October 2, 2008|By Jean Patteson, Sentinel Staff Writer
Sarah’s specs. Michelle’s dresses. Cindy’s diamonds. Jill’s handbag.
We adulation them, we appetite them, we accept to accept them. Or at the actual least, we appetite to apperceive all about them — aloof as we did with Jackie Kennedy’s beanie hats, Barbara Bush’s chaplet and Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits.
The abridgement may be the capital accident in the presidential race. But for fashionistas, a acute sideshow is campaign-trail style.
Headliners on the actualization date are Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama, both age 44. Cindy McCain, 54, and Jill Biden, 57, are the bit players. But the moment any one of the women shows up in a new outfit, the actualization columnist starts digging for details, the bloggers alpha commenting and the public-relations band fires off columnist releases claiming aloof rights for the designers involved.
First it was Obama’s dresses, starting with the amethyst sheath she wore the black she abundantly fist-bumped her bedmate as he claimed the Democratic choice in aboriginal June. Overnight, the name on every fashionista’s aperture was Maria Pinto, the Chicago artist who fabricated the sleeveless, V-neck dress for Obama.
And the chaplet she wore with the dress prompted a rapid-response columnist absolution trumpeting, “Michelle Obama has been accessorizing her much-appraised actualization with Carolee pearls.”
So abounding women followed her advance that Carolee has apparent a double-digit allotment access in sales of the $50 necklace, says aggregation backer Ashley Futterknecht.
Two weeks later, the fizz was all about the black-and-white sundress Obama donned for her actualization on ABC’s The View. She bought it for aloof $148 at White House/Black Market, she told admirers — and aural days, the Donna Ricco architecture awash out at best of the chain’s 322 stores, including the one in Orlando’s Mall at Millenia.
The acknowledgment has been “overwhelming,” says Jessica Wells, a backer for White House/Black Market. “The acknowledgment happened aural account of her cutting it, again agitated on. We had a re-order in August. Women of all ages are still advancing in attractive for the dress.”
The floral-print dress Obama wore on the final night of the Democratic National Assemblage in aboriginal September sparked acclaim from best critics — and aberrant absorption to its adolescent designer, New Yorker Thakoon Panichgul.
All eyes on Palin
The day afterwards the Democrats’ assemblage ended, Sarah Palin access assimilate the arena — and anon sparked a wanna-have aberration from fans. They appetite her rimless eyeglasses, her red shoes, alike her beehive hairdo.
“Her eyeglasses, and the way she is cutting them with such confidence, has had an impact, big-time,” says James J. Spina, editor-in-chief at 20/20, a arch eyewear-industry magazine.
Women beyond the country are clamoring for her $375 frames by Japanese artist Kazuo Kawasaki for Italee Optics, he says — and for less-expensive versions.
“Italee no best can accumulate that anatomy in stock,” says Spina.
At the anniversary Vision Expo West, which opens in Las Vegas on Friday, opticians acceptable will be stocking up on rimless frames with chic temples, Spina says. “I anticipate absorption will abide as continued as Palin’s in the spotlight.”
At Eyes & Optics in Winter Park, “Women of all ages accept been allurement for Sarah Palin glasses. Some aloof look, some adjustment them,” says optician Lucindo Fidalgo.
Rimless styles accept continued been popular, he says. “Donald Rumsfeld wore them, but with annular lenses. David Letterman wears them. Half the CEOs in Forbes anniversary abrasion them. It’s a anatomy that fits a lot of faces.”
Also avaricious the spotlight are the red, peep-toe pumps from Naughty Monkey that Palin wore back she aboriginal was alien as John McCain’s active mate.
Naughty Monkey, accessible on accepted shoe Web sites such as zappos.com and endless.com, is a contemporary cast added usually apparent on celebrities such as Paris Hilton than on politicians. Both Web sites address a Palin-inspired fasten in sales of the brand.
And absolutely it is added than accompaniment that the governor’s updo with side-swept bangs was a red-carpet hit at the Emmys on Sept. 21. Among the celebrities antic the retro-1960s actualization were Sandra Oh, Mariska Hargitay, Jennifer Adulation Hewitt and Heidi Klum.
“I do acquisition women complimenting the governor’s look,” says Jane McCullen, an Orlando hairstylist and co-owner of three Salon Salon venues in the area. “It may be the updo appeal for the anniversary season.”
Even women with abbreviate beard can get the look. No eventually was Palin called to the Republican ticket, than WigSalon.com acquaint pictures of “Sarah Palin actualization wigs” on its Web site. The $135 wig is declared as a “shoulder-length abandoned with feathered layers” that can be styled into a flip, a chignon or a half-up/half-down style.
And, with Halloween on the horizon, WigSalon.com additionally offers a Palin-style wig bargain-priced at $46.
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