The New Age in Power Dressing
When Hillary Clinton takes the stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Thursday to formally accept the nomination as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, she will make history and automatically become a role model for women in a way that goes beyond all of her achievements thus far.
Over the months until the general election (and perhaps beyond), she will be scrutinized in evermore exacting detail, not just for her economic platform and her emails, but also for her body language, her eating habits, her relationships. And, yes, her clothes.
This is life in the contemporary political arena, where who a candidate is as a person — the choices she makes every day — is as picked over as her positions, in part because those are choices we all share.
Most of us don’t have to decide on sanctions against Syria, or whether to try to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, but we all have to get dressed in the morning. That’s the sweet spot where public politician and private person meet.
It’s not an embarrassment, or an affront. It’s reality. And right now it is an enormous opportunity: to redefine what being a female leader means, on every level. There is finally critical mass to seize it.
For years Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, with her palette of Pantone jackets and black pants, has set the tone, tweaking the male uniform by disaggregating tops and bottoms and expanding the color range while keeping within a traditional framework. Effectively she was buying into the idea that for a woman to wield power in what was historically a man’s world, she had to pretty much dress like a man — but brighter!
After all, the only alternative Western role model was Margaret Thatcher. But post-power, her skirt suits, pussy-bow blouses and hair-sprayed bouffant calcified into caricature.
Now, however, between Clinton and Theresa May, Britain’s new prime minister (and to a certain extent, Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland), two more women are in the public eye, not as spouses of world leaders, but as the leaders themselves — or the potential leaders. And they are, quietly but unquestionably, changing the rules about what it means to look like a president or prime minister.
不过，如今，涉及克林顿与英国新任首相特丽莎·梅(Theresa May)之间（在某种程度上，也包括苏格兰首席大臣尼古拉·斯特金[Nicola Sturgeon]），就又有了两个女人暴露在公众视野之下，她们不是作为世界各国领导人的伴侣，而是本身就是领导者或潜在的领导者。她们或沉默或坚决地改变着人们对于总统或首相的外表的看法。
Or, as Ivanka Trump said at the Republican convention, “CEO of the country.” Or simply CEO.
It doesn’t have to mean looking like a man in female colors.
May, who took office earlier this month, is the starkest proponent of this. She has been entirely unabashed about her own interest in fashion, especially shoes, from leopard-print kitten heels to lipstick-print ballet flats and patent leather over-the-knee boots, worn to greet the president of Mexico during a trip to Buckingham Palace.
At the Women in the World summit last October, in an interview on stage with Tina Brown, May said: “I’m a woman, I like clothes. One of the challenges for women in politics, in business, in all areas of working life, is to be ourselves, and to say you can be clever and like clothes.”
She told the BBC radio program Desert Island Discs that if she were cast away, her “luxury item” would be a lifetime subscription to Vogue.
她在接受BBC广播电台节目“荒岛唱片”(Desert Island Discs)采访时，说如果她的船只失事漂流荒岛，她会带上的“奢侈品”是终生订阅的《Vogue》杂志。
She has refused to admit that caring about fashion is irreconcilable with caring about, say, nuclear policy, and in doing so she is setting a precedent that allows women to use clothes to express a facet of their persona that may otherwise be denied, without it undermining expectations.
Of all of May’s looks, her shoes have received the most attention. But to me, certain dresses have stood out: a navy Roland Mouret with an asymmetric neckline to speak at the Conservative Party Conference last year; a purple sheath when it was announced that she was one of two women left in the party leadership contest.
They break the traditional divide between, say, first lady and first person (i.e., Michelle Obama and Merkel), in which historically first ladies wore dresses, and women in the business of governing wore, well, the pants. And the jackets.
There have been exceptions to this rule, most notably in South America, where women have held more power positions than they have in Europe and the United States. The former Argentine president, Cristina Fernández, for example, was known for her lace and floral frocks. Even so, women like the embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet tend to the Merkel school of dress: a uniform of colorful jackets and straight skirts or trousers.
这个规则也有例外，主要是在南美洲，在那里，女性身居高位的情况比在欧美更为普遍。比如，阿根廷前总统克里斯蒂娜·费尔南德斯(Cristina Fernández)就经常穿带蕾丝和花朵的连衣裙。尽管如此，像处境艰难的巴西总统迪尔玛·罗塞夫(Dilma Rousseff)和智利总统米歇尔·巴切莱特(Michelle Bachelet)都是默克尔那一派的：各种色彩的外套，配上直筒裙或直筒裤。
Indeed, you can see it in the contrast between Ivanka Trump, the female power player of the Trump campaign, and Hillary Clinton; Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Both Trump and Obama (much as they may cringe at the comparison) wore neat, round-necked dresses during the recent conventions, Trump’s, sleeveless and Obama’s, cap-sleeved.
事实上，你可以从特朗普阵营中位高权重的伊万卡·特朗普与希拉里·克林顿、奥巴马，以及马萨诸塞州参议员伊丽莎白·沃伦(Sen. Elizabeth Warren)之间的对比中看出来。特朗普和奥巴马（她们可能会对这种对比感到难堪）在近期的会议上都穿的是整洁的圆领长裙，特朗普是无袖的，奥巴马是短袖的。
Obama arguably established this model, abandoning the first-lady-in-skirt-suits model generally adopted by both Laura and Barbara Bush as well as Nancy Reagan, and using a dress to project a less fussy, traditional persona and her right to bare arms.
有可能是奥巴马设定了这种角色，抛弃了劳拉(Laura)、芭芭拉·布什(Barbara Bush)以及南希·里根(Nancy Reagan)那种穿西装套裙的第一夫人形象，她使用长裙来营造一种不那么挑剔、不那么传统的性格，并且表示她有权利露出胳膊。
But Warren almost always sports a sleek jewel-toned jacket over a round-necked black shirt and black trousers. And Clinton has declared allegiance to trouser suits, the ones she settled on when she began her political career after the White House. As first lady, she tended toward the pastel and the classic and the skirt, but when she began her Senate campaign, she wore only black trouser suits.
And though that soon gave way to tone-on-tone colors, they have become the symbol of the before and after stages in her life: from behind-the-scenes power, wife and helpmeet to candidate in her own right.
Even within this more Merkel-like continuum, though, Clinton has been branching out, wearing leather (Leather! When was the last time you saw a would-be president in leather that did not involve him standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier?) and beading, from both lesser-known names and designer labels, including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.
不过，就算是在默克尔风格的阵营里，克林顿也是独树一格，她穿皮装（皮装！你上次看到一个可能当上总统的人穿皮装而且不是站在航空母舰上是什么时候？）还有珠链，从小众品牌到设计师品牌，包括拉尔夫·劳伦(Ralph Lauren)和乔治·阿玛尼(Giorgio Armani)。
“I think America, and the electorate, is finally ready to embrace that, the idea of women politicians wearing something that is fun and feminine, without it being an issue,” said Lyn Paolo, the costume designer for “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” “It’s about time. And I am really proud of her that she is trying new things.”
“我认为美国以及美国选民终于准备好了接受这种观念：女性政治家可以穿点风趣和女性化的服装，这并不是什么问题，”《丑闻》(Scandal)和《逍遥法外》(How to Get Away With Murder)的服装设计师琳恩·保罗(Lyn Paolo)说。“这和时间有关。她在尝试新事物，真让我为她感到骄傲。”