If you’ve not lived under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that there are some pretty horrific things going on in Syria – most notably Government violence against its own citizens, ISIS surges, daily violence, civil war and even killing of foreign journalists during the conflict. It’s easy for us not directly impacted in the day to day events to become somewhat desensitized to the horrors which are occurring. The news reports it on a daily basis and quite frankly, the news is just depressing.
I was refilling my mug with some tea the other day when a picture came on the TV of an incredibly pretty and stylish lady who they were labelling as the “Princess Diana of Syria“. I thought I might have missed something… And in some ways I had. Syria has an impeccably stylish, well-dressed and educated first lady who is doing what many of us can not comprehend: supporting her husband who is widely believed to be killing his own people. Now this isn’t a political blog – I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and tell you if anything is right or wrong – but this is a blog about style and seeing as we have focused on the more “traditional” political style figures – Michelle Obama, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and European Princesses – I thought I’d spice it up a little and look at a Middle Eastern style setter for a change.
In case you’re like me and had no idea who Asma is, check out this good article here– but here’s the lowdown: She’s definitely got some “It Factor”. She was featured in Vogue (Where called “Rose in the Desert”) and has welcomed all kinds of celebrities to Syria before the problems began, such as Brad and Angelina. Interestingly, Wikipedia states that Asma al-Assad is actually British. Born and raised in England but of Syrian descent, she travelled to Syria where she met and fell in love with her husband, Bashar al-Assad. She married him and subsequently became the First Lady when he assumed Power from his deceased father. She was also a prominent Investment Banker, working for some of the world’s largest Banks before settling into a “career” as First Lady.
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.
The violence in Syria is atrocious and the crimes against humanity revolting. I am not debating those things for even a second.
But since we’re looking at her ONLY from a fashion and style standpoint, there is really nothing better to do than to stand around and gawk at pictures of the lady while critiquing or admiring her to pieces. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Look at her adorable haircut, reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw in Season 4-5 of Sex and the City (aka the season SJP was pregnant). It’s very flattering for her face type and youthful while still being professional and classic. It’s actually a hairdo that I myself think I would want to emulate (if I was willing to cut my hair, where I’m currently not willing to part with the ponytail-ability factor)
She also goes for a different look in this picture where she’s changed the direction of the curl and made it look more like a formal “up-do”- although it also looks like her hair is shorter than in the previous picture. It’s definitely more aging in this picture, she could pass for older than she is and given that she’s in her late thirties in reality, it might be a bit too harsh.
Let’s also not forget about her style. An article in fashion magazine Vogue, arranged by a PR firm and paid for by the Syrian government, revealed her love of crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin heels and Chanel dresses while claiming she cared about art, children and “women’s issues”. I absolutely love this look that she’s warting, probably because I’m liking navy blue as a signature color lately, although it’s hard to tell in the picture exactly what color this is. The accessories are perfect, and the cut of the pants is great in comparison with the shell top.