Vivienne Westwood, 71, on Michelle Obama: ‘It’s dreadful what she wears’

I’ve often expressed my admiration for British designer Vivienne Westwood. She’s 71 years old, she’s kind of crazy, she’s wholly original, and she makes interesting clothes that sometimes work spectacularly. Lately, Westwood has become one of the few British designers who has dared to criticize Duchess Kate – most designers genuflect and kiss-ass, hoping that Duchess Kate will deign to wear one of their items so they can become some overnight success. Westwood has slammed Kate for her raccoon makeup and for not recycling her clothes enough. And now Westwood has taken on First Lady Michelle Obama in a new interview with the New York Times. Westwood is promoting her new exhibit at the Costume Institute. You can read the full piece here, and here are some excerpts:

Westwood on answering questions about how punk she is: “I think it’s ridiculous. I’m also rather bored with American journalists. Every time punk comes up, they think of me as a kind of trophy. ‘Oh, we know Vivienne, she’s great.’ And then you hear nothing from them in between. You know, America is an isolated territory, with all those editors who think they are so powerful. Mostly, I think they are rubbish. And I don’t like fashion magazines either. Someone asked me the other day, if I really was a world controller, what is the first thing I would do. I would stop advertising.”

On whether punk fashion is making a comeback: “I don’t follow fashion. I really don’t. I’ve never been interested in it. I think punk has entered into the iconography of fashion. In 1970 or 1969, the shop we have, Worlds End at 430 Kings Road, that was Mr Freedom. I went in there and bought a pair of tight leopard-printed velvet trousers. I had never seen anything like it. It was the most amazing thing. Punk says rebellion. Now every child has seen this.”

Can fashion still provoke? “Probably not. There’s such a communication of stylists. They weren’t very important once. The general public didn’t even know about them. They were paid very badly and worked for two weeks getting a shoot together and got a quarter of what the hair person got. Fashion has become so whatever. I don’t think there are any stones left to unturn.”

On Duchess Kate: “I didn’t criticize her. I said that it would be a wonderful thing for her to wear her clothes more than once. She’s getting this wonderful look, but if she has a red look today, why does she have to wear the blue look tomorrow? It’s just by way of an example to other people that you should buy less. Don’t buy so many clothes.”

On FLOTUS Mobama: “Don’t talk about her. It’s dreadful what she wears… I don’t want to talk about it. Really, I can’t. She’s a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her. Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.”

[From The NY Times]

The hell? Michelle Obama wears flattering clothes! Sometimes. MOST of the time. Ocassionally, Michelle will wear something and I’m like, “Ooooh, NO.” For example, I didn’t like what Michelle wore for the day-time inauguration activites – that little cardigan over the A-line dress? Disaster. But I loved her Jason Wu gown in the evening. And most of the time I’m into it, even if I know I couldn’t pull it off. Maybe Vivienne is like Karl Lagerfeld – pissed off because Michelle got midlife crisis bangs? The thing is, I think Westwood wants Michelle to be more punk’d out, and… that seriously wouldn’t work on any first lady. Michelle is “controversial” enough with the bangs, and her crazy-awesome arms and the whole “first African-American first lady” thing. She can’t be punk too.

Here’s Mobama dancing on Fallon a few weeks ago.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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131 Responses to “Vivienne Westwood, 71, on Michelle Obama: ‘It’s dreadful what she wears’”

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  1. tangoecho5 says:

    Why can’t Mrs. Obama dress more out there? The public can handle it. She has the personality for it. The thing is, she doesn’t dress conservative enough nor daring enough. As such, her choices sometimes are dreadful.

    • Tessa says:

      I just find her style very safe and boring. Basically, she really doesn’t have any… which, is fine.

    • Emma13 says:

      Agreed. I think it’s pretty hard for any First Lady to try and dress even slightly edgy because I *think* the public wants to see something conservative and well put together. Sometimes edgy (to me) if not done well can come across slightly sloppy, not a bad thing! Just not good for a FLOTUS. It’ll be interesting to see what she wears when the next 4 years are up.

      I kinda agree with Westwood because sometimes her outfits don’t seem to fit her well. They look good but it’s like she needs a better tailor.

    • Fran says:

      Probably because her husband is the president of the united states and as such she has to represent the office and the country? I mean, if she ever wore the boob pushing dresses VW makes, the country would be outraged. I think she dresses the way she does because that’s her style. Why is she supposed to change that?

      • LAK says:

        VW puts out other styles too, but that one style is super flattering on every figure which is why it is a popular style to extent that people think that’s all she does. It’s like Roland Mouret’s galaxy dress which also flatters every figure resulting in every celebrity wearing it to detriment of his other designs.

