Rumors are swirling that France’s First Lady, Carla Bruni, didn’t attend the G20 Summit in London with her husband because she didn’t want to be overshadowed by Michelle Obama. Indeed, she wouldn’t have been the center of attention — she’s already done the whole hang out with the Queen thing and she never wears prints or sequins. Carla’s style is predictable (Dior, Dior, and oh — Dior again!) but MObama is a total fashion wild card (Wu, Kors, Watanabe — wait, seriously MObama? Watanabe? — and Wu again). But today the Obamas landed in France and Carla and Michelle met for the first time, and then stood next to each other wearing clothes in a once-in-a-lifetime fashion Sartorial Bowl. Mrs. O reports Michelle is wearing a Thakoon coat. (We can’t be sure what Carla’s wearing yet, but we’re guessing Dior.) We wonder if they worked together on this photo op in advance. They’re both wearing pussy-bow collars and hemlines that fall just below the knee. Or maybe they think exactly alike, except where MObama sees prints, Carla sees her favorite colors, gray and purple. So who won the face-off?
Plus 3 for the kitten heels. These photograph nicely and give the illusion of an actual heel without her towering awkwardly over everyone.
Minus 5 for the floral print. This is a matter of personal taste — floral isn’t our thing, but also a floral coat with a gathered neckline and pussy bow? It’s a whole lot of coat.
Plus 2 for voluminous hair. The bouffant is in. Way to go, MO!
Plus 1 for tailoring. The sleeves and hemline are the perfect length.
Minus 2 for the aptly named pussy bow. It looks like a cat toy. Not that it’s not chic but again, with the floral print, it’s a whole lot of pussy bow.
Plus 1 for the fresh manicure. It’s not French, which would be cheesy.
Plus 12 for dress reveal! We can see that underneath the coat MObama’s wearing a pink dress not dissimilar to the one she wore on the cover of Vogue. Can you imagine if she’s wearing the same one? No. Of course not. You would die.
TOTAL: Plus 12.
Plus 1 for color. Sure, it’s just gray, but it photographs well and makes Carla stand out amongs all the dark outfits around her.
Plus 1 for material. Her silk looks so soft we want to reach through the screen and pet her. Also, the pussy bow hangs divinely.
Minus 2 for hair. We appreciate her unfussy beauty routine, but we agree with Diana Ross when it comes to hair — go big or go home.
Minus 2 for shoes. First, flats don’t look as appealing or sexy as heels on camera. But also, we’re tired of Carla compromising her fabulousness to make her husband look manly. So what if she’s taller? Doesn’t it take an even more confident man to handle that, even if, like, the president of Germany makes fun of him?
Plus 4 for tailoring. The bell sleeves are perfection. The French are so good at this.
Plus 4 for understated bling. She’s got a tiny ring and small earrings. We know how the French are easily upset by this stuff.
Minus 72 for the buttons-and-belt combo. We have no idea what Carla’s wearing under there and we’re dying to find out.
TOTAL: Minus 66.
So MObama won round one. But will the tables turn when the ladies remove their coats for their fancy French lunch? Stay tuned. And when we can confirm who designed Carla’s outfit, we’ll let you know.
Update: Grazia reports Carla Bruni is wearing a velvet lambskin coat from Christian Dior’s fall 2009 collection that costs about $6,000.