Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

It's a fashion face-off for first ladies Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

STRASBOURG, France — The meeting between Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy at the Palais Rohan was anticipated as a fashion faceoff between two stylish first ladies. Instead, the two women looked remarkably similar.

For Obama's equivalent of the Jackie-Kennedy-takes-Paris moment of 1961, each wore a stylish but proper coat with a soft bow at the neck and low-heeled shoes.

Obama, her hair coiffed into a bouffant that would have made Jackie proud, wore a black silk jacquard coat flecked with fuchsia flowers by American designer Thakoon Panichgul. Bruni-Sarkozy wore a grey lambskin coat by Dior. Both women removed their coats inside to reveal coordinated dresses — Bruni-Sarkozy's in gray, and Obama's in fuchsia.

Considering that both women have been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy, people might have been surprised by the sobriety, especially's Bruni-Sarkozy's gray. But in the year since her marriage to President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Italian-born pop singer and former model has proven to be far more refined in her look than trendy.

In terms of her appearance, Obama has exerted herself far more for the G-20 summit and NATO meeting than she did for the inauguration, perhaps because the stage is bigger. Since she stepped off Air Force One in London on Monday in a yellow Jason Wu dress, her wardrobe has been subjected to intense media scrutiny, the kind of coverage typically reserved for supermodels. Her outfits have included a teal blue Jason Wu dress with a kooky cardigan — she took some hits on blogs for that — and a soft Isabel Toledo skirt at Buckingham Palace.

In the four days of her first European trip as America's first lady, Obama has hugged terminally ill cancer patients at a London hospital, chatted with author J.K. Rowling over wild Scottish salmon and urged 200 girls at a London school to aim high.

But none of that, not even the meeting with the queen, came close to finally appearing in the same camera lens with the former Carla Bruni, the former Victoria's Secret model now dominating the French political-fashion scene. The two have been relentlessly compared in the European media.

"Carla Bruni may have seduced every man she met last year, but this year Michelle Obama charmed us all," raved the British Guardian in an article headlined, "How Britain was wooed by Michelle Obama." The London Times was nastier. "Carla who?" it queried.

It's a fashion face-off for first ladies Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy 04/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  3. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'

    World

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.

  4. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in

    Blogs

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  5. Forecast: Scattered thunderstorms in Tampa Bay; Maria could affect Carolinas

    Weather

    Scattered thunderstorms will threaten the Tampa Bay area Sunday, but most of the area will see sunshine.

    Scattered thunderstorms threaten Tampa Bay on Sunday. [Courtesy 10News WTSP]