Au Revoir Carla Bruni: A Look Back at the French First Lady's Style (And an Introduction to New First Lady Valérie Trierweiler)

On Sunday, while the rest of us were recovering from our Cinco de Mayo hangovers, France was having the second round of their presidential elections. As predicted by many French news outlets, incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy lost to the Socialist candidate François Hollande. Beyond the obvious implications of a new president of France, we here at Fashionista felt a little bummed to lose First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy. Along with her counterparts, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, former supermodel Carla made being stylish a key part of the First Lady role. No longer can you just slap on a pantsuit and call it a day. What you wear can be as important as which charities you support. New First Lady Valérie Trierweiler, girlfriend of Hollande and herself a journalist for Paris Match, has big Louboutins to fill.
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On Sunday, while the rest of us were recovering from our Cinco de Mayo hangovers, France was having the second round of their presidential elections. As predicted by many French news outlets, incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy lost to the Socialist candidate François Hollande. Beyond the obvious implications of a new president of France, we here at Fashionista felt a little bummed to lose First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy. Along with her counterparts, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, former supermodel Carla made being stylish a key part of the First Lady role. No longer can you just slap on a pantsuit and call it a day. What you wear can be as important as which charities you support. New First Lady Valérie Trierweiler, girlfriend of Hollande and herself a journalist for Paris Match, has big Louboutins to fill.
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

On Sunday, while the rest of us were recovering from our Cinco de Mayo hangovers, France was having the second round of their presidential elections. As predicted by many French news outlets, incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy lost to the Socialist candidate François Hollande. Beyond the obvious implications of a new president of France, we here at Fashionista felt a little bummed to lose First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy. Along with her counterparts, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, former supermodel Carla made being stylish a key part of the First Lady role. No longer can you just slap on a pantsuit and call it a day. What you wear can be as important as which charities you support.

New First Lady Valérie Trierweiler, girlfriend of Hollande and herself a journalist for Paris Match, has big Louboutins to fill. As the first unmarried First Lady of France, the twice divorced mother of three also plans to keep her career. She has already sold herself as the "anti-Bruni," preferring tailored professional looks and shopping at markets to sharp sheath dresses and Avenue Montaigne boutiques.

We'll wait to see what Trierweiler brings to the Elysée style-wise, but until then, we wanted to look back at Carla's First Lady Style.

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Comme si de rien n'était Carla backed off her career after marrying Nicolas Sarkozy to better fill her role as First Lady, but still released her album Comme si de rien n'était in 2008. She did support the album with appearances, where she preferred somber and quiet black pieces. Perfectly appropriate for a First Lady with a singing career.

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Suited for Day: Keeping things chic and simple, Carla relied on sharp skirt suiting for public appearances and serious occasions. She often wore flats so as not to upstage her - how shall we say - shorter husband. Her handbags, whether Dior or Chanel, came in classic and ladylike shapes.

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Chicly Sheathed: When it came time to meet dignitaries and their wives, Carla turned to beautifully tailored sheath dresses from French high fashion houses like Dior. She felt confident enough to switch to heels - kitten, of course, from French shoe master Christian Louboutin.

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Night Moves: For evening events, Carla picked simple gowns with little detail. More often than not she relied on black for formality, but she also looked stunning in jewel tones. Her hair and makeup were always quiet and classic.

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New Girl: First Lady in Waiting, Valérie Trierweiler, doesn't show intentions of being the next fashion darling of the political world. As a journalist, her wardrobe is full of professional suit pieces, button down blouses that add a bit of color, and tailored coats. Considering her financial stance, we can't quite see Valérie showing up at the White House in Chanel, but we're certain she'll bring her own sense of style to the role.