Sunday, September 28, 2008

Palin's Fashion Sense

To be fair, the Post's fashion editor, Robin Givhan, is an acclaimed writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, and I am an amateur blogger who sometimes goes missing for weeks at a time. So if anyone is going to present more insightful, well-written fashion comments, it is probably Ms. Givhan, but in her recent article 'Sarah Palin's Unassertive Fashion Statement,' I'm not sure if I'm all on board with what she is selling. Mostly because of this paragraph:
"Her clothes are unpretentious, but they are also unremarkable. They have nothing to do with Fashion. It's fashion show season now, with designers unveiling their spring 2009 collections in New York, Milan and soon Paris. So far, none of them have suggested that the next new thing for the power-wielding woman is a straight black skirt with a boxy, oyster-colored blazer, which is what Palin wore when she accepted the vice-presidential nomination in St. Paul, Minn."
The rest of the article goes on say that Mrs. Palin is just a girly girl with a love for oversized flag pins, and isn't it refreshing that she goes about the campaign without having to change that. I could agree with that (except for oversized flag pins being refreshing). She's no Hillary Clinton or Cindy McCain, and her clothes are certainly unpretentious. Do her clothing choices have nothing to do with fashion, though? I don't think so. Just because she is not in neon pantsuits, does not mean she is not carefully styled and a reflection of the fashion world. See for yourself. Here is Mrs. Palin compared against a look from the 2009 spring runway shows:

Dolce & Gabbana

Cushnie et Ochs

Gianfranco Ferre

Max Mara

John Richmond

So what do you think? Do you agree with Ms. Givhan and think Mrs. Palin is doing her own thing and it's refreshing? Or do you think she is equally as image obsessed as all other women in the public eye, the only difference being that she is going for an image we haven't seen in the political sphere? In any case, I would argue that no woman is uninfluenced by the fashion world (whether she buys into it or rejects it) unless she is very far removed, and although Mrs. Palin is from Alaska, I don't think she is quite that removed. I would argue instead, that while her outfit choices may not land her a spread in Vogue, they are very much inspired by the fashion world (and likely a team of professional stylists that the campaign keeps on call.)

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