Is it just me or is anyone else slightly weirded out by the transformation of that self-proclaimed free spirit and sampler of husbands par excellence, Carla Bruni, to what can only be described as a European version of the Stepford Wife?
It may be the required look for her latest role as Presidential arm candy (as opposed to the Versace dash she cut in her groupie years) but Mme Sarkozy's wardrobe for her trip to London has been a proper rib-tickler: the neat little flat pumps an amusing contrast to the stacked shoes sported by tiny Monsieur Sarkozy; the Jackie O style coat/ dress combos; the Queen Liz style hard frame handbags... all topped by a butter-wouldn't-melt expression. 1950's lady-about-town with a dash of French schoolgirl, what could be more fitting for the supermodel turned folk singer turned First Lady?
The main problem faced by the new Mme Sarkozy is the fact that a change of wardrobe is not sufficient to offset her rather mucky reputation. It has been widely alleged that the ex-model -who once told Le Figaro: "I am a tamer [of men], a cat, an Italian... monogamy bores me terribly" - was the reason behind both Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's and Donald Trump and Marla Maples' estrangements. The father of her only child is philosopher Raphaël Enthoven; not only did their affair break up his marriage to Justine Lévy (novelist daughter of the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy) but also Carla's relationship with French publisher Jean-Paul Enthoven, the spectacular twist in the tale being that Jean-Paul is Raphaël's father.
Complicated? Hell, yes. Are we fascinated? Of course we are. The Carla Bruni story has all the makings of a Jackie Collins novel; lashings of sex, lots of scandal, a long line of outraged wives and hordes of gullible men being played to perfection by a beautiful man-eater with the morals of an alley-cat and an eye on the main chance. And even better, this is one saga that looks set to roll on and on and on...