Merkel surprised by plunging-neckline fuss
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 53, is surprised at the news-media attention to the plunging neckline of an evening gown she wore to the opera in Oslo, her deputy spokesman says in Berlin.
15th April 2008
Berlin - The chancellor's plain ankle-length black frock exposed an unusual amount of bosom on Saturday evening and stole the limelight from Norwegian princesses Victoria and Mette-Marit in more demure dress.
Thomas Steg said it had not been her intention to divert attention from the stunning architecture of the new opera house, and she was sorry if she had outshone the Norwegian royals.
She had been "a bit surprised" at the many news pictures of her published back home in Germany.
"It can't be helped if the world has nothing better to do than discuss evening dress," he said.
"The chancellor will continue to choose her evening attire in the future according to her personal taste and mood."
In the 1990s, Merkel was recognizable by an unflattering page-boy haircut, but her personal appearance underwent a major makeover, with a softer hairstyle, bigger jewellery and tailored pants suits, when she ran for chancellor in the 2005 election and won.
Opera-loving Merkel mainly wears frocks when she and her husband attend the Wagner opera festival each summer in Bayreuth, Germany.