This isn’t the war on terrorism. Although, perhaps it’s somewhat similar.
It’s a battle within fashion politics and it happens to be between the American First Lady, Michelle Obama and her groundbreaking style versus China’s newest First Lady, Peng Liyuan who is being called ‘China’s Michelle Obama’. Peng made her debut last week and Michelle has already been on the cover of Vogue twice. Clearly, we know who the underdog is – but they usually come out on top, don’t they.
People care about style. It’s important to show that some values are universal, especially in their roles – including a love of high fashion and elegance. When the President’s wives strive to be pertinent to their citizens I can only imagine this is a huge campaign helper.
Both women have an original, keen eye for style. Everything Peng wears is Chinese made and designed, and sometimes clearly designed in the oriental style. As a result, these designers stocks are tripling through the roof and websites are crashing, just in the last week. That is a marked contrast with the sense of style that prevails among most wealthy Chinese women, which tends towards well known Western brands.
As for Michelle, she usually represents brands that have been considered the ‘underdogs’ like Ikram boutique, Thakoon and Isabel Toledo rocking arm-baring dresses and colourful cardigans. She doesn’t ‘borrow’ most dresses and pays for them with money out of her
President’s plentyful bank account pocket.
“I always want to show them my most authentic self”, Michelle has said. Work it girl, you’re fabulous! Peng on the other hand, has said nothing – literally. She has not publicly opened her mouth yet (every husbands dream?) but has used her fashion sense to project China’s soft power and hopeful new international image. It’s about time we see a softer side of China and about time their First Lady is not obediently invisible. Pricks.
Will Peng finally execute the long overdue role of a First Lady to represent the nation’s best brands and mentor China’s fledging fashion and creative industries? You bet.
On that note, HUNG CHING POW.
[images c/o humorchic.blogspot.com, tressugar.com]