Thursday, April 02, 2009
Michelle Obama: From Good Times to High Times
It's America's fashion moment on the world scene and girl, I love it. Europe has fallen to the charms of Michelle Obama. From the moment she set foot on Brit soil in a look-at-me yellow Jason Wu dress, our First Lady ushered in a new era of US-European relations. Yellow, the color of friendship, was amped up to a blinding, mega-watt affair that said "sorry about the last eight years," and "yeah, you want this." A demure, knee-length wrap served to elongate her ebony legs and zing! went the strings of my heart.
But that was just the start of Michelle's sartorial rapprochement with Europe. Forget the 99 cent American flag lapel pin, Michelle is unflinchingly patriotic in American designs from J.Crew and Michael Kors - yes, you can get these frocks online AND wear them for tea with the Queen. Shoppers, on your marks...
To spend this much time talking about Michelle's clothes may seem, to some misguided heathens in Birkenstocks and sweat pants, to be frivolous - even offensive - given the current economy. As one of my colleagues recently pointed out, the economy is just another fad, so you know what? Let's stop using it as an excuse to not live our lives - I love Michelle, her clothes, and I can't get enough. Besides, everywhere she goes our First Lady isn't just a representative of our nation, she's also a role model for people of color in the industrial world. From council youths in Britain to project chicks here in the States, Michelle is a walking billboard for the virtues of higher education, and that's a message that bears repeating again and again.
Now, a few weeks ago New York magazine placed Michelle Obama on the cover and included essays from a bunch of writers on the impact she's expected to have - from her curves to her Ivy League pedigree - the main idea is that Michelle can do no wrong and oh my god, I think she walks on water. I rolled my eyes at the articles, finding them trite, sycophantic and whatever other ten-dollar word you want to use to describe brazen ass kissing. However, the point I'm trying to make with my post is that I find our First Lady inspirational - yes, from that superficial gay perspective that loves all that glitters, but also from the perspective of a young man of color who applauds the example Michelle Obama is setting for the working class. Our Southside Girl is movin on up, breaking barriers, redefining style, and making friends around the world. Now that's jet set.