Fwd: Michelle Obama beats Carla Bruni

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Carla-Bruni Sarkozy

(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)


Sarkozy blow as

Michelle Obama beats

Carla Bruni to style award

Charles Bremner in Paris

The French fashion world
has dealt a new blow to
Nicolas Sarkozy's desire
to upstage President Obama:

the Parisiennes' style bible,
has proclaimed that
Michelle Obama is
more chic than Carla Bruni.

The magazine's annual

best-dressed list, unveiled

yesterday, awarded

first place in the category

of "political chic" to

America's First Lady, and

second to France's

Première Dame. It is

the second year in

a row that Ms Bruni, 42,

has come second on

the list; last year Elle put

her behind Asma Assad,

the British-born wife

of the Syrian President.

For Mr Sarkozy — who

has treated Mr Obama as

an unfriendly rival ever

since the US President

gave the cold shoulder to

his attempts to forge

a special Franco-American

relationship — this is

unwelcome news indeed.

Yesterday the Frenchman

took another swipe at

his US counterpart, criticising

him for deciding to attend

next month's climate

summit in Copenhagen

a week before other

national leaders and hinting

that it was discourteous

to the Danish hosts.

Mr Sarkozy has been

sounding off against

Mr Obama for the past

few months, saying he

is overrated and all style

over substance. It is possible

that the French leader has

not recovered from

Mr Obama's refusal to drop

in at the Élysée Palace

in June, when he spent

two nights in Paris.

This week L'Express magazine

devoted its cover to

"Sarkozy's Obama obsession",

saying he is infuriated

by the "irrational magic"

that surrounds the US leader.

"Politics is more than

form and glamour, it is

about issues," Mr Sarkozy

— or Chou-chou, as his wife

calls him — was quoted

as saying.

The Elle style jury, led by

Nathalie Rykiel, of the

Sonia Rykiel house, said that

the emphasis this year was

on strong personalities who

shone with a distinctive style.

"Mrs Obama resembles

no one else — her style

is unique," said Elle.

"She encourages

young designers and has

succeeded in imposing

the waisted cardigan

as official dress."

That was enough to

knock Ms Bruni, a career

supermodel who has,

as a political wife,

developed a demure

new Dior-dressed style,

off top spot — although

she came in for warm praise.

She was credited with

changing her look on

arriving at the palace

after marrying Mr Sarkozy

last year in what was dubbed

her Jackie Kennedy look.

"She has managed to invent

a style of First Lady

à la française," said Elle.

"She always gets it right."

Rama Yade, 33,

Mr Sarkozy's Senegalese-

born junior Sports Minister,

came third, with

Princess Letizia of Spain

fourth and Ségolène Royal,

the Socialist party maverick,

in fifth place. It was a pity

that Ms Royal had

reverted to "smart little

dresses without style"

after changing her look

a couple of years earlier,

said Elle.

Missing from this year's

political list was Rachida Dati,

the glamour figure in

Mr Sarkozy's Cabinet until

he dismissed her in June.

The promotion of Mrs Obama,

who was proclaimed

best-dressed by the US edition

of Vanity Fair magazine

in August, marks a

change in the

fashionistas' view of her.

In her early months

French commentators faulted

her for style errors and

a provincial look.

By contrast, Ms Bruni's

inability to take first place

may reflect a fading of

France's love affair

with her. Last week

a photograph of Ms Bruni

in the nude went unsold

at a Paris auction after

bids failed to reach

the ¤5,000 (£4,500)

reserve price. It sold on

Monday to an undisclosed

buyer for €6,000.

The winners in Elle's other

seven categories were:

Stylista: Tilda Swinton

Total-noir: Valerie Lemercier

(French actress-comedian)

British Girl: Alexa Chung

Sexy bombe: Scarlett Johansson

Fashion pointue: Natalia Vodianova

Red Carpet: Penelope Cruz

It Girl: Elettra Wiedermann

Link here

Sent from Kigali, Rwanda

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