North Korean first lady Ri Sol-ju is the DPRK’s foremost fashionista, sporting looks that favor Chanel and often adorned with flower-shaped broaches, ribbons, polka dots, ruffles, and flashy accessories.

North Korean women who are attempting to imitate Ri Sol-ju’s fashion sense have made short skirts a common sight and Ri Sol-ju’s accessories are in short supply in Pyongyang department stores. Short skirts and outward signs of prosperity are somewhat taboo in the juche state.

Ri Sol-ju apparently gives off the impression to reporters that she does not want to be controlled and her fashion sense expresses this sentiment. A defector who attended a private academy with her claims she was always one of the ‘elite children,’ or those afforded special access to items and luxuries beyond the average North Korean.

As to whether Ri Sol-ju will remain a prominent figure in DPRK state media is to be seen. Kim Jong-il’s first wife, Song Hye-rim, was initially quite prominent and bore him three children but later was allegedly abandoned.

[Chosun Ilbo]