    • Gene Parmesan says:

      You can’t please everyone, and Mrs O has realized that. She wore shorts, like apse all do, people had issues with that. She wears sleeveless dresses people criticize her, like at last month’s state of the union. She dresses for herself and her style has evolved but still has been lady like. Whatever, she is gorgeous and a style icon.

    • Cece says:

      I’m thinking that she has better things to do than worry about her “look.” Her clothes seem comfortable, and lots are affordable. She probably wants to keep the attention on what she is saying rather than what she looks like.

      Some woman are confident enough to let their voices speak for them, not their clothes. Insecure women worry about the clothes.

    • Eli says:

      SHE is dreadful…. Period!!!

    • Suze says:

      I don’t agree. I don’t think the public could remotely handle an edgy, out-there Michelle Obama.

      I think the uproar would be deafening.

  2. CC says:

    Michelle Obama, like most US presidents’ wives, has no real fashion personality or individuality that’s not tacky or subpar, so, she dresses what she’s told it’s ok for the role. Nothing new to see here.

  3. Ailine says:

    Ms. Westwood choice of hair color is questionable at best. She should live and let live.

    And Jackie Kennedy’s main job was to look pretty. I think Michelle Obama is just a wee bit more intellectually accomplished. :/ Jeesh. Here women go again attacking the superficial.

    • moi says:

      Jackie o was actually very well educated and intelligent as well

    • kibbles says:

      VW is an old woman who is known for being an artistic designer. She designs clothing, she isn’t a fashion icon. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, is considered a fashion icon by many, so I think it is acceptable for a designer or anyone else to have the right to critique what Obama wears and whether or not she deserves the title of fashion icon. I think the praise of Obama’s fashion is a lot like the talk over Kate Middleton. Both of them are overrated for their fashion sense because they are married to important men and neither woman has done a lot in their role to warrant serious discussion over them besides what they wear. Obama has at least worked on childhood obesity whereas Kate has done little else besides shop and show up once in a while for a charity event photo op, so what else are we going to discuss. It’s not like she is an advocate for any serious causes. In reality, both women have a fairly boring fashion sense. I do think that Middleton dresses much better than Obama though. Obama wears some truly horrible stuff from time to time (look at the links I posted in my comment below for examples).

      On another note, I hate having to reduce a female public figure to simply a fashion icon, but that is what Obama and Middleton have allowed themselves to be in the public eye and both seem to enjoy that title. Hillary Clinton is not known for her fashion sense (or lack thereof) because she is respected for the work she does as a public servant and now a politician. Once in a while you will hear a critique, but fashion is not central to Clinton’s public image. I kinda like that about her. Whether you agree with her politics, she has never allowed the public to see her as simply a fashion mannequin.

      • Ailine says:

        She didn’t sign up to be a fashion icon. That shouldn’t even have to be a First Lady responsibility. So superficial.

      • kibbles says:

        It isn’t a First Lady’s responsibility to be known as a fashion icon and Hillary Clinton has said many times that she could care less about fashion and wants to be judged for what she does rather than what she wears. However, it seems that Michelle enjoys being a fashion icon just as Jackie Kennedy enjoyed being known for her fashion while in the White House. Obama has appeared on the cover of Vogue and other fashion and entertainment magazines. She appeared on the Oscars wearing a designer gown for crying out loud (that gown did look lovely on her for the record). If she didn’t want to be known as a fashion icon, she could turn down those invites. It isn’t as if she has zero control over her public image. She has chosen to be a mild first lady (compared to the last Democratic first lady) and is known for her fashion, gardening, and childhood obesity campaign. She has taken on a very traditional image in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that but I prefer someone more fiery like Hillary Clinton.

      • Just Me says:

        You know, it’s funny to me how people seem to have selective memories about the FLOTUS. I seem to remember Laura Bush doing a magazine interview and proclaiming her admiration for Oscar de la Renta during her husband’s terms in office. I didn’t see anything wrong her doing that then, just as I don’t see anything wrong with what Michelle Obama is doing now.

        You know what’s wrong with American politics these days? People can’t separate the people from the politics. People are just people. If they believe differently than you, it doesn’t mean they’re evil, bad people. They’re just different. Yet, people want to demonize anything that’s different from their own belief system.

      • Just Me says:

        Also, since we’re talking about television appearances, and rubbing elbows with celebrities, please check out Laura Bush’s IMDB page.

      • Scavenger says:

        Great note, Kibbles! Agree with you.

