Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Sarah Palin Picked the Wrong Week to Visit New York

Any other week, the arrival in New York of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and France’s first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, would have been huge news. The pair—possibly the two most-watched women in the world right now—certainly did get their share of headlines, but their trip was overshadowed by the bad news coming out of Wall Street. Still, they attended fancy parties, met world leaders, and even double-dated! (O.K., we made the last one up.)

With their visit came more discussion of their respective wardrobes. Some talked about how Ms. Bruni might have upstaged Catherine Zeta-Jones with her simple royal blue dress and flats at the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Awards dinner on Monday. Others made a fuss about Ms. Palin’s choice of eyewear and two-tone suits. (Kazuo Kawasaki reported a surge in sales for Ms. Palin’s $375 rimless frames.)

"The most businesslike dresser of the four women on the stump, Palin favors two-tone suits and straight-up black, often pairing her outfits with red Naughty Monkey heels or Soft black pumps—both of which, the press has pointed out, were purchased in her home state," reported Women’s Wear Daily on Thursday as Ms. Palin’s visit drew to a close.

On Sept. 17, prior to her New York visit, Page Six reported that Ms. Palin has a secret troop of stylists that instruct her about how to both come across fashionable—she wore a $2,500 silk Valentino jacket to the convention!—but maintain her all-American hockey mom image. ("They do not want the American public to know that Palin is using stylists or that she is paying for expensive clothes this early on in the campaign," an unnamed source told Page Six.)

Meanwhile, in September 2007, Ms. Bruni implied in the Guardian that she does not employ a stylist.

"I don’t think anyone can teach you to have style though. Either you have it or you don’t. I’ve never really had it. The modeling made me realize that you can’t buy style. It’s something personal and private," she wrote. "The total head-to-toe designer look is ridiculous. It’s the opposite of fashion. A matching bag and shoe and hat makes you look like a Christmas tree. And I would never wear shoulder pads. Or pointy shoes. Or skinny jeans. Or low-waisted trousers. You take away the hips and waist – the best bits!"

"All the fashion made me more simple. I had to deal with all this sophistication every day, and it made me over-relaxed in the evenings. I don’t go for heels, I never wear make-up. It only seems to enhance age," she added.

Click above for a slideshow recounting their visit—where they went, who they saw, and what they wore.


Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Sarah Palin Picked the Wrong Week to Visit New York