Refining Merkel′s Makeover | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 31.01.2006
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Refining Merkel's Makeover

Angela Merkel has come a long way from fashion fiasco to chic chancellor. But at least one controversial designer seems to think there's still room for improvement.


Is this the sort of chic, refined influential look Westwood has in mind?

Germans have fallen in love with their new chancellor, giving her popularity ratings that have been unheard of for decades. The fact that she's smiling more (or that she's photographed more often while smiling) probably plays quite an important role in the country's new-found affection for its new leader.

Bildergalerie Angela Merkel Bild11

First came some make-up, the hair followed later

But Angela Merkel's transformation from a stern taskmistress with an obvious disdain for make-up, blow-driers and fashion to coiffed couture connoisseur began way before she set up shop at Willy-Brandt-Str. 1 (that's the chancellery for those of you not that familiar with Berlin).

Long before her election as German head of government, Merkel stopped air-drying her sensible hair cut, laid on mascara and turned to fashion designers for help. It's a price female politicians seem to have to pay on their way to the top, as proven by a certain US senator from New York.

Looki n g i n flue n tial

But while the chancellor seems to have found the right balance between putting on a show and staying true to herself, the former e nfan t terrible of British fashion seems to think that there's still room for improvement.

Angela Merkel und Bono in Davos Schweiz World Economic Forum

The chancellor has already made cool new friends on the international stage, but will she start wearing Westwood?

"If Mrs. Merkel wants to wear (Vivienne) Westwood, I can promise that I will design clothes for her that will make her look chic, refined and influential," the 65-year-old designer, who once designed high heels in the shape of male genitals, recently told Ster n magazine.

As one of the most powerful people in the world, Merkel might not be too concerned about looki n g influential, because she, err, is as influential as they come.

But despite the fact that Dame Vivienne has toned down quite a bit since boasting about not wearing underwear when seeing the queen, Merkel's unlikely to become Westwood's customer.

Or will she?

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