Monday, May 4, 2009

Michelle Obama and the $540 Shoe Flap

This blog is not about shoes, but every now in then, I must throw in a shoe post because people come surfing here for hot shoe news--Beyonce's shoes, Michelle Obama's shoes, Katie Couric's shoes. The list goes on. So, to appease the shoe fans of the world and to make amends for including the word "shoes" in my blog's name, I hunt for what they're looking for from time to time.

Lately it's been FLOTUS Michelle Obama's pricey pair of Lanvin sneakers. According to the LA Times, Mrs. O. has come under fire because 1.) The shoes cost $540 per pair and are hard to find, and 2.) She wore the sneakers to an event to feed the poor.

The blog at LAT says "The sharp-eyed Amy Diluna was first to spot the first lady footwear contradiction here." The writer's talking about this article at the New York Daily News by Diluna, "First Lady Michelle Obama steps out in Lanvin sneakers and they're only $540!"

The LA Times post also reminds readers that John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, and "some lady from Alaska," meaning Sarah Palin, were both criticized heavily during the campaign for their expensive clothes while the image of Michelle Obama was modestly priced clothing such as in this piece on "dressing on a budget."

The first story to pop up when I researched the shoe controversy came from Fox News and since they're notoriously biased, I figured I'd better go elsewhere and the check facts. Even their headlines have swerve.

Also while researching, I found this cute article at Glamour Magazine, "Barack to Mrs. O.: 'You don't need any more shoes.' Read here. In it the First Lady says the president notices everything and sometimes teases her about what she wears including calling one of her belts "the Star Trek belt."

Here's CNN video from Larry King Live in which Nancy and Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis, Washington Post fashion editor Robin Givhan, and Lisa Caputo, former press secretary to former First Lady Hillary Clinton, discuss the First Lady, including her fashion sense. Givhan says she doesn't want to "poke holes in the mythology" of Michelle Obama, and that Mrs. Obama is in a difficult position.
She's become less of a real person and more a sort of aura that people are projecting their desires onto, and I think inevitably they'll come a time when they're disappointed. (Robin Givhan on Larry King Live)
Givhan goes on to compare Mrs. O's fashion sense to Jackie O.'s fashion sense.

Furthermore, she says that Mrs. Obama's fashion choices have drawn attention to her because she doesn't select clothing that makes her fade into the background. But did you know there's now a Michelle Obama comic book? The panel didn't like it much.

CBS's Nancy Giles joins and chimes in later saying Michelle Obama is making it cool to be smart and go to school. Then Ana Marie Cox of The Daily Beast joins and suggests the panel is a Mrs. O. love fest (my words not hers) while also saying she called the White House to find out what Mrs. Obama's office thought of her first 100 days as First Lady. According to Cox, Mrs. O's staff said the FLOTUS only schedules three public appearances per week.

The panel is surprised because it seems like Michelle Obama is everywhere, which is a testament to her influence, they agree. Cox say Mrs. Obama's commitment to no more than three public appearances per week shows that Michelle Obama's first priority is being mother to Sasha and Malia.

Caputo says the FLOTUS is not shy about being Mom-in-Chief and she is not afraid of being herself. Davis, who's recently published a book on mothers and daughters, discusses Michelle Obama's relationship with her mother First Grandmom Marian Robinson. And yes, they also got around to Bo, the White House puppy.

A tip to the fashionistas that visit this blog: If you're into Mrs. O's fashions, then you should bookmark For instance, it was there that I learned the shoes Mrs. Obama's wearing in the photo to the left are most likely Jimmy Choos.

For Michelle Obama 24-7, I recommend, which also has a post on the infamous Lanvin sneakers. The Huffington Post is also flapping about this story.

1 comment:

ByJane said...

Must confess I'm fascinated with all things that show the First Family's life--mainly because it continues to seem so NORMAL to me. What I can't stand is the nitpicking, the judgments, the fodder for the 24/7 biz.