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Michelle Obama

US first lady

The clothing choices of politicians and their wives have come under as much style scrutiny as that of pop stars and actors this year, and Michelle Obama was the most high-profile target.

A supporter of her country’s emerging fashion talent - US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s protégé Thakoon and little known designer Maria Pinto are both favourites - mixed with a love of high-end designers including Moschino and Rick Owens, plus a penchant for high street bargains from J Crew, Obama always presents herself with a sophisticated yet comfortably aspirational style.

As a result, Obama, and Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron, wives of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron respectively, have become fashion icons and champions for the neglected 45-plus womenswear market.

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