    • Faye says:

      Michelle may be more educated, but honestly, what is she doing now that shows more achievement? She’s there as an ornament to her husband, with some pet projects (child obesity) they throw her way. But basically, she’s doing the same thing all the First Ladies do. If she had her choice, I sincerely doubt she would choose to ditch her previously high-profile law career for doing PSAs and appearing on Sesame Street.

      • Christina says:

        I agree. For all Michelle’s intelligence and accomplishments, she’s essentially a photogenic prop for her husband. She’s just as traditional as Jackie O or Nancy Reagan, in the sense that she gave up her career to trail around after her husband. Now, if she’d continued working while her husband rose in the political pecking order, I could respect her for trying to buck the sexist ‘First Lady’ traditions. But as it is, she’s just another political accessory. But as a non-American, I suppose my view really isn’t that important.

      • Dena says:

        Revisit the outraged years of Hilary Clinton and healthcare when she was FLOTUS. If you lived through that or know even what remotely happened when a FLOTUS appeared to have her own mind and opinions that wasn’t sanctioned by the old boys network, then you will understand, in part, why Michelle Obama’s image is part Betty Crooker and part Barbara Bush.

      • DreamyK says:

        @Dena…Yep. The crap that was thrown at Hillary for daring to put words into action was so bizarre and vehement.

        The worst though was when Hillary, a Wellesley College and Yale Law School graduate,was asked for her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. What.The.Hell.

        I love our First Lady :) Michelle is awesome.

      • kibbles says:

        Most of that outrage came from conservatives and that was 20 years ago. Times have changed. Just because some lunatics dislike women who have real careers and speak their minds doesn’t mean that women should stop doing so. Maybe some conservatives didn’t like HRC then, but many more people today in 2013 would love for her to run for president because she didn’t just sit back and bake cookies while her husband was in office. Democrats need to grow a backbone. Don’t allow crazies who want all women to remain barefoot and pregnant dominate what First Ladies should do and how they should act.

      • Deedee says:

        @Dena Exactly, plus during the presidential campaign. Michelle was considered to outspoken and black and almost a liability to her husbands campaign. Its quite ironic that she is now being critiqued for being too bland.

  4. Aiobhan says:

    Somebody needs to take a nap.

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      Totally! She is starting to sound like cranky old Karl Lagerfeld.

      What, exactly is the point of saying you don’t follow fashion and then turning around and criticizing the wardrobes of women who are incredibly constrained by their position? Does she expect Michelle and Kate to dress like Helena Bonham Carter? Because it ain’t gonna happen and she sounds like an idiot. Which is too bad, I usually adore her.

  5. Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

    Viv might need to take a long, cold look in her own mirror.

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      What does her physical features have to do with this? Don’t be so petty. It shows an ugliness that mirrors hide.

      • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

        MY mirror shows the *clothes* I’m wearing…doesn’t yours? If someone shows up in a bad outfit (see Lohan, Lindsay), doesn’t everyone say, “doesn’t she own a mirror?” Don’t read what is not there. It shows YOUR pettiness, not mine.

        Or maybe you think the Julian Assange outfit is something Michelle Obama should wear to a state dinner?

        “It’s dreadful what she wears.”

      • LAK says:

        Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer : in your original post, where you talking about Vivienne’s looks or her clothing.

        I must say that when I read it, I interpreted it in the same way that @alexander did ie that you were talking about her looks.

      • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

        “Where you talking about Vivienne’s looks or her clothing.”

        Is that a question? It isn’t clear what you mean.

        Obviously one’s clothing is part of the way one “looks.” Also obviously, in a thread in which a clothing designer comments negatively on another woman’s clothing choices, her own clothing would be under the microscope.

        I didn’t say Viv is an ugly old hag, did I? There are several others here who suggest that Viv should look in a mirror, and some have commented on aspects of her physical appearance–like her teeth– outright. Why not pounce all over them?

      • LAK says:

        @cool Phospherous summer: is this how you generally respond to enquiries and or questions asking for clarificatios?

        A simple ‘ I was talking about her clothing’ was all you needed to say.

        What’s with the persecution complex and anger?

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Cool Phospherous summer
        1. you spelled Phospherus wrong.
        2. Just because she’s a clothing designer doesn’t mean people will only talk about her clothes. Often here they will insult her looks, because when people fail to find a flaw to attack they will be superficial. I see what you meant now that you clarified, but still your original post was vague enough that at least 2 conclusions were like
        You responded to LAK in a very snippy manner. She was polite and you went on the offense. This is the impression I got anyways.

