Once again, someone has to weigh in on the wardrobe and/or style of the First Lady. This time it’s the international fashion mogul Oscar de la Renta. The classic fashion designer has expressed his opinion on Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe during the G20 conference with Queen Elizabeth, saying that she should’ve took it up notch. He felt that her more moderate fashion choices are all fine and good, but the fashion industry is failing and she should also focus on throwing some money their way. Ever heard of splittin’ that money “three ways” Mrs. Obama?
I’m sure he heard about how the J. Crew cardigan sold out after she sported it to the meeting with the Queen and was upset that he didn’t get a piece of the action. He also probably feels that he should be the one to weigh in on her wardrobe because he’s dressed Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Hillary Clinton. And you know my next question, did he reach out to the present First Lady before offering his seemingly acerbic assessment? I’m sure she would’ve felt honored to have received a gown or two from him.
Mr. de la Renta, I want to take this time to address your criticism because I’m sure Mrs. Obama is too busy to deal with something so minute to her sense of relevancy and substance. But, I have a little time on my hands to give a little critical advice of my own. Before you weigh in on how the First Lady should be dressed, maybe you should go back to your Fashion 101 class and first acknowledge the person you hang your rags on.
Mrs. Obama is Mrs. Obama. She is not like any other First Lady that has ever held the position. She is African American with a distinctly incomparable cultural background that is reflected in her style choices and her immense brilliance and intellect. A fashionista such as yourself should understand that you first find out who the person is before you suggest a brand or style for them. Your dual citizenship may divide your sense of complete connection to the experiences that us common folk of the U.S. embrace, but I certainly was proud of the First Lady wearing an upscale cardigan from J. Crew to meet with the Queen of England.
What is also apparent to me, and you can’t be held accountable for this Mr. Renta, is the unheard voices on what was necessary for the Queen and her staff to do for her guests when they visited. I may be wrong, but I haven’t seen where anyone reported on what the Queen’s staff did to make the visit comfortable for her international guests. Did she offer her guests proper gifts? Was she dressed appropriately or is she the standard for social grace? Did the royal family serve foods that were dietary appropriate for most of her guests? Did you hear anyone say, “Why did the Queen touch the First Lady?” The horror! No. It was all about whether the First Lady touched the Queen, how long, with what level of pressure and was her hand appropriately placed.
Give the First Lady her due respect. Do not question her fashion choice because as you know Mr. Renta, your style is who you are and she is a proud African American innately attached to her heritage in this country. Her choice of J. Crew and everything else is a choice to support the U.S. businesses that will boost the economy that her husband is trying desperately to rescue. She, obviously, thinks quite thoughtfully before she dresses or speaks.
If you’re interested, you can read what he had to say about the visit here.