Thanks for visiting Naked Lunch. Fashion editor Bernadette Morra and fashion stylist Derick Chetty discussed Governor General Michaelle Jean's style. Read the archived discussion below or submit your comments.
Do you agree with Bernadette that the Governor General is struggling in the area of fashion?
Thanks for the column and chat.
I don't understand why our last two Governor-Generals looked great in private life until they started acting as Head of State. Some of their get-ups give Canadian designers a "black eye" in the spotlight of the world press.
In the present case, sometimes Madame Jean looks wonderful but at other times quite awful. I think you should act as her fashion consultant because your analysis of her choices is right on! Gweneth Minaker
Your column in today's fashion section hit a cord with me.
I too saw the photograph of the GG over the weekend and knew immediately she was in fashion faux pas territory.
I have a period clothing rental business here in the city and can confidently say that I have one of the more comprehensive collections that spans the 20th century and is available to costume designers and stylists here in the city. The GG's hat had all the bad hallmarks of the 1960s cloche hats, it sat too low on her head, framed her face in a very unflattering way and looked too much like the cheap woven raffia hats that glutted the fashion scene in the early 1960s. Worst of all it was impractical, it didn't keep the sun out of her eyes.
Her hats should shout SAVVY STYLE, be elegant and have just the right amount of drama. I agree with Karyn Gringas' assessment, and I applaud the GG supporting all Canadian designers, but she needs to take more care with the look she projects for herself and Canada worldwide. The GG is youthful, accomplished and charismatic, her wardrobe must project all that. I can see her in tasteful yet edgy clothing that reflects her person and I'm certain she will find the balance.
Ms Jean has my respect for her work and all she does to represent our country to the world and I would rather not to see this photograph go down in history next to Gilles Duceppe's shower cap caper! Good column, Ian Drummond
Our governor-general is a lovely, intelligent, vibrant woman. Unlike her predecessor, who looked like she got dressed in the dark in a low-rate thrift store. I am proud of the fashion choices she has made in presenting herself as our representative. I could not wait to be rid of Ms. Clarkson, who as a “talking head” who made good was certainly sartorially challenged from the neck down. JK
Oh, I am so glad you did this morning's column!
I agree wholeheartedly that someone here needs to 'get a grip' and find a style that is consistent, fashionable and is connected to its prominent wearer.
The hat did it! I was wondering just what that cloche put me in mind of when your commentator said 'swim cap' and of course that's it! Shades of the '60s when women actually went i the water!
That she uses Canadian designers is admirable and we have such good ones.So no need to go abraod. But...She is a beauty and needs to enhance her natural charm not gussy it up with frippery of every cut ,colour and style. Think how Jackie Kennedy to this day as a rather young woman-barely 30 when he was elected- just knew how to present herself.
Okay some are naturals (and leaders - we still note Jackie today) but in the GG's life her appearance is everything; her style and charm being the whole point of the post.
So could someone assist in smoothing out a look and making it less 'fussy' and over- the- top trendy fashionista. This is not a teenager but a person who needs to present both charm and composure. Thanx for letting us have our say.
Bon chance. Ernestine McKenna
My name is Sid Cratzbarg. I am the owner of Accessories By Sid and seldom get the Star. However I happened to buy it with your article on Michaelle Jean. I enjoy your writing however I diagree with your article. I feel she is always well dressed. She has brought style and class to fashion. I think her hats are sensational! Her style is such an improvement over Mme Clarkson. I think you were to hard in your assessment of her wardrobe. As a fashion person and male I think she is a glamorous women who is sexy and not afraid to show her femininity. Thanks for letting me express my viewpoint. Continued success in your endeavours. Yours in Accessories and Fashion. Sid Cratzbarg
The first time I saw Michaelle Jean she was on The Passionate Eye. I thought to myself: "What a beautiful woman." She possessed beauty that emanated from within, the kind of beauty born of compassion and intelligence, not stylists, complimentary lighting and plastic surgeons. I was delighted to learn more about her life when she was appointed Governor General. I have no doubt she will be a luminous Governor General, she has all the right stuff for it. However, her appearance at the swearing-in ceremony in Haiti was a definite shock. From the neck up she looked like a cleaning lady...on the job. That rag on her head was so awful I let out an audible groan of pain when I saw it. My advice to people in the public eye would be to take a picture of themselves before stepping out in public. What looks good close up, may not carry over well when photographed from a distance. Thanks for giving the opportunity to make a comment. Hopefully the GG will take all these comments as constructive criticism. She is a wonderful role model to all people everywhere, now she just needs to dress to enhance her beauty. Teresa
I certainly found the pictures of Michaelle Jean quite extraordinary beautiful hat and all. She has a most engaging smile and facial expression. She has an excellent figure and looks and sounds very thoughtful, encouraging, sincere and empowering. Her peach and white dress and hat suited her extremely well. She might want to try a hat which is slightly more formal on stately occasions, however Haiti is a touch less than stately I would think. I am very proud of her as Governor General. Bob Stuart
Leave her alone. she is doing great!! You fashion people are forever over the top!!! J. Stitt
|Governor General Michaëlle Jean dances with some of the residents of the Haitian town of Jacmel. The wild floral works well in the tropics, but not for a head of state. It's not dignified enough for her role.|
Of course not. Why be so judgemental, assuming she is "struggling", and so insulting, about the hat "like a '50s swimming cap"? We want to see Jean as she is, her uniqueness, not as a puppet manipulated by those who lust for recognition and wealth. Please don't mess with her head. Trust her. She has enough charm and intelligence, and good sense to seek guidance if she wishes. Cliff Tremills
Yes I agree, although I felt Madame Jean looked more like Mums Mably in that awful hat, she just needed the price tag hanging off and she would have been all set. Somethimes she looks great - but not that day. Janet
Her Excellency is OK fashion-wise...she could use beiges and browns judiciously, though. Greg.