  6. Ranunculus says:

    I have nothing against crazy and whacky 71 year olds with orange hair. Hell I am going to be one of them one day, but Westwood is not that great of a designer. I think she dresses Helena Bonham Carter and she looks pretty tacky and just plain uncool most of the times.

    • LAK says:

      HBC does a disservice to Vivienne’s clothes because she hates main stream styling. She gave an interview once where she was talking about her RC look, and she said her look was deliberate. I think at the time she was doing press for her own fashion line which pretty much looked like a cross between her wardrobe from SWEENEY TODD and a mental patient’s take on fashion.

      When other people wear Vivienne, properly styled and accessoried, it looks amazing eg Kerry Washington at the Emmys(I think) last year in a pale pink sequined number, SJP at a SATC premiere in Japan (and that wedding dress in the first SATC film), Dita Von Teese at various events and her wedding etc. The artist Tracy Amin wears Vivienne exclusively, and she always looks wonderful.

  7. Nev says:

    She’s right about Kate…YAWN….so YAWN….wrong about Mrs.Obama.

    • Dena says:

      I agree but I also think she is right about designers and “edge.” I remember when I was a teenager and in my 20s and seeing and admiring different types of art, designs, and a wide variety of creativity. Now, everything is “designed” to be what is it . . . edgy, cool, sophisticated. It’s not a unique blend of “whoa look what happened”. Hmm. It’s hard to explain. I guess I am saying that nothing seems authentic anymore. It’s all fabricated and copied and deliberate.

      People, individuals, used to have their own unique sense of style. Now, everyone looks like everyone. I used to love shawls, ponchos, wraps, wedgies, and funky jewelry, pencil skirts and pants as a child and teenager(I was a kid in the 70s and 80s). Even though things come and go, I have always incorporated some of those things into my personal style. (I’m always wearing at least a big crazy funky, chunky ring or bracelet/cuff.) I would would wear a scarf as a belt, around my neck or shoulders, or even as shirt under a blazer/jacket during summer months. I would just make sure my nips weren’t showing. It was funky. It was cute. It was me. Now, however, I look around the office where I work and everyone has on the same thing, styled the same way. So much so that I have stopped wearing the things that have become generic. It killed me in the beginning but it no longer felt personal. Ya know?

  8. Aud says:

    It’s amazing how this horrid woman deems herself stylish.
    She’d have to pay Michelle Obama to wear the rubbish she designs.
    Westwood is one of the worst designers of the 20th century and she tries to remain relevant by being a style commentator when she clearly looks like she got out of bed.

    • LAK says:

      “Westwood is one of the worst designers of the 20th century”

      Are you kidding? Her work is in the permanent collection of several major museums worldwide as an example of 20th century design and is referenced and copied ad nauseum by other designers? Museums don’t take any designer’s work especially for their permanent collections.

      You may not personally like her designs, but to call her a bad designer relegated to the worst list of 20th Century is so wrong and misinformed. And I bet there are clothes in your wardrobe that can be directly traced back to her influence.

  9. Jane says:

    She is just upset that Mrs. Obama does not wear her clothes, since whatever she wears sells out immediately. Just like Catherine. Folks love to bitch when they are left out.

    For a First Lady, she is relatively bold. But I can imagine the uproar if she really did go outside the box. This woman got bashed for showing her arms (her very nice arms) for pity sake.

  10. MrsBPitt says:

    I think Mrs. Obama usually dresses very nice…She is the wife of a US President…not a movie star’s wife…like most of us, she has to dress for her job…safe, yet stylish!

  11. Miss so and so says:

    ok so when she criticized Kate I said what most are now saying here, that she should do some self improvement before talking about others and I was taken to task. Now she has criticized the anointed one’s wife and it is now ok to take about her look. What gives???

    • TrustMeOnThis says:

      It’s not that. So many of the commenters here just love to pick on Kate. I hardly even read the posts about her any more because the piling on gets tiresome.

      And before someone reminds me of the name of the site, yes, I know. But be fair; sooo many people love to diss her, for some unknown reason. To me she seems like an unlikely figure for love or hate. You know? She seems like a pretty nice girl but she doesn’t have a lot to say.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Trust Ugh! We don’t love to diss Kate. That is an incredibly bias statement. Often we will compliment her and we do want to root for her. Really. She can turn her image around.

        And she does have a lot to say. It just isn’t the right thing to say. We don’t praise her for existing and defend her when she’s wrong. If she is in the right about something then her fans could build a proper defense. She isn’t hated and the reasons some people complain here are not unknown reasons. You just don’t want to see our side. To understand why we think this way means 
        you couldn’t defend her as you do.
        With that said don’t group everyone who lists constructive criticism as people picking on her. That unfair. I hope this gets through to you, but you’re a fan girl that complains when she isn’t spoken of in a positive manner.

