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Michelle’s big Indian cover up

fashion-and-trends Updated: Nov 10, 2010 01:29 IST
Zofeen Maqsood
Zofeen Maqsood
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The three-day state visit of the US first couple to India had the

desi

press in a tizzy about the ‘elegant’ style statement Michelle Obama made. But, the Obamas have barely flown out and murmurings have started about whether, in her bid to appeal to Indian sensibilities, Michelle’s below-the-knee dresses in dull colours made her look frumpy and drab.



Neena Haridas, editor,

Marie Claire

, says, “Michelle tried to follow the 1950s’ dressing theme, which is now in (but) some of her outfits were quite hideous. The black full-sleeved top and high-waist skirt she wore during her Raj Ghat visit didn’t work at all.”



Fashion designer Nida Mehmood concurs, “I was taken aback by the much subdued palette she chose. Everything, from prints to colours, was drab. We expected more cheerful dressing from her as India is a country of colours.”



Michelle

While

The Daily Beast

, a news website, says that Michelle takes “style diplomacy to a whole new level”, critics argue that even with dresses that go well below the knee, she could have done better. Jamal Shaikh , editor,

Men’s Health

, says, “The long gown that she wore to the state banquet made her look like a giant mermaid. It wasn’t exactly flattering for her frame.”



Some feel even her shoes and accessories failed to make a mark. Shaikh adds, “In a world of stylish Jimmy Choos and Louboutins, one wonders why Michelle only wore pumps. They looked like an American equivalent to our ubiquitous kolhapuris.”



The international press says Michelle’s look was a “conscious attempt to seem approachable”, but designers point out a stark contrast between how she dressed on a visit to Paris in June last year. Designer Anupama Dayal says, “She looked elegant, yet sexy in sharply tailored, dresses in Paris. Over here, her slightly billowy skirt seemed to form a paunch on her stomach.”