Friday, April 24, 2009


This week, thanks to the perspicacious Princess Sparkle Pony and other reporting, we were introduced to a Goddess of Style who has hitherto flown under our Fashion Radar: Her Excellency the First Lady of Cameroon, the ravishing creature known as Chantal Biya.

She's seen here with a gathering of her fellow African first ladies, and I'm sure you'll have no trouble in picking out our new idol. Whereas the undoubtedly mortified lady to her left is trying out her best Michelle O. look (and whereas it looks like at least one of these first ladies may be a first gentleman), La Chantal stands out - bigger, brighter, and and way more high-strung looking.

She's living proof that the influence of Van Smith, John Waters's groundbreaking stylist, has spread worldwide. Here she throws some Chantal-style disdain at the UK's dowdy FL-equivalent, a woman who clearly doesn't measure up to Chantal's high standards. Or hair.

Here's what she came up with for luncheon with the Empress of Japan. I can't tell you how fabulous it seems to me that her coiffure is actually larger than the Empress's entire torso.

And here she is, back in Cameroon, leaving - no, not a nightclub, and no, not the afterparty for the Cameroon Film Awards - no, believe it or not, she is striding out of vespers presided over by the Pope. For once, someone has managed to outdress that Prada-loving, lace-encrusted old Nazi. I'm so glad - and not one whit surprised - it was Chantal.

While Chantal's husband is a well-documented 76 years old, Madame's hold over her country's media is such that is has reported, apparently straightfaced, that the lady is 38. What do you think?


  1. I'm with ya sister. As dazzling as a baseball over the head. Surely the press meant that wig she wore in Jpan when they were talking about 38 years old, cause it looks like it's been around the block.

    WV: aveshork. What the Pope said when he saw Chantal's outfit.

  2. Cameroooon! I was so happy when she won RuPaul's Drag Race!

  3. Somebody get Kim Fields' agent on the phone, we've got a LifeTime biopic to set up!

  4. Oh, I've long been a devotee of Chantal's glamour.

    and I'm with peenee.
    That *wig* alone looks 38...but then again, maybe she's telling the truth...maybe she was born with it.

  5. Her hair demands its own audience with the Pope.

  6. LifeTime's a possibility, but I was thinking maybe an Alice Walker/Tyler Perry co-scripted musical, to star Patti LaBelle as Chantal and Sherman Hemsley as the President of Cameroon. Whoever did the clothes for Hairspray onstage clearly has the right vibe, and I'd like Twyla Tharp to choreograph, just because I always want Twyla Tharp to choreograph.

  7. Muscato, the magnificent William Ivey Long did the divine costumes for Hairspray, as well as for dozens of other Broadway shows. Some of his looks have become rather iconic bits of Broadway history (Anita Morris's black lace bodysuit from Nine, the yellow dress from Contact, costumes from The Producers and Crazy for You. He's a dapper North Carolina gentleman with an impish smile and a curly mop of hair and is often seen around the theatre district.

    You can get a grand taste of his work here.

  8. Wow. Any pics of her singing Tina Turner's We Don't Need Another Hero in karaoke?

  9. Muscati - if only! That would be a treasure. You inspired me to check out Youtube, but aside from a European comedian making fun of her, there doesn't seem to be much...