  12. pink giraffe says:

    Michelle Obama almost always looks too big for the clothes she’s in, and no one calls her on it. I have always loved Westwood’s clothes, and it’s refreshing that she’s not a sycophant.

    • Faye says:

      Honestly, I’d have to mostly agree. Mrs. Obama is certainly not fat, but she has a more muscular frame. I often feel she wears designer clothes that were intended for super-skinny waifs, and just aren’t that flattering on her. I think she looks the best in streamlined, tailored clothes, like Michael Kors dresses.

      That being said, Westwood is an attention whore who will say anything “shocking” to the press to get more focus on her, so I wouldn’t give her too much credibility. I mean, that Assange t-shirt just says it all, doesn’t it?

  13. LAK says:

    Vivienne has reached the age where she doesn’t care anymore. A granny who either says what everyone is too polite to say or is just plain embarrassing in her views. Either way, we love her still.

    She’s earned her place in the world, has put a permanent mark on fashion.

    The rest is noise.

    • K.T. says:

      Totally agree that Sir V is a designer designer. She’s also a complete punk and will stir up whatever issue that pops into her still agile bent mind.

      But I do wish she would leave Michelle out of it, though Sir V can and should say what she wants, she has made a career about being iconoclastic. But flotus is a person,, though some people here see her as doing little with her accomplishments, as actually being amazing to have this role and survived fairly gracefully through enormous pressure under fire.

      People don’t seem to remember how savagely Hilary Clinton was treated about her lack of looks, style etc. She recognized now for her political work but i’m so old I remember reading what even mainstream press would publish about her appearance, ye gods, wimmen have it hard sometimes ;)

      • LAK says:

        I remember the Hilary years. She was so relentlessly attacked over her looks and style choices.

        I actually disapproved of her continuous style changes in a futile effort to present whatever it was that was expected of her.she changed her look so often to please people and is was ALWAYS criticised.

        I think her choices in Senate was a deliberate middle finger to all those critics.

        Her presidential/SEC run showed someone who wasn’t going to listen to those fashion critics again, and was better off doing so.

      • another nina says:

        Hilary has nothing to do with SEC, thank you very much.

  14. pfeiffer87 says:

    Some call it honesty I just call it bitchiness, and I LOVE it.

  15. Alexandra Bananarama says:

    MO dresses fine. Classy always. Gowns for formal events are beautiful, functional, and suitable. Day clothes are simple, but flattering and bought from stores anyone can go to… like J. Crew. I get what VW is saying, but I don’t 100% agree.

    Love that she called out AW of Vogue! American editors that think they’re so powerful?… That’s the definition of “throwing shade”.

    Yes, she did criticize Kate, but it’s still a valid point. She buys too many clothes. It wouldn’t be an issue if she gave back more and paid with her own money, but she does neither. Her country is also hurting. Getting pap’d going shopping every day is not helping anyone, but herself.

    • Nat says:

      I agree, kibbles. I’ve seen Michelle Obama in some lovely outfits, but the belt at the middle of her ribcage always looks so weird. There’s no way anyone looking at it is going to be fooled into thinking that’s her waist, so why put it there?

    • Marilou says:

      Holy moly, you weren’t kidding! Looked at the links you provided, I can’t believe anyone would leave the house wearing some of those outfits! She should fire her stylist or shopper or whoever. Obviously she just the leaders wife not the leader, so why should we care, but holy moly!

    • Kimble says:

      I agree – I am 6ft and I have exactly the same problem … Clothes may fit size wise, but the proportions are all wrong – the shoulder to bust is too short (most things cut across my boobs instead of under them and no, like MO, it’s not sag LOL), the waist hits too high etc and I always think she wears her belts too high – they always look a little “off”

      I can’t afford expensive clothes and so have to be fussy about where I shop but MO can have her stuff made to fit her or at the least tailored – there is no excuse!

      Oh, and I HATE kitten heels … I would wear something with a low fatter heel – kitten heels always look like a tall girl’s cop out for (of) high heels!

    • lucy says:

      Thanks for the awesome gallery of FUGLINESS! Well-curated, kibbles! I totally agree with your assessment.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Thank you for posting these links! Little reminder she is not some great Fashionista that the general public keep pushing her as.

  16. Cody says:

    I can’t believe anybody would even listen to this woman look at her teeth. Ewwww

  17. claire says:

    I think the FLOTUS dresses fine. Most of the time I think she looks pretty great and appropriate. That said, I don’t get the VW hate on here. She’s a fashion designer. She was asked what she thought of MO’s fashion and she said she doesn’t admire it. Big deal.

