Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style

Kate Betts, Clarkson Potter, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-0-3075-9143-2
Betts, a Time style and design contributor has been an avid observer of first lady Michelle Obama’s style since she first stepped into the limelight. More than a fashion handbook, this book serves as an exploration of the societal and political implications of Mrs. Obama’s style, a pondering of why style matters, and an argument for the notion that “[s]tyle is a part of the content of one’s character.” Betts parses the first lady’s choices of clothing (cardigans and floral dresses rather than navy blue pants suits) as well as her persona, from her warmth and openness to her decision to let cameras capture her hula-hooping on the White House lawn. Betts also takes a fascinating, well-researched look at first ladies throughout history (Mary Todd Lincoln was criticized for her fashionistaesque extravagance) and muses on the ways in which they were a reflection of women’s roles during their years in the White House. With its fine mix of deconstruction and designer interviews, well-sourced research and sumptuous photos, Betts has created a book that is eye and brain candy alike. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/13/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 262 pages - 978-0-307-95266-0
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