Hot Seams, Political fashion: Will Michelle Obama become the next Jackie O.?

| Fashion Columnist

Known in the fashion world for her avant-garde style and trend-setting fashions, former First Lady Jackie Onassis transformed the fashion world in the ’60s and brought a new way of dressing in a time full of mods. As the wife of President John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis naturally had many admirers and was constantly being watched and observed in the political spotlight. Thus, when women around the world took notice of her daring styles, they began emulating her. Not only did she wear attire that differed from the typical “politician’s wife” garb, but she also managed to look sophisticated, and due to her age—she was 32 when JFK was inaugurated—she also reached and impacted women of all ages.

With French ancestors, it was evident that Ms. Onassis had fashion and class in her blood. In fact, many of the styles worn today, such as large sunglasses and even the heavy brow trend that has been present on runways for at least the past three fashion seasons, were inspired by her style in the 1960s.

You’ve seen the comparison before on fashion blogs and wherever else you look for fashion advice. If you own a television or live near someone who does, you probably watched President-elect Obama give his acceptance speech on November 4, 2008. You may have noticed that not only was the family dressed in coordinating colors, but Michelle Obama’s spring 2009 red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress was not only very artistic, but is also atypical and unexpected for a future first lady.

Standing roughly 5 feet 11 inches tall, Michelle Obama definitely has an unsurprisingly strong presence. The image of her in this controversial dress was highly searched the next day and many fashion bloggers got to work expressing their negative and positive reactions. This attention then got me thinking, what else is Mrs. Obama wearing these days?

A few days later, a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Obama, and President and Mrs. Bush surfaced, in which Mrs. O was shown wearing an attention-grabbing red dress—attention-grabbing due to its vibrant red color, unique twisted high collar and slim silhouette. In contrast, Mrs. Bush was wearing a dark, maternal dress. As a lawyer, Mrs. Obama embodied a style consisting of dark colors and more masculine styling. As the wife of the next president, Mrs. O’s style has transformed into something more feminine and artistic, while simultaneously looking just as powerful.

So the questions remain, with hundreds of high-end fashion designers inundating her with gorgeous, straight-off-the-runway dresses, will Michelle continue in her trend-setting ways? Will millions of women in this nation and in others mimic her style and bring high profits to these fashion designers? Will she have the same impact, or one that is greater, as Jackie O. in the fashion world? I challenge you to Google her. Or at least keep your TV tuned into politics. Watch out, because she’s coming strong!

-Stay Stylish!

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