Vanessa Friedman ’89’s fashion critiques of ...
Actress and future wife of Prince Harry of the United Kingdom
“Meghan Markle ... set off something of a controversy this week when the couple’s official engagement photographs were released. … At issue was Ms. Markle’s choice of top for the second: a sheer black shirt embroidered with gold leaves over a long ruffled skirt. ... Ms. Markle’s choice was labeled variously as ‘sensual’ and ‘risqué.’ … But what it was, really, was a pretty big statement of difference. Which was presumably the point. … The destuffing of the House of Windsor is entering a new stage. This is going to be fun.” — Dec. 22, 2017
“Put simply, she doesn’t just say what she wants. She wears what she wants. … By acknowledging the role clothes play in her own life and psyche, she is contravening one of the last taboos: If women want to be taken seriously, they are not supposed to take fashion seriously. A patently idiotic idea. (If you want to be taken seriously, you had better think seriously about every message you are sending, including the ones in your outfits.) In this she is part of a handful of women in the public eye who are breaking that rule, including Michelle ‘no sleeves’ Obama and Sheryl ‘no hoodies’ Sandberg.” — Dec. 17, 2016
Former Presidential Candidate
“Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida once again used his clothes to underscore his now-familiar mantra, ‘I am my own man,’ not by abandoning the tie entirely as he did when he announced his candidacy, but by abandoning red and blue in favor of a subtle purple/maroon shade — which can be achieved, as it happens, by mixing red and blue. Kind of like in a swing state. Coincidence? Well, in case you missed it, he even called his home state of Florida a ‘purple state.’ Unfortunately, however, the color didn’t translate well on TV, and came across as simply faded and wishy-washy.” — Aug. 7, 2015
Robin Givhan ’86’s fashion critiques of ...
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
Spouse of Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton
“Like a lot of politicians, Bill Clinton uses attire to declare his connection to the regular folks, and the more rural the setting the more he looks as though he’s ready to come over and mow your lawn — or at least have a beer and a chat on the front stoop about the problems down at the plant.” — May 10, 2016
“Elizabeth Warren has been pummeling Donald Trump on Twitter with the fleet-footed bounce of a featherweight fighter. In person, too, her style is aerodynamic. And her sleeves are always rolled up — literally and metaphorically. If her jacket sleeves are not cropped, then they are folded back. In her own tailored, jewel-tone way, Warren has adopted the traditional aesthetic of male politicians, who signal their intention to move from abstract policy promises into frank, regular-folk talk by removing their suit jackets and rolling up their shirt sleeves. She is the invited dinner guest who could take her own plate into the kitchen and do the dishes without missing a beat. She will get elbow-deep in Palmolive for you.” — Jan. 27, 2016
Former Vice-Presidential Candidate
“The cardigan was flashy. It was proudly outside the realm of vetted political attire. It wasn’t safe and it wasn’t decorous. It was vaguely gaudy, with a hint of kitsch. And for a political affair it was inappropriate — which, in the politically disruptive universe of Palin, made it perfect.” — Jan. 20, 2016