carla bruniSuper stylish Carla Bruni and her diamond earrings might as well have been shouting, "Let them eat cake!" from the rooftops -- or, "Let them eat crepes." This is France we're talking about, after all. Mrs. Nicolas Sarkozy and her husband are being criticized after they were photographed on an ultra luxurious vacation in Mexico.

She was decked out in serious bling bling -- a diamond necklace and diamond earrings -- while he is footing the £3,100 a night bill for the "presidential" villa where they stayed.


Style Evolution of Carla Bruni

    Ooh la la! Political spouses in the US are expected to keep a low profile and support their significant other, ideally in a red suit (or blue, depending on the affiliation. But over in France, things are a bit different. Their First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is a musician and a former supermodel who has been photographed wearing even less than this creation from Jean Paul Gaultier's 1997 Fringe Bikini collection.

    Catwalking/Gettyimages

    This week marks Bruni-Sarkozy's inaugural visit to the U.S. as First Lady of France. Since marrying French President Nicolas Sarkozy in February after a whirlwind romance, Madame Sarkozy has charmed diplomats, heads of state and even the notoriously critical French public.

    Arnaldo Magnani, Getty Images

    The First Lady and President Nicolas Sarkozy in New York on September 23, 2008. In town for the United Nations General Assembly, Sarkozy was given the "World Statesman Award."

    ERIC FEFERBERG, AFP/Getty Images

    Keeping up with Carla: Bruni-Sarkozy puts her hubby through his paces on the streets of NYC on September 22, 2008. Later she joined U.S. First Lady Laura Bush for lunch at a museum.

    ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Image

    Madame Bruni-Sarkozy (in a purple Christian Dior suit) looks a bit shocked at a Bastille Day ceremony in July. Earlier that week, the singer/songwriter did the seemingly impossible and startled French sensibilities with her new album, on which she sings "You are my junk. More deadly than Afghan heroin. More dangerous than Colombian white (powder)," adding: "My guy, I roll him up and smoke him."

    Francois G. Durand/WireImage

    On the same album Bruni-Sarkozy sings that "I am a child/ Despite my 40 years/ Despite my 30 lovers/ A child," which must have been a great conversation starter when she and her husband welcomed Pope Benedict XVI and a contingent of priests from the Vatican in early September.

    Francois G. Durand/WireImage

    Earlier this summer, Bruni-Sarkozy played hostess to another religious leader. The Dalai Lama showed the retired super model the proper way to wear a Tibetan prayer shawl.

    PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

    Entertaining famous and powerful men is nothing new for Bruni, who was at one time better known for her boyfriends than her career. Past conquests include musicians Eric Clapton (her date at this 1992 party thrown by Sting) and Mick Jagger.

    Dave M. Bennett/Getty Images

    The British papers went wild for Carla when she and her husband made a state visit to London in March. Columnists were torn: was she the new Jackie Kennedy or Diana, reborn? Fashion insiders were unanimous however, in heaping praise on the 40-year-old's wardrobe, which consisted of the best of the Paris couture houses.

    Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage

    For her meeting with the Queen at the ceremonial welcome at Windsor, Bruni made the smart but safe fashion choice: Dior.

    Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images



This behavior seems totally inappropriate to the citizens of France who are facing widespread unemployment, tax increases and a rising cost of living. But, the government defends itself saying that the resort stay was "appropriate because of security reasons."

Ironically enough, Nicolas and Carla were in Mexico on official business -- to discuss the world recession with Presidente Felipe Calderon.




Style Evolution: Michelle Obama

    The debate about the new First Lady's style choices continues with the release of her official White House portrait. Wearing a simple black dress and classic pearls would seem a safe bet except for the frock's lack of sleeves. Obama's reoccurring arm baring (think the cover of Vogue and the President's speech to Congress) has some calling her youthful and fashion forward while others find the look inappropriate for the office and the season. At StyleList we have to side with youthful and fashion forward. The dress is timeless and flatters one of Obama's best features. As for the First Lady's right to bare arms? It may surprise people to learn Jackie Kennedy wore a sleeveless dress to JFK's first State of the Union speech in 1963. Keep clicking to see Michelle Obama's other sleeveless style moments.

