Oscar de la Renta and Valentino!)
It appears that the media and fashion industry make a lethally unchic combination.