IT says a lot about politics today that it was possible, during a speech by Michelle Obama that was described as "genius" for its subtlety by columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields, that a parallel conversation was happening online, and in real time, about her shimmering brocade dress and matching fingernails. If you were following along on Twitter, where comments reportedly reached a peak of 28,000 a minute by the end of her speech, you might wonder how many people were really listening to what she was saying.
Like it or not, this election season has shown that clothes are probably more important than words, or at least a more effective means of communication.
From a distance, the dress had a shimmering effect, like wet paint in a blast of unreadable pastels, but in close-ups, viewers could practically study the pattern of the gold brocade.
Even the choice of designer sent a message. Mrs Obama has frequently worn dresses by Tracey Reese, a self-made businesswoman who happens to be African-American, which in fashion is a rare breakthrough. Ms Reese's prices are also in the middle ground. While the dress Mrs Obama wore has not yet been produced, very similar styles from Ms Reese cost $395 to $450, which fits perfectly with the Democratic pitch to the middle class. Mrs Obama's pink pumps were from J Crew.
— New York Times