Carla Bruni-Sarkozy loses out in beauty stakes as France's all-natural new First Lady trumps former model's enhanced looks
17:32 GMT, 15 May 2012
She has enjoyed a five year reign as France's First Lady. But today, as Nicholas Sarkozy handed over the Presidential reigns to Francois Hollande, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's role was relinquished too.
And as she appeared with her husband at the Elysee Palace today for the formal ceremony to swear in new president Hollande, erstwhile First Lady Carla Bruni looked to have admitted defeat in more ways than one.
Once the darling of the fashion world, with her smart wardrobe of figure-skimming shifts, immaculate trouser suits or neat capri pants, today it seemed as if 44-year-old Carla had relinquished her style nous along with her Premiere Dame status.
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Style fail: Carla Bruni wore an unflattering trouser suit for the Presidential handover today
Ladies in black and white: Carla Bruni with new French Premiere Dame Valerie Trierweiler, who has already got the tongues of France's fashion elite wagging
Wearing an ill-fitting suit
that would not have looked out of place on a bank clerk, Carla looked as
far from a global fashion icon as they come.
too-long trousers pooled in crumpled fabric around her ankles, almost
obscuring the dowdy flat pumps on her feet, and the fabric creased at
the hips. As for the jacket, it was too small; the sleeves too short.
result was deeply unflattering.
It has been suggested in fashion circles that the eternally slender
Carla has struggled to come to terms with her post-birth figure and is attempting to
cover up in shapeless suits she hopes will detract from her
But the reality
is that one of the well-tailored shift dresses
she wore pre-pregnancy would have looked much neater – and would
flatter her still-enviable figure infinitely better.
for her hair, gone is the bouncy blow-dry she has favoured for years,
and in its place a heavy fringe and uninspiring poker straight locks.
Trierweilier, on the other hand, who at 47 is three years Carla's
senior, went for all-out glamour, her hair styled into curls, and
dressed in a
chiffon-sleeved black dress, nude tights and a white coat, which she
removed on arrival at the Elysee.
Indeed, despite being the older of the two, Valerie's natural beauty meant she outshone the incumbent First Lady.
Warm welcome: Carla greeted her successor outside the Elysee today, and the two looked at ease as they posed for photographs together
Carla and Valerie supported their husbands at the Elysee today
The incoming First Lady of France has already got France's fashion elite talking, with Chanel head Karl Lagerfeld last week calling her 'handsome'.
'I like [Hollande's] girlfriend,' Lagerfeld told WWD.'I think she's very handsome, very elegant.'
Designers Christian Lacroix weighed
in too, saying he was 'delighted' with the new leadership, France's first Socialists in 17 years, while French
couturier Bouchra Jarrar let it be known that he wholeheartedly approved
of France's new First Lady, calling her 'inspiring.'
'As for her style, she makes me think
of a heroine in a Claude Chabrol movie,' Jarrar told WWD. 'She has an
air of Marie-France Pisier, which pleases me a lot and could inspire
For her part, the much-praised Paris
Match journalist described her style in an interview with The Times this
week as 'quality ready-to-wear'.
'For the moment I dress in
prt–porter,' she said. 'Lately it has been Georges Rech and
Apostrophe, which are quality prt–porter brands that I have been
wearing on television.
'I have never worn dresses by grands couturiers.'
With Lagerfeld and Lacroix circling, that could be set to change.
Carla waves as she leaves the Elysee Palace in a car with her husband
Out with the old: President Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler watch as President Nicolas Sarkozy and former First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leave the Elysee Palace
FIRST LADY OF FASHION: CARLA'S FINEST STYLE MOMENTS AS PREMIERE DAME
First Lady of fashion: Carla in the Roland Mouret Lombard dress, the same style worn by the Duchess of Cambridge last week
Pregnant and glowing in September last year
In stylish shift dress and figure-skimming coat, May 2011
An official engagement with the Camerons in June 2010
A neat dress with kitten heels in September 2009
April 2009 wearing pretty purple dress in Madrid
A ball at the Elysee palace, June 2009
Looking sprightly in a summery dress in 2009
Proof that trousers can be flattering – if they fit well
A pretty lilac skirt suit in 2009 – before Carla gave up heels