Wednesday, September 06, 2006

“Good Night and Good Luck”

Here we are, just days away from New York Fashion Week for spring 2007. While there are undoubtedly and undeniably more important things in the world than clothing and fashion (the ongoing war in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism, the recent 1st anniversary of Katrina and the upcoming 5th anniversary of 9/ll), what one wears and how one chooses to present oneself to the world is something that cannot be underrated. Like it or not, it sends a message to the world and announces who you are, and how you want to be perceived. Need more proof that clothing makes the man (or the woman)?

Last night’s preview of Katie Couric as the new and highly paid anchor ‘person’ of the CBS Evening News (historic if nothing else, in terms of the unprecedented hype and publicity that preceded the event), was proof positive. Out of principle, I almost did not want to watch. Not that I dislike Katie, (I always watched her on the ‘Today Show’) but quite frankly, I liked Bob Schieffer (highly competent, likeable, natural. A no ‘bells and whistles’ kind of guy). In addition, I thought the whole thing had gotten a bit out of hand and was more about hype and promotion than anything else. But, curious as I am, watch I did.

Months before last evening’s telecast, (in addition to everything else), there had been much attention focused on Katie’s on screen persona, and speculation on how her wardrobe would most likely be reflected in her newfound position. It was obvious the nightly audience would not be seeing any fussy prints, florals, polka dots, or cloyingly sweet colors which may have shown up in the early morning hours of the ‘Today Show’. And you can bet that a lot of thought went into planning that very first outfit, since all eyes would be watching and it would surely set the tone.

So, how did she do? While I felt she looked a bit stiff and seemed a bit nervous (and who wouldn’t be?), as she hurriedly read from the teleprompter, after seeing Katie in her well tailored, form fitting, high buttoned, narrow shouldered white jacket and knee length black dress (Donna Karan perhaps?), my feeling is that her stylist (or stylists) were spot on. Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day? I liked that she was not wearing a drab, all too business- like black or navy suit with pearls (as seen in her pre show ads and promos), and went instead with the graphic, eye catching, season less and always elegant black and white combo.

I also liked the unfussy, minimal accessory statement (she wore nothing but tiny earrings). It was very ‘Diane Sawyer’. Katie’s famously well toned (and suntanned- thanks to her Hampton’s summer) gams, were chicly bare (no hose) and were revealed several time throughout the segment. Her footwear of choice were simple and classic high heeled black pumps. Nothing fashion-y. The overall effect was no-nonsense, authoritative, severe, serious and grown up! I kept thinking of Joan Rivers’ signature mantra: “Oh, grow up!” Well, ‘America’s Sweetheart’ appears to have grown up overnight. Only time will tell how she handles her new position. But in terms of her fashion and grooming, from my point of view, she is off to a good start.

-Marilyn Kirschner

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