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Michelle Watch: It’s A Tie (Neck) With Carla Bruni-Sarkozy


It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for—the meeting of the two First Ladies who’ve had us glued to their every stitch. We had previously mused as to whether they might discuss a love of Alaïa, but who could have predicted they’d be in such sartorial harmony, both wearing tie-neck coats? Of course, we’d never dare to break down a real faceoff, but let’s explore the details. Mrs. Obama is wearing more custom Thakoon in a pixelated floral jacquard coat and a (kind of sexy) matching dress. It’s her second time wearing the designer’s wares on this European whirl, proving that even though Panichgul didn’t figure heavily into the Inaugural wardrobe, he’s still a favorite. Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy, meanwhile, opted for her go-to fave Christian Dior, wearing a serene gray belted lambskin coat with a slightly flared bracelet sleeve. These are some tall ladies—and wow, Michelle is actually taller than Carla—so there’s no major shoe action: just the kitten-est of kitten heels on Mrs. Obama and a respectful Dior ballet flat on Bruni-Sarkozy. Verdict: They’re both representing their home fashion teams with flying colors, though Michelle is ahead by a hair for supporting up-and-comers. But tell us what you think. Would you like to see CBS mix it up in, say, an Olivier Theyskens creation? Was this transatlantic fashion moment all that you hoped it would be?

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images



  1. Valerio says:

    Michelle Obama will be the new muze of Vivienne Westwood, Pamela Anderson is in a few weeks/months passé. Good choice of Dame Westwood, about Carla Bruni, I’m really sorry but I can’t see her as an fashion Idol. It will be a to long comment to explain why I don’t see her the way others do. But watch the announcements of Mrs. Westwood, you will be surprised. Arriverderci

  2. parthenia says:

    as always MO looks great-she’s at her best in the sheath. CBS is doing what’s best for her man-projecting a tame,conservative look- nothing else but. She loves the man and is standing by him!

  3. food4thought says:

    Michelle Obama is not taller than Carla Bruni. I say they’re the same height after you factor in Michelle’s kitten heels (vs. Carla’s flats), and that Mrs. O’s hairstyle adds an inch or two to the top of her head!

  4. tr_ro says:

    So Michelle is one hair up for supporting up-and-comers… What about Vogue? Are they 20 steps back for not supporting new comers?
    and WOW, Valerio is here!

  5. peggy07 says:

    mo has it hands down, if i were to be nit picky i would say shoulders back, and wear your hair swept across your brow more. cbs looks frumpy in spite of her dior. the balance is out, the colour dull, and she would be better with a kitten heel than those dowdy flats she keeps wearing. her style has gone way down hill since she decided not to look sexy just because she is the first lady. conservative CAN be sexy, as displayed by mo

  6. Karensky says:

    Michelle wins , no contest. Carla is conservative in support of her husband but she’s lost any personal style at all..thats the hardest thing to maintain in the public eye and Michelle already is an ace…I can’t even imagine how great it will be when she has had a few months experience under her alaia belt!

  7. matthew88 says:

    it’s not a tie, Carla Bruni is many times more elegant, glamorous and chic than Michelle, sorry but true

  8. dpearldavis says:

    I still don’t get the sleeveless dresses in cold weather. I guess I am the only one who feels the cold.

  9. shahla says:

    Did you see the lovely black dress Michelle Obama wore in Strasbourg today, Friday April 3? It goes against all the “latest” supposedly in fashion today. It was fitted, with a waist, something of a bust, and with a full (!) skirt .. nothing like the monstrous “new” 60s leftovers repeatedly being presented as “fresh” for most of the last 30 years. Maybe Michelle will be the savior of the fashion industry, with looks that really are flattering and refreshing. Not the same old minis, tight T-shirts and ugly jeans. Yea for beautiful clothes … and womanly clothes!

  10. glossy says:

    you know, I have to give it to both of them!! To those who say Carla B was “frumpy” looking, im shocked, she looked great! and VERY chic!

    But Mrs. O looked amazing, even more so because she stuck to her style…this outfit is sooo her, yet, it was accessible in taste to everyone else…I love the color, the fit, and the dress underneath was to die for! It was daring, and fashion forward (at least for a first lady), and she definitely held her own next to a supermodel.


  11. Valerio says:

    Sorry Glossy, this isn’t an fashion forum but I’m curious what you mean by Supermodel. If you do mean Carla Bruni, she never was, she can’t stand even in the shadow of Gisele B. Or Linda E. or even Carmen Kass and others. She did a few shows for Chanel, Dior, Valentino in the 90s but to call her a Supermodel is a little bit to much honour for her. She’s only wellknown for her ‘relationships’ with famous man and did some ads for okay famous brands. I’m European and if I have to chose between the both of them I prefer Michelle Obama just because of the fact that she held on to her style. Some say that she is the new Jacky Kennedy, and actually she is. If Vivienne Westwood is fond of her that means something or not? By the way Glossy not everyone who gave/gives a comment is a woman/lady there are also some males around here. For now have a nice weekend. Arriverderci

  12. glossy says:

    @ Valerio

    supermodel, model, whatever distinction you decide to give her is your business, if it makes you happy to refer to her as simply a model, then more power to you….this was not a discussion on what to categorize Carla as professionally, i really don’t care for that, because I do not recall even bringing up the names of Gisele B etc…just because I praise Carla’s professional career does not mean I meant to say she was a cut above the rest…i was simply complimenting ONE person

    and since when was not a fashion forum? As for her “relations” with men as you put it, again, not my business, and not why I came on…i came here to look at people’s STYLE

    As for you preferring Michelle O, more power to you (I personally preferred her too, but that is because I am biased towards her, so im not sure how far my opinion goes), but that is not to mean Carla did not look great either.

