Archive for Republican National Convention

Cindy McCain & The Lime-Green Dress

Posted in Fashion, Liz Hager, Politics with tags , , , on September 7, 2008 by Liz Hager


(photos above ©AP; below © Charles Rex Abrogast/AP)

I guess the Republican handlers hadn’t learned from their last color mistake, because there was Cindy McCain on Night 2 of the convention sporting a seriously retro-styled dress in the dreaded lime-green hue. It’s hard to tell from the various photos available, but the TV coverage captured the dress from all angles. No doubt about it, this was a 60s dress. Not a modern update, though, just a copy. Not even an early-60s-Jackie-sharp woman-of-the-world dress. For those of us old enough to have lived through the era,  Cindy’s fashion statement—the lime-green dress, the bleached-blond, cotton-candy hair, big pearls, and little “diamond” broach—was a creepy echo of that special breed of mid-60s woman—the up-market suburban, stay-at-home, pool-lounging, “key partying,” trophy wife. 

As Cindy McCain gazed rapturously from the box-seats, I thought a very scary message indeed beamed out across America.  Cindy is accomplished in her own right. As candidate for “First Lady,” she could have made any number of statements about the important roles women will need to continue to play on the world stage.  Instead, her choice of fashion allied her to the underutilized, disengaged and bored women of some 40 years ago. It’s an outdated icon we can’t afford to reference in a world that desperately needs every mind engaged. But perhaps understandable for a party with a 72-year-old white man at its summit. When Cindy cradled little baby Trig in her arms during the evening, the Republican message was complete—a good wife is a Stepford wife. 

Political Fashion links

Dressed for Power

First Ladies and the Fabric of the Nation

Inaugural Fashion

Sarah Palin Carries a Big (Hockey) Stick

Posted in Liz Hager, People & Places, Politics with tags , , , on September 4, 2008 by Liz Hager

©2008 Jim Wilson/NY Times

I sent out an email yesterday in connection with my participation in Part 2 of the “Banned & Recovered: Artists Respond to Censorship”, noting that censorship was still a relevant & topical issue in our democratic union.  The connection was prompted by a NY Times article that morning on Sarah Palin— “Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual,” — which included this tidbit:

“. . . Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.

Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. ‘They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,’ Ms. Kilkenny said.

The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to ‘resist all efforts at censorship,’ Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article. . . “

I received scads more responses in connection to the Palin part of that email than to the announcement of the show. I am chastened—subdued—for the moment, anyway. I heard your message—politics more urgent than art. So, with that in mind, I start today with a few posts on an artist’s view of the Republican Convention.

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