When I saw the bathing cap hat I was LOL! Jennifer.
|Gov. Gen. Michelle Jean arrives for the swearing in ceremonies of recently elected Haitian President Rene Preval in Port-au-Prince wearing the now-infamous "bathing cap" hat. The lace-trimmed cloche is too costumey, whimsical and distracting.|
Oh, I am so glad you did this morning's column! I agree wholeheartedly that someone here needs to 'get a grip' and find a style that is consistent, fashionable and is connected to its prominent wearer. The hat did it! I was wondering just what that cloche put me in mind of when your commentator said 'swim cap' and of course that's it! Shades of the '60s when women actually went in the water! That she uses Canadian designers is admirable and we have such good ones.S o no need to go abroad. But.........She is a beauty and needs to enhance her natural charm not gussy it up with frippery of every cut, colour and style. Think how Jackie Kennedy to this day as a rather young woman-barely 30 when he was elected- just knew how to present herself.
OK some are naturals (and leaders- we still note Jackie today) but in the GG's life her appearance is everything; her style and charm being the whole point of the post.
So could someone assist in smoothing out a look and making it less 'fussy' and over- the- top trendy fashionista? This is not a teenager but a person who needs to present both charm and composure. Thanks for letting us have our say. Ernestine McKenna
I cannot agree more! I though that hat looked like one of the crocheted horrors that someone's greatgrandmother kept over the extra toilet paper roll! I adore Madame Jean so I hope she reads your column. Sharon
I guess I will be too late for the chat but I think the governor general shows a unique and dedidedly feminine style that is refreshing for a woman in public office. Compare her breezy style to that of Laura Bush--very staid. However, Mrs. Bush has had a couple of exceptions. I am thinking of her red gown from the innaugural. Women in their 50's don't need to look that stodgy any more (like the Queen). Our GG has an adorable figure and her style is up to date, modern and elegant. So that hat was a little scrunched on her head. Perhaps it was required to be so because of the wind. A brim would have caught and blown off. Sally Mason, Markham
|Governor General Michaëlle Jean holds a news conference overlooking the city of Port-au-Prince Haiti. The cream striped suit by Montreal's Michel Desjardins is quite appropriate for the occasion: light-coloured but not light-hearted, and business-like.|
What do you think the problem is? Do you think she is trying to play a role that she is perhaps not comfortable with?
I think she might be putting others first in this whole matter. Rather than approaching her professional wardrobe from her own firm style point of view, as Adrienne Clarkson did, and as Hilary Weston did in her role as Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, I sense that Madame Jean is more concerned with showcasing a range of difference designers. And that is an admirable quality. Bernadette
Keep in mind she has only been on the job less than a year, so I'm sure her wardrobe is work in progress - we hope! Derick
Like the GG, I recently switched jobs and my current duties now include public appearances and public speaking engagements. In my previous position I was mostly behind the scenes. What should I do about my wardrobe?
Since you are probably going to be preparing for your new position by taking courses in public speaking don't disregard the importance of your wardrobe. It should be part of your preparation in embarking on your new level of responsiblities. For all your public appearances you should be polished and dressed in a manner befitting your new status. Start by consulting your hairdresser to ensure a tidy, easy-to-do-yourself hairstyle. Invest in one professional looking pant or skirt suit. This will probably be the most expensive part of your wardrobe but you will need a perfectly cut and well fitted suit and believe me this will instill great confidence. Derick
The way you present yourself was undoubtedly a factor in you getting your promotion. So you might consider not adjusting your wardrobe. However, if you are going to be on television, there are certain things you should bear in mind with regard to colours and patterns, etc. I would advise seeking professional help. There must be wardrobe consultants or online help available in this regard. Bernadette