Michelle Obama, but not Cindy McCain, makes Vanity Fair’s best dressed list

By Carol Eisenberg

July 30, 2008 at 2:19pm

Some will call it political bias, or perhaps, more evidence of the swooning comparisons between the Obamas and the Kennedys by a besotted media.

But there it is: Michelle Obama tops Vanity Fair’s 2008 International Best Dressed List, just released on the magazine’s web site.

Vanity Fair does go a tad over the edge describing Obama’s style as “commander in sheath,” gushing over the Marie Pinto purple sheath she wore on the night that her husband cinched the Democratic nomination.

List arbiter Amy Fine Collins says that Obama’s spot on the top of a list usually dominated by Hollywood celebrities is unprecedented. “Politics are on people’s minds as much as fashion,” she acknowledged in a video trumpeting her choices.

Yet Cindy McCain is entirely absent from the list, which does name several other political companions, among them, Carla Bruni, the sexy, new wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Diana Taylor, the high-powered companion to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and even Kate Middleton, the significant other of Britain’s Prince William.

Which is not to say the list steers clear of the usual short list of heiresses, socialites and starlets, including Ivanka Trump, a vice president of her father’s real-estate company who calls Grace Kelly her icon; cosmetics executive and philanthropist Evelyn Lauder, who looks to the late socialite Babe Paley, and Sarah Jessica Parker “because she made Blahnik iconic.”

Angelina Jolie gets special notice for being glamorously pregnant, and making long, baby-doll dresses a fashion choice.

“Everyone gets dressed every morning,” said Fine Collins. “And why not acknowledge the people who do this particularly well. It’s a tribute to beauty, to skill. . . It’s for dreaming and inspiration.”

Even more difficult to dissect are the magazine’s choices of male role models, who range from Daniel Craig, the new James Bond and soccer star David Beckham, to 60 Minutes reporter Morley Safer and NBC co-host Matt Lauer.

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