  18. elceibeno08 says:

    We are all entitled to our opinions. No matter how stupid, insensitive, uncalled-for they are. Michelle Obama dresses very nicely so Vivienne is wrong.

  19. kibbles says:

    You seem to be the type who has a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who is critical of Michelle Obama. Just chill, alright? This is a gossip blog and people here critique women and men of all races. Westwood has also critique Kate Middleton, so it’s not as if she was being racist in singling out Obama. It is your opinion that MO can do no wrong and always looks lovely. A lot of people think otherwise and that doesn’t make them racist. For you to point out Westwood’s skin color and wrinkles just makes you appear racist and ageist. Westwood never brought up Obama’s skin color or criticized her weight or wrinkles. Criticizing one’s fashion is completely different from an attack on one’s age or facial features.

  20. Lulu says:

    First racist post in this thread!

  21. HappyMom says:

    Kate wears her same (boring) clothes over and over-I think Ms Westwood is misinformed.

    • kibbles says:

      Yeah, I didn’t really understand that critique either. Kate does wear a lot of her clothes more than once. Westwood would do herself good if she was more specific when she criticized people. Like, it would have made more sense if she had said that Middleton needed to stop wearing so many buttons on her outfits or if Michelle Obama should stop wearing ugly belts and JCrew cardigans.

    • LAK says:

      Actually the only thing Kate has won over and over are her shoes and purses and some jewellery pieces like her blue sapphire earrings.

      British Vogue had an exhaustive breakdown of Kate’s entire public wardrobe since she became a royal in the February 2013 issue,it’s very apparent that she barely recycles when you see all the outfits lined up.

      At most, she’s repeated 8 outfits twice in the array of outfits she has.

      I was pretty surprised because I thought she repeated outfits more. It’s hard to argue with pictoria evidence that matches outfit to public outing.

      I think we all think that she’s repeats more because her clothes are more or less the same design. Accessoried the same way every time. We don’t clock that she’s been wearing new clothes at every occassion bar those 8 repeats in 2yrs.

  22. Molly says:

    I think Vivienne just puts down “fashion icons” that are overrated. Everyone was going crazy at how Michelle and Kate dressed when frankly, they aren’t always on point. They aren’t terrible though. We need Vivienne’s criticism to balance out the unnecessary praise.

  23. lucy2 says:

    Westwood would have a point if Michelle Obama’s only position was that of fashion plate, but it’s not, and I think she usually dresses pretty well. More importantly, I think MO wears what she likes and is comfortable in. Making a huge fashion statement or trying to be bold all the time isn’t for everyone.

  24. bea says:

    I LOVE Michelle O – but IF I had any criticism of her style, it’s that she dresses too “girly” sometimes. I love her 50s style skirts and dress with flats – but sometimes the high-waisted things, the little cardigans and the bangs don’t flatter her so much. I would like to see her non-formal looks become more sleek. Her formal dress is always sophisticated. I would like to see her transfer that to her casual look.

  25. Zoid says:

    As far as I’m aware, MO isn’t running around giving interviews about how she’s a fashion icon, watches fashion obsessively, and is claiming to dress herself/be on top of all things fashion. So why criticize her outfits? I remember her being slammed for even daring to show her arms in one dress, I would go for conservative and plain too. And FFS, she’s not even dressing herself. It makes me cringe to think that if I were to become famous for whatever reason, even an intellectual one, every woman would sit and pick apart my ‘horrid’ fashion sense. I think some of her outfits are awful, and some look great. There’s no way she could please the entire public with her looks.

    • Janet says:

      I don’t think Mrs. O is trying to please the entire public. I think she dresses to please herself and later for what the public thinks. I don’t think she has Jackie Kennedy’s sense of style, but with a few exceptions, what she wears looks good on her.

      She’s also shown millions of women they don’t have to have millions of bucks to look good. Everything she wears from JCrew sells out in a matter of hours.

  26. Bijlee says:

    I really enjoyed this interview except fot the critique of lady obama. Westwood is a funny gal. But Lady Obama does just fine on the fashion front. And though i wish she would stop doing all these weird awards show and tv appearances, the jimmy Fallon video is really funny.

  27. diva says:

    Michelle dresses perfectly fine. People were upset when she showed her ARMS! What do you think would happen if she started dressing more daring?

  28. I can’t imagine the old lady in the funny looking red drape having the nerve to criticize Michelle’s clothing choices. People should take a look in the mirror to see if they have a right to cast judgement on anyone. There is this Latin Model in her 80′s who could probably give Michelle some tips but Vivian Westwood couldn’t tell my dog what to wear.

