Insights from the UK and beyond
Michelle sparkles as hostess Sarah plays it safe
Her husband’s attempt to be the great fixer of the financial crisis and best friend of the United States at the same time was a big ask, but how was she going to handle the visit of Michelle Obama?
This was the first time Sarah had been called upon to host her new opposite number from The White House. And it wasn’t all smiling outside Downing Street either – the pair had to visit a cancer care centre as well and – horrors – meet Her Majesty the Queen.
Michelle is only three months younger than Sarah, but she is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard, is the taller of the two by some distance and is famously well dressed.
She was on the cover of Vogue magazine last month and is constantly being compared to Jackie Kennedy.
So what does Sarah wear?
The choice was a smart, dark blue suit – she looked frightfully important and every bit the hostess of the world’s 20 most important nations.
Michelle went for a more dressed-down look – she was wearing a knee-length lime green skirt and a patterned white sparkly top. Crucially – and this may have been a deliberate gesture towards Sarah – she was covering up her famously toned arms, which fashion experts reckon is her best attribute.
But there’s a nagging thought: Was Sarah bold enough? She looked very smart of course, but is smart stylish?
“I have to say that Sarah played it very safe. Michelle is much more stylish with her combination of colour and textures — it seems that she is on show and sparkling,” says Michelle Shakallis, a London high street fashion designer.
“Sarah has gone for what will just blend in and look as boring as a man in a suit. Dark tights and shoes also reflect this. She does not want to have her figure or fashion on show here,” Shakallis adds.
Sarah cannot be blamed for making sure she did not attract headlines for the wrong reasons, but her lack of confidence is not befitting of our ‘first lady’. She should have had more of a go. Maybe she’s saving herself for tomorrow’s big event.
Still, at least Carla (Sarkozy) didn’t show up.