Monday, 16 February 2009

Love Obama fashion baby

How wonderful to see all the African influenced designs at New York Fashion Week, especially so many Barack Obama inspired pieces.

It makes a change after the campaign t-shirts, baseball caps and curiously unmemorable memorabilia to see some stylish and collectable fashion by top African-American designers – like Lola Faturoti, the Nigerian-born fashion designer, whose uniquely timeless and iconic commemorative Obama Dress is available to order at ShopCurious - as presciently reported by Hilary Alexander on the Telegraph’s website.

What I’m curious about is why no commemorative garments were designed for our beloved leader Mr Brown. Perhaps there’s a Jeremy Clarkson of the fashion world who’d hazard a guess as to why that might be?

I strongly suspect that Gordon Brown doesn’t quite have the style and charisma of President Obama, let alone the mesmerizing voice. And I suppose that not actually having been elected might have something to do with his lack of glorification by the art world?

Nevertheless, in my opinion, Obama’s popularity has got a lot less to do with hero worship and a lot more to do with hope. Okay, so Obama’s got a great bod for a man of a certain age – think Charlton Heston in Ben Hur, but he’s also become an icon of hope.

I loved Rowan Moore’s description in the Evening Standard of the Shepard Fairey poster for Obama’s campaign, as shown next to the Big Brother logo at the Design Museum ‘Designs of the Year’ exhibition: “One represents the selfish, decadent, shallow, cheap world we hope is passing into history. The other is serious, aspiring and hopeful ..”

I’m certainly full of hope.

Are you?

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