Pultizer-Winning Fashion Critic Robin Givhan Examines the Kinship of Clothing and Political Power

For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2013
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
Pultizer-Winning Fashion Critic Robin Givhan Examines the Kinship of Clothing and Political Power

Fashion critic Robin Givhan pulls no punches, particularly when it comes to the clothing worn by America's political leaders. That's why she is the only fashion writer to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in criticism.

Givhan holds a public conversation with Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle  on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The event is the sixth and final presentation in the first season of the Dateline: Washington series, which provides an insider's look at key issues in Washington, D.C., through the eyes of America's top journalists.

During her years as fashion editor of The Washington Post and in her current position with The Daily Beast and Newsweek, Givhan has frequently generated controversy about the fashion sense exhibited by the political elite.

She criticized then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for an "unnerving" and "startling" outfit: "It was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"

She took on Vice President Dick Cheney for wearing a heavy, dark-green parka to a ceremony at the Auschwitz concentration camp: "I don't want to be represented by someone ... who looks like he's at a Green Bay Packers game."

And when John Roberts was sworn in as Supreme Court chief justice, Givhan took his wife and children to task for looking like "a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of jelly beans."

In 2006, Givhan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for her "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism."

Von Drehle, a Kansas City resident, has reported and edited for The Denver Post, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. Among his books are Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War, Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, and Among the Lowest of the Dead: The Culture of Capital Punishment. In March, Von Drehle spoke at the Library on his new book Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year. 

Dateline: Washington is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute. The series is made possible by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund grants. 

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.  RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.

Kansas City Public Library Beta