The last time Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni met, they somewhat embarrassingly and puzzlingly wore almost the same outfit — white knee-length dresses with waist belts and kitten heels. But when they encountered each other yesterday in Pittsburgh at the G-20 summit, their outfits looked nothing alike. Carla wore a black cap-sleeved, knee-length dress with an embellished neckline — a divine bonjour to fall — while Michelle wore a floral-print strappy number from Thakoon's latest resort collection, the perfect adieu to summer.
Michelle's was a bold, bare choice for the G20 crowd. The Times carefully noted in its recap of the event that she wore "straps" and "no stockings" (as if anyone wears stockings these days). But when Carla arrived, they wrote, "Carla Bruni!!!!" adding that she wore "a stunning black silk sheath dress, stops just below the knee." She didn't have on stockings either, but they didn't call her out on it. After last night, the Daily Mail is comparing Carla to Jackie O. So is Carla back on top in the arbitrary battle the press wages between her and Michelle to determine who is the world's most glamorous presidential spouse? Perhaps because she wore sleeves and black? Michelle took a risk, and Carla did what Carla always does. Maybe it's her breathy accent that has the press beside itself? Or maybe if we fawn over Carla for a while, she and Michelle will be forced into the true fashion showdown we're all waiting for. Because in a world with Gossip Girl, they can't be anything other than frenemies.
See Michelle Obama's look up-close in the Michelle Obama Look Book.