A Conversation About Why Bridget Foley's Michelle Obama Rant Is Outrageous

We look forward to Bridget Foley's WWD op-eds, mostly because it's one of the few times the industry trade offers up a real opinion. (It wasn't always so stale: read John Fairchild's Chic Savages to learn all about WWD's heyday in the 1970s.) But this morning, the Fashionista team was collectively turned off by "Fashion Pound Puppies," in which Foley lambastes Michelle Obama for requesting designers create inaugural outfits for her on-spec. "How does Michelle Obama get a pass on the ridiculousness surrounding her inaugural wardrobe selections?" she says. "The whole thing would be merely silly and undignified if it weren’t so disrespectful of the time and resources of others, some of whom have little of both at their disposal." We were so annoyed by her presumptions, in fact, that Leah and I spent like 15 minutes talking about it over Gchat:
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Leah Chernikoff
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We look forward to Bridget Foley's WWD op-eds, mostly because it's one of the few times the industry trade offers up a real opinion. (It wasn't always so stale: read John Fairchild's Chic Savages to learn all about WWD's heyday in the 1970s.) But this morning, the Fashionista team was collectively turned off by "Fashion Pound Puppies," in which Foley lambastes Michelle Obama for requesting designers create inaugural outfits for her on-spec. "How does Michelle Obama get a pass on the ridiculousness surrounding her inaugural wardrobe selections?" she says. "The whole thing would be merely silly and undignified if it weren’t so disrespectful of the time and resources of others, some of whom have little of both at their disposal." We were so annoyed by her presumptions, in fact, that Leah and I spent like 15 minutes talking about it over Gchat:
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

We look forward to Bridget Foley's WWD op-eds, mostly because it's one of the few times the industry trade offers up a real opinion. (It wasn't always so stale: read John Fairchild's Chic Savages to learn all about WWD's heyday in the 1970s.) But this morning, the Fashionista team was collectively turned off by "Fashion Pound Puppies," in which Foley lambastes Michelle Obama for requesting designers create inaugural outfits for her on-spec. "How does Michelle Obama get a pass on the ridiculousness surrounding her inaugural wardrobe selections?" she says. "The whole thing would be merely silly and undignified if it weren’t so disrespectful of the time and resources of others, some of whom have little of both at their disposal." We were so annoyed by her presumptions, in fact, that Leah and I spent like 15 minutes talking about it over Gchat:

Lauren: I like that Bridget Foley is being contrarian—that she has an opinion about the whole thing. I just don't happen to agree with her.

Leah: I see her point, but it seems a bit scathing. I just don't know if I buy that designers were so put out by creating a dress for Michelle Obama in hopes that she might wear it. As a designer I would think - you can't not take that chance.

Lauren: Totally. This is a part of their job. They do it for celebs on the red carpet constantly.

Leah: Exactly.

Lauren: So little of what designers create for the runway gets sold. It's just like one more runway piece, but with so much more marketing potential, that even if she wears it a year from now it's worth it. Look at the press Chris Benz received over the Obamas wearing his stuff.

Leah: And part of her rant sounded to me like there's some disappointment that WWD has to wait to find out what Michelle Obama wears just like the rest of us. Whereas WWD used to break the news. But I think it just speaks to how much the First Lady has done for fashion. We all care. We all want to find out. Anderson Cooper was breathless about it on CNN.

Lauren: And shouldn't Foley be thrilled that Michelle has made a game of it? It's good for WWD. Way more entertaining. What fun is a press release?

Leah: She says Michelle Obama shouldn't behave like a celebrity but isn't she one?

Lauren: Exactly. No one is chiding Kate Middleton for doing the exact same thing.

Leah: Well, she said Kate only picked one wedding dress.

Lauren: Sure, but she certainly calls in multiple items for different events. I equate the Inaugural balls to the Oscars, not the Royal Wedding.

Leah: Also, this: "But let’s say Mrs. Obama enjoyed the public guessing game; she must, or it wouldn’t have happened." How can we make presumptions about what Michelle Obama is thinking?

Lauren: I also think it comes back to what you and I discussed on Monday. She is her own person, and this whole saga demonstrates that. She does what she feels is right for her. Whether or not she enjoyed the guessing game really isn't the point.

Leah: And I can't imagine Michelle Obama was like trolling fashion blogs and enjoying how much speculation was going on over her clothes. She just wore the clothes she liked best.

Lauren: Hahaha what if she reads Fashionista?

Leah: Well I could die happy.

Lauren: I bet Sasha does. She totally found that ASOS dress in Dhani's market roundup.

Leah: I think we're getting off topic...