When Trinny and Susannah, fashion gurus from England, came downunder to Australia, I was hoping that they might have some fashion advice for the Prime Minister’s wife, Therese Rein. But alas and alack, that was not to be and a golden opportunity was missed. I wrote about Mrs Rudd’s poor dress sense last year.
And now, four months after the election, the newspapers have finally dared to criticise the Prime Minister’s wife’s fashion nonsense.
Out there on the world stage in the U.S, at Nato, in the U.K and wherever else the Prime Minister of Australia has been disseminating his wisdom, his frillyphile spouse has been embarrassing us with her Seinfeld-inspired “puffy shirts”
Seinfeld’s puffy shirt was white but Mrs Rudd has them in many bright colours, her favourite being cyclamen which clashes stridently with her dyed auburn frizz.
Her hems are too short when she sits down and she looked like a Russian mafiosi’s moll when she sat beside the elegant Laura Bush. Her favourite garb is a wide cowl neck jacket over a tight short skirt which resembles a billowing parachute on take-off.
I did think that there was a bit of improved taste when she wore a while tailored jacket with buttons on each side over the ubiquitous black thing. But the rest of her wardrobe needs a real make-over.
I don’t mind that Mrs Rudd is plumpish, but even plumpish women can look very smart in clothes that suit them. Also, if there is a lot of sitting down at functions, she should conceal her ample knees. A neat tailored pair of slacks would be more appropriate on such an occasion. There are times when a tailored pant suit is more comfortable and less embarrassing.
Nobody expects Therese to acquire the fashion sense of Princess Mary of Denmark. One either has taste one or one doesn’t, but there are many advisers in the government and somebody should definitely package her in more suitable clothes.
A friend of mine asked me why it matters what Mrs Rudd wears. Her actual words were, “We elected Kevin Rudd, not his wife” and that is a valid point, but only if Mrs Rudd stays at home and doesn’t accompany her husband on world tours. As soon as she steps into her official role of “First Lady” to the Prime Minster of Australia, she is regarded as an ambassador for our country.
It is possible for Mrs Rudd to maintain a unique sense of self and still look elegant if she just lengthens her hemline, cuts out the flamenco jackets and buys clothes that fit her.
She will never be a fashion icon, nor should she be, but I suspect that at the next Gay Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, there may be several Therese look-alikes flouncing around in cyclamen and turquoise jackets with skirts right up to their assets.