She's a polarizing figure, in both her IMF position and her former role as France's finance minister (for which she was investigated and acquitted in a fraud probe last spring).
This is power dressing at its most elevated, on display by an ambassador of classic French style. She is known for perfectly-furled scarves or shawls—seen in nearly every podium appearance—and for stunning accessories, including a breathtaking assortment of pearls.
It is in fact not easy to find a photo of Christine Lagarde without pearls; she often wears multiple pieces.
In a classic white multi-strand:
In a big pair of South Sea drops, her most frequently-worn earrings:
The South Sea earrings, worn with a SS bracelet:
She gives her pearls a twist—into her scarf:
In Tahitians at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, in Luxembourg:
She also wears a mixed South Sea strand:
Sometime last year, Lagarde began to grow out her trademark short crop with bangs to a near-bob, and has kept the pearls.
In button earrings and an abstract floral bracelet:
One of my favourite looks: arriving for a conference in the English countryside, in a pearl and black-coral sautoir with a black tee.
In a blush Chanel dress, big studs and a South Sea pearl ring:
Photographed in October in New York in a double strand, rings, studs:
At the UN recently, in a long chain studded with massive baroques:
Lagarde has spoken often about obstacles for workforce participation for women. I am always interested in what she says on that topic.
Speaking in September at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, she lauded the key role of women in bringing Iceland out of its recession. When its economy crashed, "the banks, the funds, the government—everything was taken over by women," she said. "So when it's messy, you get the women in. But when the mess is sorted, keep the women," she added, chuckling.
Now, that is a strategy I can support: mess sorted, women in significant roles, and...in pearls.