Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Will UK wear Wintour as an ambassador?

Anna Wintour

Until now the Ferrero Rocher being passed around at the Ambassador's drinks reception was about as stylish as it got on the international embassy circuit.

But all that may be set to change with the news that Washington is considering appointing Anna Wintour, legendary ice queen editor of Vogue and inspiration for the movie The Devil Wears Prada as US ambassador to London. (Or possibly Paris since it's more fittingly couture.)

The woman known unaffectionately by former Vogue staff in the US as Nuclear Wintour, and by former Vogue staff in Britain as the Wintour of our Discontent, might seem an odd choice for the diplomatic corps.

But apparently she did a sterling job on an image make-over for the First Lady. And the Obamas - and the Democrats - are suitably grateful for that and for her contribution to the party in general.

Why London or Paris? Let's face it she was never going to be posted to Azerbaijan ...

In Europe she will not (hopefully) be called upon to intercede in matters nitty gritty. It'll mostly be hosting dos, dinners and dignitaries.

Which even her fiercest critics agree, she'll do with considerable aplomb.

Among the many stories told about Ms Wintour is one about a New York fashion bash where she had issues about how the waiters' ties were knotted.

Apocryphal? Perhaps. But depending on how you view these things what could be seen as daft nit-picking, could also be regarded as admirable attention to detail.

She's certainly not a slacker. Even if someone who has worked alongside her says of her potential appointment: "It's hard to imagine someone less suited to the world of international diplomacy. It's like Caligula making his horse a senator."

But never underestimate the skills of a fashionista.

She knows how to draw attention away from the negative and to accentuate the positive.

And if she's ever called upon to patch up a transatlantic rift - no better woman than Ms Wintour to source the required expert tailoring.

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