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Pins & Politics of Fashion

Posted: Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

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Rachel Sutherland

Rachel Sutherland has been a professional journalist for 14 years, most recently as the Style Editor for the Charlotte Observer. Her writing and styling work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. She is often a featured guest on syndicated radio programs The Matt & Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life. Find her at www.rachelsutherland.net or email her: rachel@rachelsutherland.net.

The politics of fashion will heat up in Charlotte on June 30.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stopped by the Mint Museum this week to chat up her exhibition Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, which will debut June 30 and run through the end of September (the Democratic National Convention will be in Charlotte Sept. 3-6).

The exhibit features more than 200 pieces of jewelry that Albright cultivated from around the world and used to send messages (sometimes not so subtle) to the global community.

Accessories (the majority of her collection is costume jewelry, she says) became part of her diplomatic arsenal in 1994 when Saddam Hussein’s government-controlled press referred to her (then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) as an “unparalleled serpent.”

At her next meeting on the subject of Iraq, it was no coincidence that Albright wore a golden snake brooch.

Albright was engaging during her brief stop at the uptown museum, wearing a crown pin (gifted to her on behalf of the Queen City by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce) and a bejeweled eagle.

“I love foreign policy,” she said “but I try to make it less foreign for people. (I use pins to) explain foreign policy in an different way that might be more intriguing. You can have a lot of fun with pins.”

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