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Fashion Politics: the First Ladies who led the way

Posted by Athenais on November 7, 2008

Style reflects politics. White House fashion has led the way for more and more daring yet respected, styles. Let us look at three influential First Ladies who have preceded Michelle Obama on the First Lady of Fashion list.

The personal style of a president’s wife has become a major part in establishing his likability and power, the Telegraph has reported after the elections.

Keren Eldad, New York fashion manager of the Los Angeles Times, commented on Mrs Obama’s style saying: she “gets it. She IS a modern woman, she has fun with fashion, she embraces life with fury and grace”.

Who led the way:


  • Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy Onassis (1921-1994) was the first celebrated political fashion icon. She became, at 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in history.

Respected for her grace and glamour, she effortlessly created a signature look that has inspired the White House ever since.

Jackie Kennedy’s style has been constantly referred to, during the last American elections, with many suggestions that Mrs. Obama has been paying a fashion homage to some of Mrs Kennedy’s iconic styles.

  • Nancy Reagan

The wife of optimistic President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) reflected through grace and style, the Reagan politics of the 1980s.

Although favoring a very traditional and sober style, Mrs. Reagan went on to become an American Couture style icon.

The first lady’s famed pieces include dresses by Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent.

Her refined style was celebrated last year in an exhibition at the Reagan Library in California, recounting the Reagan legacy through Nancy’s elegance.

  • Carla Bruni

The First Lady of France has been widely talked about after she married President Nicolas Sarkozy, in February 2008.

The 40 year old, ex-model and singer is known for her sophisticated taste and fashion style.

She has been voted one of the best dressed women of the year by Vanity Fair, and was heralded a new princess Diana by Gordon Brown, during a state visit to London in April of this year.

The Italian-born Mrs. Sarkozy epitomizes a young, yet refined style that breaks with the cautious fashions previously favored by First Ladies.

by Anastasia Porret,

Click here for main article on Michelle Obama’s First Lady fashion



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