This post was originally from Jan. 21, 2009.
This would be the longest post EVER if I tried to write it all at once. And since there is no way I can find that much uninterrupted time anyway, I'm going to do this in pieces today, OK?
Most of my research focused on this century, but if you go a bit further back, you will find that royalty was a major influence on fashion. I had a real DUH moment while I was reading. I never realized that "Victorian" referred to Queen Victoria's era. I know--I was appalled too. Queen Victoria did indeed have a major influence on women's clothing during her reign. Even black became fashionable when the Queen was widowed and began to wear her mourning clothes.
Even in the 1940's, young girls carefully watched what Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose wore. (Picture here.) In our own time, we have been witness to the influence of Princess Diana. Royalty has truly influenced fashion for a very, very long time.
In light of yesterday's events (that was the inauguration)...I think it's clear that America's answer to royalty is sometimes seen in the First Family. I've already heard enough of what Michelle is wearing, as well as her daughters. I can see it already--more influence is coming. Certain other former First Ladies have greatly influenced women's dress as well.
So, influence #1? Royalty. More to come!