    Joynce N. Boghosian, The White House/AP

    Music legend Stevie Wonder wasn't the only one honored on February 26, 2009, at the White House - his wife, Kai Milla, received major fashion props from Michelle Obama, as the First Lady donned the fashion designer's emerald green silk-chiffon dress. Michelle channeled the 40's with the plunging V-neck dress and a glamorous black sash belt, punctuated by a voluminous bob - which her hair stylist undoubtedly achieved using old school hot rollers. We love how Michelle's really expanding her fashion and beauty reach as she's growing into her role as First Lady.

    The First Lady made waves at President Obama's first Congressional Address on February 24, 2009, in a sleeveless plum silk dress by Narciso Rodriguez. The lack of arm-coverage raised some eyebrows in the fashion world, starting a debate on whether it's appropriate to wear a sleeveless dress to a formal speech. Our take? Washington, we have a problem - it's 2009 and you're acting like it's 1959. Women can wear what they want, when they want to - and we think Michelle looked both stunning and occasion appropriate.

    Not one to change her locks very often, Michelle Obama nearly tricked us on Friday with a fake-out crop. The First Lady pulled back her signature shoulder length tresses, keeping the volume up front but pinning the back up into a flat bun. We like the hair variation, and think it looks glam with the ladylike turtleneck and suit Michelle is sporting.

    Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images | NICHOLAS KAMM,AFP/Getty Images

    The country's new fashion-forward First Lady is stunning as ever for the March cover of Vogue. It was only a matter of time before the stylish Mom in Chief scored face time on the iconic fashion bible -- from the campaign trail to the Oval Office, Michelle's dresses have made headlines nearly as often as her husband's policies. Here she wears Jason Wu, the talented young designer who created her gorgeous inauguration ball gown.

    Read the full interview!

    Vogue

    Photographer Annie Leibovitz chose to show the professional side of Michelle Obama -- pictured here in a cardigan from J Crew, her staple for sensible style.

    Read the full interview!

    Vogue

    Overlooking Washington DC from her office at the Hay-Adams Hotel, the First Lady wears a dress by Narciso Rodriguez -- the designer who created the controversial dress she wore on the night her husband was elected president.

    Read the full interview!

    Vogue

    She claims she's not a natural-born politician. But, when it comes to fashion, America's new First Lady, Michelle Obama, seems to have a strategist's instincts for what will play in Peoria. Her secret lies in knowing how to mix high and low (and we don't just mean her heels). She wears dresses from pricey designers like Isabel Toledo (left), Thakoon and Narciso Rodriguez, whose pieces carry four-figure tabs and are sold in stores like -- yep -- Neiman-Marcus, Barneys and Saks. But she also showed up on the campaign trail wearing designs like the $148 White House-Black Market dress that she chose for "The View" last summer and the J. Crew sweater and skirt that she wore on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," insisting in her best every woman voice, "You can get some good stuff online."

    AP

    Michelle Obama looked cool and casual at the Kids' Inaugural concert the night before her husband took the oath of office. Her daughters met their favorite musicians (The Jonas Brothers) and the soon-to-be First Lady pulled out one of her favorite labels: J Crew.

    What will the Obama administration be like? Well, Mrs. O has demonstrated a loyal streak when it comes to her choice of designer duds. Although she was criticized in many corners for the Narcisco Rodriguez dress she wore on Election Night, she wore him again at another high-profile event, the 'We Are One' concert at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009. This time, the reaction was uniformly positive.



The Look for Less: Michelle Obama

    Our new First Lady cemented her reputation as a sophisticated follower of fashion when she chose this sunny yellow ensemble from designer Isabel Toledo for her husband's swearing in ceremony (she ordered the dress and matching coat from Ikram, one of her favorite Chicago boutiques). On her feet? Jimmy Choos, natch. At Stylelist, we love Michelle's taste but, with no history making events on our social calendar, we can't really justify any splurges. So we asked Amber Rodriguez to show us how to steal her style.

    This metallic shift dress will give you the same slimming silhouette that flattered our the new First Lady.
    Gold Wave Embossed Shift Dress, $183.60, www.Bluefly.com

    For added warmth (and sparkle!) layer a long cardigan over the dress.
    Spiegel Signature Sequined Cashmere Tunic, $199, www.spiegel.com

    Forgo a necklace and instead add a touch of embellishment to the dress with a glamorous pin. ABS by Allen Schwartz Chic Rock Multi Stone Pin, $74.86, www.zappos.com

    Jimmy Choo style at a fraction of the price! Finish off your Michelle O-inspired look with green patent pumps.
    Nine West Barb pump, $62.06, www.zappos.com