  29. Janet says:

    “It’s dreadful what she wears”? Who is she kidding? I have a word to describe that horrid red sack and it’s not “pretty”.

    71 my azz. She looks like she’s pushing 95.

  30. Andrea says:

    Michelle Obama is the first first lady I ever remember who wears clothing I can actually afford to buy. I love her wardrobe for the most part and I am glad she wears clothing from stores everyday women wear.

  31. WTF says:

    This woman is ridiculous. I don’t think that MO gives two sh$ts what this woman thinks about her outfits. It is insane to me that this is what women are reduced to. She’s arguably the most powerful woman in America and we are talking about outfits?!?!
    It’s like it doesn’t matter what we’ve accomplished, at the end of the day all that matters is what we look like.

  32. skuddles says:

    I love some of Vivenne Westwood’s designs but it’s hard to take her opinion on fashion seriously when she dresses like sh-t and looks the way she does… with that hideous orange hair and those rotting teeth.

  33. hannah says:

    You can’t win with this woman. As a matter of principle Westwood just doesn’t have anything nice to say about anyone who doesn’t wear her clothes… Obama, Middleton, the work Patrica Fields did on Sex and the City etc.

  34. erika says:

    ohhhhh zip it fire bunny… w/ your looks at your age should not talk! and let’s discuss that chicken bone halter top you made in the late 70s….THATS fashion?

    westwood has amazing pieces, i saw the museum tour but DO NOT MESS w/ Michelle Obama…she is gorgeous and I LOVE her style….more so, sometimes i can go out and replicate it…(ie: jcrew, target)…love obama….gorgeous!!!

  35. F5 says:

    MO is overexposed and no style icon..

  36. Pop! says:

    You can put down that cross, it must be heavy.

    I love Michelle Obama. She is lady-like and intelligent. It has nothing to do with race for me, i feel like your post provokes unnecessary controversy over something that didn’t matter. your comments are actually the racist ones.

  37. Patrice says:

    “You know, America is an isolated territory, with all those editors who think they are so powerful.” Hahaha. MAJOR side eye (obviously) directed at Anna Wintour! That woman (Wintour) really is something else altogether…

    Fashion should be about fun, occasions and self expression. I watched and sort of loved ‘The September Issue’ but only for entertainment reasons, as in “WOW. All of these behind the scene folks at fashion mags genuinely believe that what they’re doing is tantamount to curing cancer and truly expect to be worshiped and yielded to as such.” Ugh. Vivienne sounds AWESOME and I love that she’s calling out all sorts of ridiculous people within her own industry :D Consider me a new fan girl :)

  38. andrea says:

    I don’t think Michelle Obama’s trying to be Jackie O. If she was, the first thing she’d do is buy a whole other closet of expensive and far more well-trailored top-label clothing. Please, let’s not argue about how there are nice enough clothes from J Crew that can be adjusted to fit her better when we’re comparing her to a woman who was known for wearing Chanel et al.

    I do understand why Vivienne Westwood has that opinion of her wardrobe, but I don’t think the main concern for the FLOTUS right now is to be a fashionista. I honestly think she’d be more worried if people starting calling her fashion choices extravagant rather than dowdy. The point of her whole image is to stay on-message, and at this time when the US economy is getting back on its feet, that message is simplicity and workability.

    • Suze says:


      Michelle Obama can’t (and probably doesn’t want to ) be a fashion icon, not at this time. She certainly doesn’t want to be known as the First Lady of Couture.

      This isn’t the eighties, when Nancy Reagan could wear Valentino without worrying that the masses would revolt, or even the early sixties, when Mrs. Kennedy could wear what she wanted without too many people opining on the expense of her fashion choices.

      I think she aims for attractive and accessible, and achieves it.

      • LAK says:

        the majority of comments on this thread are making me laugh because it’s showing that people do understand what a first lady is supposed to do, be known for and. Represent as far as other women are concerned. People really do understand that First lady isn’t = brainless twit anymore nor should we relegate women to that role. And that MO is a woman of substance.

        I bet the very same people would go on a Kate Middleton thread and do a 180 in their opinions and say that Kate deserves to be the brainless twit she is and we Brits shouldn’t expect any more from her yadayada ad nauseum.

  39. lady X says:

    I never said it did .. I just know how you folks can be when anyone brings up RACE in a sentence… I just love the first lady .. and right this is a blog sight and I can say what I want

  40. A~ says:

    This woman should not be casting stones. Her glass house is at risk.

