European leaders wrapped up in glamour

Article published on April 3, 2006
community published
Article published on April 3, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

From Berlusconi’s spotted ties to Merkel’s suits, a panorama of those that govern our lands. Or will do.

Blair: the ties of power

The informal, yet elegant English Prime Minister has turned ties into a diplomatic tool. And – if we tell the truth – New Labour would never have been possible without his intense, although never brash, red ties. Alas, for some time now the red had been fading and has made way for a pink-I-would-if-I-could-but-I-can’t. We must give the boy back some motivation, seeing as he is about to leave Downing Street, and present him with a lovely bunch of made-to-measure Marinella ties.

Berlusconi: dare dare dare

For years we have seen him in a dark double breasted suit and spotted tie. We have seen him wearing a white bandana in Porto Cervo, a bomber jacket with President Bush, a pullover with Bossi in the gardens of his villa in Arcore, and in a tuxedo with Craxi in the affluent Milan of the 1980’s. We have seen him with hair, without hair, wearing greasepaint, without greasepaint, tanned. Never pale. We have even seen him wearing a baker’s hat in the streets of Milan during his current electoral campaign. One question: will we still see him after the Italian elections on the 9th April?

Barroso: a true nose for power

A good politician should have a nose for business, one that can sniff out the right political strategy, and select dynamic partnerships. Rudolph I of Habsburg, sacred Roman emperor of the XIII century, went down in anatomical history for having a nose so big that no artist could ever depict it in its entirety. We hope that emperor of the European Union Barroso will not go down in history for having the most hooked nose of all the presidents of the Commission, or for his orangey-black ties. Nowadays plastic surgery is even possible in politics and, sometimes, can be appropriate: Berlusconi leads the way.

Segolène Royale: a revised France

If we were all like her the world would be a better place. The aspiring Socialist candidate in next year’s French presidential elections is verging on perfect. She is a young, mindful woman. She is left wing without being conservative. She is a French woman who does not fear a little gentle eye lifting surgery. She is beautiful without looking stupid. She even dresses elegantly, in cream suits that accentuate her slender silhouette. Unfortunately the world (and modern France in particular) is not the best of places and hardly deserves her. It would be incredible to have her as a candidate, if only to see her smile plastered all over Paris. And can you imagine President of the Republic, Segolène Royale announcing on TV: “Playtime is over”?

Angela Merkel: German suits

We had never seen a female German chancellor. But no other could have been like Angela Merkel. Aside from her unconvincing smile, can it be that in East Germany they still have the wardrobes of Honecker’s era? Aside from her hunched shoulders. Aside from the horrible red shawl that she insists on wearing to gala dinners. Aside from her crow’s feet. Is it possible that no one in Berlin has had the courage to tell her that those suits – especially the grey and pinstriped ones – are what postal workers wear?

Photo copyright given by: European Council, Forza Italia, European Commission, National Assembly