But I'm noticing Givhan's article now because I see Emily Zanotti at Heatstreet making fun of it: "Let Hillary Clinton, ‘Style Icon,’ Inspire Your Spring/Summer 2017 Look.:
Of all the liberal press straining to boost our love and respect for Hillary, Givhan's Hillary-the-style-icon piece strikes me as the most ludicrous. To be fair, the headline exaggerates the importance of Hillary Clinton in Givhan's essay. It begins with one designer's claim that he was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe, whom Givhan calls "the artist who was so often described as 'handsome,' a polite way of saying that she was not a great beauty."*
You have to scroll way down to get to the first mention of Hillary Clinton, and even there, she's mixed in a crowd:
But beyond cut and color, designers are obsessing about strong and powerful women who are independent and enduring — perhaps even a bit scandalous. There has been talk of O’Keeffe, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem, influential mothers and grandmothers — and of course, Hillary Clinton.Givhan jumps to assure us that Hillary belongs in this explanation of the new fashions:
The Democratic presidential nominee is, by no means, the typical fashion icon, not in the manner of an actress, a musician or even First Lady Michelle Obama. But it is hard to deny her influence, whether direct or indirect — on so many designers....Why is it hard to deny?! Hillary's fashions have been horrifying. I should think designers would reflexively deny her influence and that it would be hard to admit it. Givhan's argument for influence is that people in the fashion industry politically support Clinton. Since when is political support for a candidate any kind of statement of enthusiasm about their clothes? Yes, the idea of a first woman President excites some people but to translate that to interest in what she's wearing smacks more of sexism than feminism. Either the designers were inspired by Hillary Clinton's awful outfits or they were not.
Givhan offers not one statement from any designer suggesting actual inspiration by Hillary Clinton. She claims, vaguely and abstractly, that "Clinton’s proximity to the presidency has invited designers to reconsider the relationship that women have to power and how it manifests in attire and style." Here's an example of one of the styles Givhan is talking about:
I must say that I could picture that jacket — just the jacket — on Hillary. But could that possibly be the impression the designer — Marc Jacobs — wanted to convey? Well... maybe! Who has the money to buy these clothes? Not the kookie child the whole getup expresses, but some lady who would see that she could wear just the jacket. And maybe for that lady, thinking about Hillary Clinton would help her decide that it makes sense to spent the money on something so odd: It is what powerful, serious women wear. Maybe Marc Jacobs is very savvy about the workings of the minds of rich older women.
* Here's my post from September 6, 2016, "Nobody says 'handsome woman' anymore." I spoke too soon. Or Givhan reads my blog and took up the challenge.