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August 23 2014

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81 posts tagged "Michelle Obama"

Vanity Fair Highlights a New Generation of Designers

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Ralph, Oscar, Calvin, Karl—most of today’s top designers don’t even require a last name. But who’s next on the road to worldwide, decades-long fashion fame? Vanity Fair has a few ideas. For the publication’s September issue, VF‘s fashion market director, Michael Carl (who you probably know as @carlscrush on Twitter), rounded up the industry’s most-sought-after young designers to ask them how they got their big break, who their dream clients are, and about their least favorite trends. Jennifer Fisher hit it big when Rihanna wore her jewelry, and Jason Wu credits Michelle Obama for making him a household name. (He was quick to voice his opinions on acid-wash jeans, too.)

The designers also posed with their “muses” for a group shot photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Joseph Altuzarra tapped Dree Hemingway, Tabitha Simmons brought Karen Elson, and Public School’s Max Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow enlisted Sebastian Stan. Watch Vanity Fair‘s full video hailing upcoming design talents, above.

“Charles James: Beyond Fashion” Opens at the Costume Center

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Ribbon Cutting and Press Preview for Anna Wintour Costume Center and Charles James: Beyond Fashion COSTUME INSTITUTE Exhibition“Now, I know that Anna hates being the center of attention, so this all is probably killing her—but we love it,” said Michelle Obama as she took the stage at the ribbon cutting of the Metropolitan Museum’s new Anna Wintour Costume Center this morning. The first lady, sporting a green floral Naeem Khan, was speaking to a crowd of—as she put it so accurately—legends, including the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace, Olivier Theyskens, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and many more. “The truth is, I’m here today because of Anna. I’m here because I have such respect and admiration for this woman whom I am proud to call my friend,” said Obama. Adding, “thanks to Anna and so many other dedicated individuals, the Met will be opening up the world of fashion like never before.”

The new world at the Met was brought to life by the soon-to-open Costume Center and its inaugural exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion—a preview of which was given to guests after the first lady’s opening remarks. Wandering through the near empty (and Met Gala prepping) wings, the attendees made their way to the exhibition space. (Not without pausing to view the towering Charles James dress constructed entirely of roses in the lobby —“I have Michael Kors in my picture! Photo-bombing,” exclaimed Sarah Jessica Parker as she snapped away—and getting a bit lost along the way. “This is a sitcom. And a divine one at that,” narrated Kors.)

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The exhibition, in contrast to those of recent seasons’ past, is decidedly pared down. The emphasis is clear: The viewer is here is to see the dresses—James’ elaborately constructed ivory silk satin ball gowns, famous (or perhaps infamous?) little wrap “Taxi” dresses, and the voluminous “Tree” dress created for socialite Marietta Tree being just a few. Rotating X-rays, developed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, allow the viewer to thoroughly examine the inner workings of many of James’ painstakingly created works. Original sketches and (some rather punchy) writings add further reference. “James was someone who engineered the hidden physics of a dress even though he is remembered for the loud surfaces of his designs,” explained head curator Harold Koda. “He is an artist who just happened to work in fashion. We believe that the public will leave this exhibition with an understanding of his great innovations.”

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This exhibition and space will see “hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of them students,” said Obama. “That’s really who I think about. Fashion isn’t an exclusive club for the few who can attend a runway show or shop at certain stores. This center is for anyone who is curious about fashion and how it impacts our culture and our history.”

The Anna Wintour Costume Center and Charles James: Beyond Fashion will open May 8.

Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFAnyc.com

The FLOTUS Opts for Azzedine

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Michelle Obama in AlaiaDespite Michelle Obama’s fondness for American designers, she went with something decidedly more far-flung for last night’s State of the Union Address: a striking forest green ensemble by the Tunisian-born, Paris-based icon Azzedine Alaïa. The A-line frock and cropped jacket combo was a departure from the spangled Barbara Tfank sheath she wore last year, but this isn’t the first time the FLOTUS has opted for Alaïa’s work. A baby blue gown (which she donned to the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize banquet in Oslo), a flippy black dress (which she sported during both her 2009 European tour and a 2013 LGBT fundraising event), and a mid-length white number (worn for the 2010 G20 summit) are just some of the wares in her Alaïa arsenal. While this latest look has generated a certain amount of criticism, deemed less than patriotic by some, we’re inclined to call it a chic step in international relations.

Photo: Getty Images

Runway to Red Carpet: ‘Tis the Season for Parties, Premieres, and a Christmas Spectacular

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Julia Roberts and Meryl StreepWith Christmas less than a week away, the celebrity set’s calendars are brimming with holiday parties that call for lots of glitz and glamour. On Sunday Anna Kendrick hosted TNT’s annual Christmas in Washington spectacular, which brought out notables including Sheryl Crow and even the First Family. Kendrick chose an ivory velvet J. Mendel gown with a strapless V-cut bodice for the event, while FLOTUS opted for a tailored white Resort ’13 J. Mendel jacket embroidered with silver and a white pleated skirt.

On the party circuit, Florence Welch attended Love magazine’s Christmas party on Tuesday in London in sheer black lace pants and a capelike top from Marios Schwab’s Spring ’14 runway. Miley Cyrus took to the red carpet on Friday evening for New York’s Jingle Ball concert, pairing a Spring ’14 MM6 Maison Martin Margiela sleeveless tuxedo blouse with Maison Martin Margiela Fall ’13 black high-waisted pants with yellow stripes painted down the sides.

While most businesses are closed on Christmas Day, it has become tradition for a handful of blockbusters to hit theaters. (What better way to entertain yourself after opening that sweater from Grandma?) Among this year’s buzzed-about December 25 releases is August: Osage County, starring A-listers Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. The duo posed on the red carpet together during Monday’s L.A. premiere, with Roberts in a tuxedo-inspired Givenchy ensemble and Streep sporting a white knee-length Gucci wool frock.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Prabal Gurung Pledges Allegiance

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PrabalCongratulations are in order for Prabal Gurung, who became an American citizen today. Most impressive, though, is the fact that the Nepalese-born, New York-based designer—who frequently dresses the FLOTUS— took his citizenship test only twenty-four hours before his Spring ’14 runway show. Now that’s what we call patriotism.

Photos: Marcus Tondo/ IndigitalImages