  41. CC says:

    Feminism and being a president’s wife do not mix. Feminism is being a woman president, not married to one. She’s just doing what every other did, with very little variation, other than the fact that in this century expectations are higher even for ornaments (read: wives).

  42. janet says:

    And who has god aweful ornage hair! Vivienne has no right to judge.

  43. Maritza says:

    Michelle Obama dresses just fine. She has a certain style and sticks with it. Vivienne Westwood just wishes the First Lady would wear her clothes to hit the jackpot here in the USA.

  44. juju says:


  45. chalkdustgirl says:

    I’m sure Mrs. Obama is devastated in regards to these comments (insert sarcastic tone).

  46. Another K says:

    Westwood is 71? Holy crap, my dad is 85 and she makes him look like Justin Bieber in comparison. I live in an area she visits quite often and I always assumed she was much older. And I know we can get a little obsessed about our teeth here in the U.S., but really, can’t she do something about hers? They’re so . . . icky.

    More to the topic: I love Michelle O. (not so much her husband) but I wish she would drop those short little J. Crew sweaters she loves to wear. They’re not flattering. I agree with the commenters here that say her evening outfits are generally quite lovely. Michelle is so intelligent and likeable, I wish she would do more with her position. Now that the prez is in his second term maybe she will feel more comfortable getting out there and really making her mark.

  47. EscapedConvent says:

    It’s so silly & tedious that whatever Michelle Obama wears, someone gets their knickers all twisted up. She wore shorts on vacation: “Oh my God, how tacky!” She wears sleeveless dresses: “How undignified!”

    I wish I looked half as good as Michelle Obama in a sleeveless dress.

  48. WM says:

    I don’t think any woman sporting flaming orange hair and dressed in a red potato sack (or a t-shirt with her own face on it! wtf?) should be commenting on ANYONE else’s style.

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  50. JulieM says:

    What a vile and disgusting statement. This reply was meant for QoFE. I don’t see the comment any more. If moderator wishes to remove my comment, please do.

  51. RHONYC says:

    note to Maxim: please put down the crack pipe.

    big boobs does not a hot chick make. :roll:

  52. RHONYC says:

    every time i see her face i think the same thought:

    ‘wicked witch of the west’.

    smh :-(

  53. NeoCleo says:

    Looking at Westwood over the years, she’s got one hell of a lot of nerve talking smack about the FLOTUS’ manner of dress. She should have stopped dying her hair that mustard yellow years ago and her manner of dress? Sheesh.

  54. lisa says:

    i wish vivienne payed more attention to her dentist than political people. but it is refreshing to see anyone who doesnt kiss MO’s ass and pretend she is the most fashionable and prettiest thing ever.

  55. SFRowGuy says:

    This coming from a woman with orange hair and wearing a t-shirt over a sweater?!

  56. Dirty Martini says:

    I’m with the upthread post.

    Ditch the belts in the rib cage. that looks ridiculous.

    And the too small cardigan sweaters are a joke

    This woman is no style icon. She occasionally has some outfits that rock. Some that suck. And a lot are just boring

  57. Patty says:

    I think Michelle Obama dresses fine for the most part. Sometimes she makes what I would consider poor sartorial choices, but she has more hits than misses.

    She does not put herself out there as any kind of style icon, other people have appointed her as such and that is their prerogative and opinion. Vivienne Westwood is just as entitled to her opinion, which is just that, her opinion.

    People also forget that Michelle’s clothes are paid for by the Obama’s own money. And unlike a Laura Bush or Jackie Kennedy, the Obama’s cannot afford to spend an unlimited amount of money buying designer frocks. And I think her wardrobe reflects that, the occasional splurge and lots of brands that are more in line with what they can afford.

    I would say that her fashion choices are a lot better than most first ladies in recent memory. Seriously, I would consider her the second best dressed first lady after Jackie O.

  58. Chrissie Malcolm says:

    I love Michelle Obama! Intelligent, classy, beautiful and obviously happy to have fun and not take herself too seriously.

    As for Vivienne Westwood – has she had a look in a mirror lately? She has the cheek to say of someone else, “it’s dreadful what she wears”, really, Vivienne? In most of her photographs she looks like a sack of potatoes tied round the middle. She looks like a drag version of Elizabeth the First – not a good look for a 71 year old.

  59. Deeana says:

    Sounds like we’re all in agreement about Michelle’s teeny tiny cardigan sweaters.

    She always looks better in clothing that has been designed and fitted for her rather than the off the rack stuff. And yes, it would be because of her height and her muscular build.

    And I too think she overdoes the sleeveless look.

    Maybe she needs to buy at a Tall Girl’s store?