Finally, the elections are over! Am definitely not going to discuss election outcomes, but have you noticed the importance of clothes and fashion? Palin footed quite an enormous bill to refill her wardrobe, justified by McCain as “she needed the clothes.” Mind you, McCain and Obama are not exactly shoddy when it comes to the choice of their suits or shoes and Germany’s current chancellor (Angela Merkel) had an obvious make-over on her way to her position. Clothes sometimes even seems to eclipse what somebody actually has to say or how else do you rate an article in the Guardian (one of England’s most important newspapers) headed: “Why does Hillary (Clinton) wear such bad clothes.” Obviously, clothes and accessories are part and parcel of the political repertoire but also a balancing act to create a presidential identity while complying with expectations of a wide variety of voters (and journalists.) Some think it snobbish and irrelevant to speak about somebody else’s clothes, but the majority seems to assign huge importance to the topic.
On the other side, it is not just our politicians who give implicit statements through their appearance, but also us voters who often quite explicitly advertise as walking billboards their political and other preferences to the rest of the world. Not just “Mama can be for X candidate” even “Baby” can express its support to his or her favourite be it a politician, rock bands or sports clubs, a specific political view or state of mind. Obama with his grass-roots campaign has inspired some creative t-shirt designs as you can check out at red bubble. Bottom line: clothes are not just things you hang on your body but language – to describe yourself and your views, and herein lies the importance of a fashion designer, whether professional or amateur.