Palin: Ready for Change?

The votes are in. Sarah Palin’s style wins by a landslide. Or does it?

The Republican vice presidential candidate may have caused rimless Kazuo Kawasaki frames to sell out and women to reconsider the French twist, but it takes more than a village to constitute a fashion maven. Just ask Jackie O’s style team — and a few industry insiders. Most agree that Palin is indeed ready for change.

“She’s 44?” asks Michael Cole, co-owner of Liquid Salon in Henderson. “Well, she’s pretty outdated for her 44-year-old self.”

According to Cole, Palin’s aging herself with her updos and “puffy” bangs. He’d rather see her with a shorter cut and a side-swept bang that lays flat. The Alaskan governor’s skin and makeup get a pass, but her hair fails miserably in Cole’s opinion.

His salon hasn’t had a single request for Palin’s look, not for a lack of a mature clientele, the Liquid co-owner says, but because his clients are “more up to the trends.”

Jennifer Frederick, on the other hand, says about 10 percent of her clients over the age of 35 have asked for the Palin upsweep.

The Ritual Salon and Spa director agrees that the look has an old expiration date but she guesses the sudden interest in a style that reminds her of “Texas girl hair” has more to do with Palin than the hair itself.

An attractive female leader who has no qualms comparing herself to a pit bull can have that effect.

“It’s the first time we have women in the forefront of an election,” says Frederick, citing Hillary Clinton in the primaries. “Women are excited, as they should be.”

That said, Frederick would rather see Palin in a shorter cut with sharp edges. She does, however, find her highlights “phenomenal.”

As for her glasses, James Snow, optician at Vision Source Summerlin/Lakes, doesn’t think she needs to change a thing, despite the fact rimless frames saw their heyday a few years back.

“I’ve had three people ask me about rimless and they’re asking about it because of (Palin),” says Snow. “She really scored with those glasses.”

Snow says her Kazuo Kawasaki frames have a very limited distrubution and run between $375-$400.

Her classic oval-shaped face could work with most lens shapes, he says, but the rectangular ones she’s chosen are particularly flattering. The frames also have a drill mount, which makes the temples a little more prominent.

Although he had three inquiries after Palin delivered her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, only two made purchases and they weren’t for rimless lenses. The obsession with her glasses hasn’t hit Las Vegas the way it has the rest of the country — yet.

Snow predicts the talk will translate into a full-blown trend if the Republican ticket wins the presidential election in November.

Host of the Style Network’s “How do I Look?” Finola Hughes hopes — for the sake of fashion — that that doesn’t happen. “I’m just not sure why someone would want people to say they looked like her,” she says.

Hughes calls Palin’s banana clips, eyeglass preference and bangs “all too distracting.” And she doesn’t stop there. The style expert would like to see Palin throw out the restrictive, boxy jackets in favor of single-button jackets with classic fits. Hughes does, however, give the pencil skirts a green light.

The problem, as she sees it, lies in Palin’s intentions. Rather than come off as the intelligent woman she’s going for, Hughes interprets it as a cliché.

“It smacks of the sexy office moment when the woman shakes out her chignon and whips off her glasses,” she says. “She’s trying to look smart but she ends up looking like a caricature.”

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