France has finally managed to trump the US and all the credit goes to Carla Bruni — a former supermodel, singer and now the French first lady. Since her arrival in India on Saturday, Bruni’s simple, yet chic ensembles are being compared to Michelle Obama’s ’on-trend’ silhouettes during her star visit to India. And, the comparisons don’t look too good for Michelle.
"Carla Bruni is definitely looking far better than Michelle did in India. She might be wearing old school French couture brands, but the fits are impeccable and effortlessly stylish. Michelle tried to seem more approachable and mixed high street with couture, but floundered," says fashion critic Umesh Jivnani.
Unlike Mrs O, who was demurely dressed in India —with below the knee hemlines and full sleeves — Carla’s been flaunting her famously fit body in sharp silhouettes and even a thigh high slit. "Michelle definitely toned down her style for India but Carla is treating us to her Parisian best. She’s a fit, beautiful woman and she knows that modern India can appreciate that," says fashion editor, Varun Rana.
In Bengaluru on Saturday, Bruni wore a beige shift dress and matching short-sleeved sweater with scalloped edges, from designer label Christian Dior. She later changed into a belted black shirtdress, with a thigh high slit.
Carla may be winning the fashion battle of the first ladies, but Michelle hasn’t entirely lost favour. “Carla is a clotheshorse and has a quiet elegance. Michelle takes risks, which might not always work, but she tries to have fun,” says stylist and fashion editor, Ekta Rajani. “Carla looks easy chic as ever, but both of them have their individual styles,” adds fashion designer, Tarun Tahiliani.
Michelle’s look in India
Michelle Obama, who visited India with husband, US President Barack Obama, during his state visit in November, was seen wearing a mix of designer labels and affordable high street brands. Her ensembles included a J Crew lace top, a Dries van Noten jacket and a Ranjana Khan necklace. She also wore a tunic and velvet skirt designed by Indo-American designer Rachel Roy, a custom Peter Som shift dress, and a somber buttoned-up grey dress. However, fashion critics in India felt Michelle did not dress her best while in the country.