Monday, 15 November 2010

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir - The Spin - AnOther Mag

The Spin | Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
— October 12, 2010—
David Hellqvist tries to make sense of the sartorial choices of World Leaders in his column The Spin

When Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir lost the Icelandic Social Demcocrat party’s leadership election in 1994 she famously said “Minn tími mun koma”, meaning “my time will come”. In January 2009 that went from being an empty threat to a prophecy, because that’s when Sigurðardóttir finally took command of both her party and country. As Iceland’s prime minister she not only became the island’s first female PM, but also the world’s only openly gay leader.

This social, political, sexual and cultural breakthrough, though, is of course not the only thing that Iceland is well known for these days, and the other fame factors are unfortunately not as positive. Only a year ago ill-managed Icelandic banks nearly caused irreparable financial damage in mainland Europe. And then there was that infernal ash cloud…

Crises aside, Iceland has many talented and aesthetically refined aspects to it as well. In terms of music, art and fashion, proportionally Iceland competes successfully with its stylish northern neighbours Scandinavia. And, as far as politicians go, Sigurðardóttir is doing her bit to help out. Her biggest asset is her silver white hair. When paired with a white coat, she looks like an ice princess. Add to that a bold and strong use of red lipstick and you’ll have a lady politician not afraid of standing out. A penchant for over sized necklaces and eye-catching glasses makes for a fairly full-on silhouette.

The former air hostess, with two children from her estranged husband, entered a civil union with author and playwright Jónína Leósdóttir in 2002. The partnership was then upgraded to a same sex marriage when that was legalised in Iceland earlier this year. The 67-year-old Prime Minister might not be on the forefront of a fashionable revolution – not many world leaders are – but it is safe to say that her election revolutionised a few other things, perhaps more important to mention than her choice of lipstick and ice-cold hair colour.

David Hellqvist is the Commissioning Editor of Dazed Digital, a freelance contributor to Men’s Vogue and GQ in China, AnOther Man, ZOO and i-D Magazines. He also writes the blog Fashion in Politics

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