Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s fashion critic, Robin Givhan, has published an essay today pleading for an end to the discussion of Michelle Obama’s clothing–or, at least, “breathless, fanzine-style chronicling of her attire.”
“[T]he flood of Joan Rivers-style verbiage about her day-to-day wardrobe has overwhelmed those nuanced conversations” about Ms. Obama’s role as a fashion industry ambassador and the degree to which she could occupy both public and private lives.
The diatribe, consistent with Ms. Givhan’s longstanding position on assessing clothes through a political lens (she won a Pulitzer for similar work at the Washington Post, and wrote a book on Ms. Obama’s first year as First Lady), shares the page with a very apt example of the phenomenon Ms. Givhan decries. Just above the pullquote “Every garment is not symbolic. Every dress is not fraught with meaning” resides a link to the “Michelle Obama Lookbook,” a 91-page slideshow of garments either devoid or possessed of meaning.
Either way, they’re mesmerizing to click through.