My self-imposed mission in Tampa was to find fashionable men and women in the sea of funny hats and outfits of attendees to the Republican National Convention. It was tough, but I found a few clothes hounds in the Tampa Bay Times Forum. In Charlotte, it was fashion overload. Not that there were major fashion hounds in the Queen City. Still, there was color and imagination in the outfits I did see.
Charlotte was overcome with Obamamania. There were buttons and pins, bobbleheads and mugs. And you could get all kinds of T-shirts with all kinds of images of President Obama and the first family on them. But I saw two folks who went a step further.
The Obama skirt
This young lady and another were walking into the EpiCentre when I couldn’t take my eyes off the photograph of Obama emblazoned on the backs of their long denim skirts. When I asked to snap a pic, the front revealed another photo of the president, this time at the podium. The woman pictured is the designer. Because I was in a rush, I couldn’t get her name. But her craftsmanship made a lasting impression.
And just when I thought I’d seen it all with those jeans skirts, I eyeballed the hands-down winner in the contest for the best outfit of the 2012 convention season.
The Obama dress
The famed Hope poster that was all the rage in 2008 was turned by this woman into a floor-length evening gown for the night of Obama’s big speech. If you can’t see it, the “Hope” at the bottom is studded with ruby-colored costume jewels. Her design was another sign that the enthusiasm for Obama permeated everything and everyone in Charlotte, right down to the clothes on their backs.
This last one is only tangentially fashion-related. As I was getting unmiked at the outdoor MSNBC set at EpiCentre, one of the tech guys said, “I think there’s someone waiting to meet you.” I turned around to see Vance, an adorable 5-year-old with his mother on the other side of the set barricade. Well, how do you not swoon over a cute kid in a blue blazer, white shirt and a self-tied bowtie?! As the picture shows, I did. Gladly.