Saturday, February 28, 2009

Michelle Obama's Fashion Hypocrisy; Social Secretary Wined and Dined In NYC

First Lady Michelle Obama is a hypocrite, just like her husband.

Social elite madness!

From Byron York at DC Examiner:

It didn't make most of the papers or the TV newscasts, but Desiree Rogers, the new White House social secretary, caused a bit of a stir recently when she appeared at New York's Fashion Week shows, sitting next to Vogue Editor Anna Wintour as she took in the latest from designers Carolina Herrera and Donna Karan.

"The fashions were amazing," Rogers told Women's Wear Daily. "I particularly liked the dresses for daytime that were a classic silhouette. ..." Besides Herrera and Karan, Rogers also attended a show by Marc Jacobs where, according to the New York Daily News, "fashion's baddest boy paraded punky, funky ponchos and razor-sharp shouldered jackets in Day-Glo metallics."

At first, it wasn't clear whether Rogers was hanging with the fashionistas as part of her official White House duties or not. Then New York magazine quoted a White House aide saying, "Desiree was in New York on a fact-finding mission. She's acting as a cultural liaison for the White House; she's researching fashion and music."

I called the White House to check if that quote was accurate. It was. An aide explained that first lady Michelle Obama "has taken a particular interest in showcasing the work of young up-and-coming designers who have chosen fashion as their path and who are artists in their own right and who are introduced at places like Fashion Week."

It's hard to put Herrera, Karan and Jacobs in the up-and-coming category, but never mind: Perhaps we'll be seeing punky, funky ponchos and Day-Glo metallics at some future White House function. I asked whether the first lady considered Rogers' hitting the fashion shows a little frivolous, given the seriousness of our times. "I think you're assigning a value judgment to the fashion industry," I was told. "She doesn't think it is frivolous at all."

The Obama White House stressed to me that Rogers did much more in New York than attend fashion shows. She had a full schedule — the aide wouldn't say exactly what it was — looking for new artists, musicians and other cultural figures who might take part in White House events.

Rogers was also treated to lunch at the chic Four Seasons by the interior decorator Michael Smith. You might have heard Smith's name because he was the man chosen by the now-departed Merrill Lynch Chief Executive Officer John Thain to handle Thain’s notorious $1.2 million office redecoration project. President Barack Obama condemned that sort of excess, but then hired none other than Michael Smith to spruce up the White House. And then Smith honored Rogers at the Four Seasons.

What makes all of this noteworthy, of course, is that it is taking place against the backdrop of widespread economic misery. As millions of Americans worry about losing their jobs, the first lady is celebrated on the cover of Wintour’s magazine, Vogue, where it is suggested that her "ardent championing of new names in American design" has caused some to call her the "new Jackie Kennedy."

Why not Nancy Reagan? Mrs. Reagan's husband also took office amid an inherited economic crisis, and she quickly became the subject of sometimes bitter criticism for her fondness for high fashion — for "exercising her opulent tastes in an economy that is inflicting hardship on so many," in the words of a 1981 New York Times article.

Now, in this economy that is inflicting hardship on so many, the first lady is celebrated for her new vision of haute couture, while her social secretary socializes with the most glamorous names in the world of fashion. Change has indeed come to Washington.

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1 comment:

  1. quit crying. it's nice to see someone with some class in the White House for a change. Also, I hate to tell you but not everybody in this country is in the poorhouse over the recession. Some of us are doing great and we don't even work for the government!