    And lastly, where in my comment did i put down men? or am I not allowed to praise these 2 beautiful accomplished women w/o feeling like im somehow putting men down,,,of course I know that men come to this site, but in case you did not notice, this post is about one of the 2 most famous women in the world, and Im proud to say they are representing women well….if there is a post about a man (president Obama for example), then I can say he is representing gentlement around the world well, but this happens to be about Mrs. O and Mrs. S

    and i hope you have a good weekend too!

  13. Valerio says:

    First of all Glossy at this website you have a fashion forum, that’s what I meant to say on the Style File blog we only give our comments and that’s it. And I agree you never put men down, but that isn’t the question. I talked about Mrs.Obama and Carla B. and your last words were (in a previous comment) Bravo Ladies, so a little misunderstanding between us,I think. Maybe caused by the fact that I’m Italian and English is my second or better said my third language. Sorry about the misunderstanding. But anyway I find that Michelle Obama had a better performance then Carla B. but as I said before I’m not fond Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy. This is my personal opinion, sorry about that. Arriverderci

  14. mercuryloge says:

    mrs. o’s outfit looks ma-a-a-a-a-a–arvelous – mr. panichgul has a wonderful way with color, and a nice classic, middle-of-the-road shape, which ends up looking much more elegant than that – dior is dior – cbs’ outfit is not the most startling, but a little photo ill displays the material and line – i suspect cbs and the french establishment may have been trying to downplay the colorful popular sweep achieved by the obamas, but the two ladies look just fine together – who cited ms. bundchen as runway model – isn’t she a photo model (but she was wonderful opening that dior couture show) – ms. kass is the most prominent runway model cited, one of the the vanguards of the current slavic contingent – the brilliantly original ms westwood simply isn’t in the top tier of exciting designers, so those comments aren’t of too much interest

  15. glossy says:

    valerio….agreed, we had a misunderstanding…. :-)

  16. cocogigi says:

    Your March Vogue cover is Abusive!!! THis is the first lady the world has been waiting for??!!! I have never seen anything so insulting to our prior beautiful first ladies – SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!

  17. coconicole says:

    definitely carla. michelle looks abit frumpy and confused in a distraccting print. sure, carla looks a bit boring, but classic looks will always win.

  18. Emma59 says:

    Both women are very fashion forward. I think Mrs.Sarkozy one this round of the face-off, because Mrs.Obama’s dress looked a little tacky or like a shower curtain. I think Mrs.Sarkozy had on a very nice Dior coat. At the G20 dinner, Mrs.Obama one that round in a black Azzedine Alaia cocktail dress.
    I have an post about the face-down on my fashion blog (the blog is one of my hobbies).

  19. Voguetta says:

    This is absurd.. You don’t compare a zebra to a leopard. God forbid, something REALLY bad happens to their husbands, I just wish they won’t be annointed to the altar of COugar-dom. Whew..

  20. xC0UTURE says:

    Michelle’s style is definitely inferior to Carla’s. Also, Michelle isn’t taller than Carla. She’s wearing kitten heels and her hair is enormous.

  21. Valerio says:

    What is an inferior style? Each woman or man has her/his style, never call that inferior, be proud that you have one. There are an enormous amount of people which act like sheeps, buy the same peices/clothes etc. What is so special about Mrs. Carla Bruni, is it that she is the wife of the president of France? or that she did sometimes a fashionshow and some ads? I don’t understand your comment, especially not about the height of the two beautiful ladies, Mrs Obama is taller, you can’t deny that. Look only to the shoulders. Be honest the few inches of the ‘kitten heels’ are not an right indication of the height of Mrs. Obama and it’s ridiculous that you mentioned her enormous hair. What I said in a previous comment watch out what Mrs. Westwood say. Arriverderci

  22. quartzcrystal says:

    Carla kills Michelle.
    Except I wish Carla was wearing huge heels.

  23. NotMod says:

    Not convinced each outfit is a great fit to the time, pace and woman? Try to imagine the switch! ;)

    Now, how many women can you count that look better in what they choose to wear then in just about any alternative you could think of?

  24. poppet18 says:

    I’m going to be one of the few people that go for Carla here. I think her choice is better, but more than that she just has heaps more natural class and elegance. She looks lovely and chic.

  25. joelle1 says:

    Mrs O Definitely has more personality not only beauty and Carla has been the first lady of France for a while now and nobody really talked this much about her until she has to stand next to the new US first lady. So she need to be thankful for the momentary” world spot light”

  26. eliesaabfan says:

    Carla Bruni-Sarkozy wins for me. She’s got a classier look, and she’s in better shape. Michelle Obama is overrated. She doesn’t know what flatters her form and what doesn’t.

  27. loveismontreal says:

    Mrs. Obama definately looks more interested in keeping up with trends whereas Carla keeps it elegant and charming

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