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Defining Moments: Political Statements

It may not be wise to talk politics at a dinner party, but on the runway, the subject proved to be perfect fodder for the season.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Collections issue 10/27/2008

It may not be wise to talk politics at a dinner party, but on the runway, the subject proved to be perfect fodder for the season. Europeans, in particular, made clear their political leanings, with the likes of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac going so far as to design a sequined dress with the image of Barack Obama’s face. The designer said Europeans, and particularly the French, have taken warmly to Obama after feeling “alienated” by the Bush administration. “I want to send the dress to Obama’s wife,” he added. “My dream is for her to wear it as first lady.”

Obama enthusiasts were easy to spot in Paris. Loulou de la Falaise, one of Yves Saint Laurent’s muses, proudly wore an Obama pin around town during the week. And at Sonia Rykiel’s anniversary show, America’s Rodarte label created a white knit dress with Obama’s name written across the chest as a salute. Even Stella McCartney, in her program notes, urged her audience to “Vote Obama!”

With nary a McCain endorsement in sight, it’s clear which direction the fashion crowd is leaning. Even in the U.S., editors and designers were going Obama. Diane von Furstenberg created a bag that the candidate is selling on his Web site, Rachel Roy sported an “Obama Rocks” pin during her presentation and actor Alan Cumming stumped for the presidential hopeful at G-Star Raw.

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