After a year of silence, Sarah Palin’s stylist during last fall’s presidential race has opened up about the controversy over the $150,000 the Republican campaign reportedly spent on outfitting the vice presidential nominee and her family.
“I feel like there’s a misperception,” said Lisa A. Kline, a 47-year old mother of three (not to be confused with the Los Angeles retailer). “I want people to see that I did the best job I could under crazy circumstances.”
Kline was called in at the last minute to dress Palin for her big television debut at the Republican National Convention in September. The money Kline spent on the new threads — which included a $75,062 trip to high-end retailer Neiman Marcus — was dubbed “Wardrobegate” and is largely credited for undermining the then Alaskan governor’s homespun image and the credibility of the overall campaign.
During her interview with the NY Times, she cleared up a few points. Shortly before Labor Day weekend, she got the call about dressing the family for the convention which forced her to eschew her normal budget-conscious practices to get the job done.
“There wasn’t a person around,” she said about scrambling during a holiday weekend. She could not rely on her normal rolodex of designers who give her discounted fare. “The only avenue was retail, straight retail.”
The Neiman Marcus trip was also a necessity. After arriving to meet Palin, Kline was told she had less than a day to pull together outfits for the entire family as well.
“The campaign advisers realized the kids, everybody, needed to be dressed,” Kline explained. “This was a family that was about to stand before the world, and they just came with their everyday-life clothes.”
While she gave Palin a look book for the rest of the campaign to give her an idea of how to put the outfits together, Kline noted that the nominee stopped wearing the clothes when the money figures hit the media.
Still, the stylist is happy with the fruit of her labor.
“I felt I had achieved my goal. I thought she looked great. I really did.”