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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000

    heel to heel

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me with more words the meaning of the expression in bold in the following excerpt from an NYT’s article?

    "And on Friday, it provided the backdrop for Mrs. Obama’s equivalent of the Jackie-Kennedy-takes-Paris moment of 1961. No, Mrs. Obama didn’t give a big speech or negotiate a tricky diplomatic incident. She went heel to heel with Carla Sarkozy."

    heel to heel = shoulder to shoulder, side by side …… ???

    Thank you for your efforts.



    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: heel to heel

    Michelle Obama’s style is squaring off against that of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as the two travel to Strasbourg, France with their spouses for a NATO summit. Both women are noted for their fashion sense, so it’s no surprise that fashion writers and bloggers have zeroed in on the NATO summit with eagle eyes.

    The first two images are from the Rohan Palace, where Michelle Obama’s style was compared instantly to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s understated elegance as they met before lunch.

    Last year, we avidly followed the wardrobe manoeuvres of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Regal in Christian Dior couture, the former model was a picture of never-to-be-achieved aspiration. She inspired comparisons to Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and any other classically chic fashion icon you care to mention. Her demure smile, teamed with shades of grey and the odd flash of royal purple, meant that Parisian chic was the look to aim for.

    This year, with the recession in full swing, she's been ousted from the top of the leaderboard by Michelle Obama, whose styling is nothing if not achievable. Mrs O champions young designers like Jason Wu, yet also wears high street brands like J Crew, the US equivalent of our Marks & Spencer. Carla, on the other hand, wouldn't be seen dead in a M&S twinset and pearls.

    Today, the two fashion titans clashed in sartorial battle in Strasbourg, as the US and French presidents met ahead of the Nato summit. Michelle wore a black coat with a floral pattern of pink poppies. The collar was ruched and tied loosely around the neck. It was rather lovely. Teamed with low kitten heels in black patent leather, the look achieved exactly the right balance of cheeriness and glamour.

    In essence, with being seen together, it was natural? that direct comparisons would be made as to their fashion sense. Instead of the usual reference of 'head to head': in open, direct conflict or competition, the expression is 'feminized' along the lines of the idea that women love shoes, and the writer comes up with 'they go heel to heel'.
    Last edited by David L.; 05-Apr-2009 at 09:14.

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