Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles caused a stir at Tuesday night’s state dinner when she appeared in a black sheath by New York designer KaufmanFranco and said to reporters that she hoped her outfit wasn’t “too slutty.”
We caught up with Coles at Union Station on Wednesday morning as she was heading back to New York for Fashion Week.
You and Michelle Obama didn’t look as if you belonged at the same dinner. What did you think of her dress?
She looked absolutely magnificent. My husband said she looked like a goddess. Because she is so statuesque, she sort of dwarfs everyone else in the room. The blue dress made her look as if she was floating on a cloud above all of us.
What did you mean by “slutty”?
Well, I know that Washington is conservative, and my dress was very urban New York. But, in fact, I thought it was fine. I took a little license with the fact that the guest of honor was the president of France.
Were you wearing your “activity tracker” wristband, which records how much you sleep?
I was not wearing my Jawbone, but I was wearing two magnificent white gold snake cuffs by a Chicago jeweler called Sidney Garber. Let’s put it this way, if I had been kidnapped last night, the ransom would have been on my wrist.
Who were you sitting with?
With the digital director of Francois Hollande’s campaign who e-smoked throughout. He was very charming, but I was fascinated by the fact he e-smoked.
What was the conversation like?
The conversation was about how Hollande had borrowed tactics from the Obama campaign, digitally. The French were so impressed that they did exactly the same in France.
The other thing we discussed was the [French] president’s famed animal magnetism, which my dinner partner assured me was genuine. The reason he is so popular with women is that he is very nice and very funny. The humor is what women find irresistible.
Was there any dancing, after all?
Yes, there was dancing. You can’t NOT dance to Mary J. [Blige].
Did you meet Obama? Hollande?
Yes! Francois Hollande was very pleased that I had worked for a French magazine, Marie Claire.
And President Obama said I looked magnificent.