Just as her former Presidential First Rival, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is inaugurated as the face of Bulgari, Valerie Trierweiler, current First Partner of France, also upped her lux ante, appearing during recent Bastille day ceremonies not just in a bright pink ensemble, but with a Christian Dior bag – one with little dangling C and D charms no less. Check it out by her feet, left.

It’s an interesting move for a women who was famously vocal during the last campaign about her un-fashion-ness, and an interesting move given the recent hoo-ha over Dior owner (and friend of Sarko) Bernard Arnault maybe/possibly/in-the-end-he-didn’t applying for a Belgian passport.

I mean, it’s not like this wasn’t a public occasion – and if anyone could be excused for choosing NOT to fly the flag of luxury on a public occasion, this was it: the day that celebrates French independence from the lux-obsessed monarchy. And it’s not like this was so discrete no one would notice. And it’s not like Ms Trierweiler, an ex-political journalist, isn’t schooled in reading (and conveying) the subtext of image. In other words, these things in these situations don’t happen just by-the-by. So what do we make of this?

Personally, I wonder if this isn’t an overture; a subtle bit of outreach to a sector of the electorate and economy that hasn’t, historically, been in President Hollande’s corner – both because of his tax plans, and because of his positioning himself as the anti-Sarkozy; the anti-bling guy. After all, he could use some more industrial support, and the luxury industry is one of the largest in France. Of course, if so, he’s still got a ways to go. The Dior folks, while acknowledging the bag was theirs, were not overly enthusiastic about the sighting.

Nevertheless, while I know sometimes a handbag is only a handbag, in this case, I think it might also be an olive branch.

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