Fashionista Followup: Bling-bling Politics

Late-breaking News: They went and did it. They hadn’t done it? AFP is reporting:

Nine months after winning the presidency on a promise to reform France, Nicolas Sarkozy ushered in major change in his personal life by marrying supermodel-cum-singer Carla Bruni.

Dubbed the “hyper-president” for his whirlwind style of governing, Sarkozy had recently earned another label from the French press — “the bling-bling president” — for parading his glitzy romance with Bruni in public.

His third marriage comes just three months after his divorce from Cecilia Ciganer-Albaniz, a former model and PR executive who had over their 11 years of marriage served as one of his closest advisers.

NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley has a good audio overview — must have been waiting in the can for several weeks — with actualities of peole talking about it on the streets of Paris.

Irish budget airline Ryanair spoofed the Carla-Sarko affair in an ad published in the popular French daily Le Parisien. The thought-bubble emanating from Carla’s head says, “With Ryanair, all my family can come to my wedding.”Earlier this week, Irish budget airline Ryanair spoofed the Carla-Sarko affair in an ad published in the popular French daily Le Parisien. The thought-bubble emanating from Carla’s head reads, “With Ryanair, all my family can come to my wedding.” The pre-nup’s were not amused. He is suing for a symbolic 1 euro; she wants half a million. Her lawyer told Le Monde, “A photo of Carla Bruni costs 500,000 euros,” explaining that her fame as a model commands large sums for advertising. If this blog is held to that standard, I’m headed to the poor house! Let’s hope a judge balances the claim against a billion’s worth of free publicity. [Photo: AFP/Sidney Morning Herald]

I’ve said it before, so now I can claim it’s a leitmotif: you know a juicy story has jumped the shark when NPR does a think-piece about it. Last week’s On The Media rehashed the Carla-Sarko high points (like “Sex, Diamonds, and Rivalry”) in an interview with Michael Young, opinion editor for The Daily Star in Lebanon. One quote suffices:

MICHAEL YOUNG: What I saw was through the wires or on websites. It was essentially he descended from a private jet with his latest girlfriend, and we’re not quite sure if she’s since become his wife, Carla Bruni, who is a former model and a singer. And Sarkozy, in stark contrast to another French president who visited Egypt – many others, but particularly Mitterrand – came out of the airplane looking pretty much like a Corsican hoodlum

[BROOKE LAUGHS] with his Ray-Bans tilted forward, his shirt opened an extra button – not looking very presidential. He really doesn’t have a sense of gravitas.

And so to a certain extent that’s appealed to the French, but more recently, indeed, as you were pointing out, the polls suggested his sort of latest whirlwind romance with Carla Bruni has not really been appreciated by the French, who tend to want their politicians to be a little bit more serious.

Hmm…. “Corsican hoodlum” is a new insight; otherwise, the piece is a snooze.

Part of John Galliano's Men's Fall 2008 Ready-to-Wear collection (Getty Images)On another front, this week’s OTM has an interview about political statements in couture that deserves deeper attention. Kathleen McDermott, a professor of fashion history at the Rhode Island School of Design, says John Galliano’s 2008 menswear collection (yes, those Henry VIII knock-offs again) looked as if it came from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. That’s a far cry from France 24’s reading. You can download an OTM audio clip now, and the print transcript will be published next week. [Photo source: Getty/OTM]

See more Carla-Sarko shameless gossip and pop cultural studies.

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