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April 18 2014

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79 posts tagged "Michelle Obama"

First Lady in Red

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We may as well start calling Jason Wu FDOTUS. After wearing Thom Browne and Reed Krakoff to President Obama’s Inauguration today, Michelle Obama donned a custom scarlet Jason Wu gown to the Commander-in-Chief Ball this evening. Indeed, it’s a surprise that the First Lady chose Wu again (MOBama wore a white Jason Wu gown in 2009, making him a household name), as many fashion followers expected (and, perhaps, hoped) that she would anoint yet another new talent with her Inaugural gown selection. But if the pictures from tonight’s event are any indication, Wu’s cherry velvet and chiffon gown (worn with Jimmy Choo shoes and Forevermark Diamond bangles) was a winning pick. A designer has not created back-to-back inaugural gowns since James Galanos dressed Nancy Reagan in 1981 and 1985.

Photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images

Thom Browne’s Second Term

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Michelle Obama chose a sophisticated deep blue checked coat custom made by Thom Browne to wear to the fifty-seventh Presidential Inauguration today. (Early in the day, she paired it with J.Crew heels—a touch true to her signature high-low look—and later changed into Reed Krakoff suede boots.) This marks the third time the FLOTUS has worn Thom Browne (she first anointed the designer by wearing a printed purple look at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and also wore a black and gray lace-embellished dress to the third presidential debate last year). Considering Browne’s penchant for showing conceptual wares on the runway, Mrs. Obama’s Browne ensembles are shining examples of how the designer can translate his often eccentric looks into pieces that the American woman and, for that matter, First Lady can incorporate into her daily wardrobe. Sasha went with a Kate Spade dress coat in lilac while Malia kept warm with a J.Crew coat in vivid eggplant. At President Obama’s official swearing-in last night, the FLOTUS donned a full Reed Krakoff look (a designer she also wore in her first term, most memorably in June 2011 at the Pritzker Architecture Prize event).

Naturally, we await tonight’s big reveal, when we’ll see what Mrs. Obama wears to the Inaugural Ball. Last time around, she went with a white Jason Wu number—a choice that both elevated the designer’s career and spurred comparisons between Mrs. Obama and Jackie O, who wore a white gown to JFK’s Inaugural Ball. Jackie Kennedy famously told Diana Vreeland that she wanted to wear white because she felt it was the “most ceremonial” hue.

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/ AFP via Getty Images

Happy Birthday, Dear FLOTUS

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Fashion followers have seen back-to-back birthdays this week: Yesterday, Kate Moss celebrated her thirty-ninth, and today Michelle Obama will be blowing out the birthday candles—forty-nine, to be exact. While we’d imagine Moss and the FLOTUS have little in common, they’re both under a microscope when it comes to their clothing choices. With President Obama’s upcoming inauguration (which is set for Monday), every news source under the sun has weighed in on what MOBama should wear to the inaugural ball (Style.com included). And while the explosion of press may seem overzealous, it’s not without reason—a nod from Mrs. Obama can launch a designer from under the radar to national favorite. Will she choose Jason Wu, like she did for the 2009 inauguration (left)? Prabal Gurung? Up-and-comer Wes Gordon? (She wore one of the youngster’s jackets last year). A new talent we’ve never heard of? We can speculate all we’d like, but if we’ve learned anything over the last four years, it’s that Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe is full of surprises (think: her Lanvin sneakers and unexpected red McQueen gown); thus, we’ll just have to wait until the Obamas officially celebrate a second term to find out. In the meantime, we wish the First Lady a happy birthday.

Photo: Stan Honda/ AFP via Getty Images

Assessing Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Options

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While designers across the world are focused on nabbing red-carpet credits at this month’s Golden Globe and SAG Awards, the big question here at Style.com is, Who will Michelle Obama wear to the Inaugural Ball? There’s no denying the enormous impact a MObama endorsement has on a designer’s career. Recall the surge in popularity both Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu had after dressing her four years ago for the 2009 Inauguration. While there’s no surefire way to pinpoint which designer the FLOTUS will choose this time around—and we’re all but positive that she’ll wear one-of-a-kind, not off-the-rack—we’ve nonetheless made a few educated guesses based on her past sartorial choices, and pulled looks from the pre-fall collections and Spring ’13 shows. Chances are Mrs. Obama will opt for an American designer (her decision to wear Alexander McQueen to a China state dinner last year, for example, was widely criticized). She’s also a proponent of up-and-coming talent, and many speculators have named Prabal Gurung as the top contender (she’s worn the designer’s clothes several times recently). Still, the First Lady is a fan of the old guard, too; she stunned in a red Michael Kors number on Election Night. She’s also a card-carrying member of Naeem Khan’s fan club, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see her turn up in one of his over-the-top embellished gowns on the 21st.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Michelle Obama’s potential Inauguration gowns.

 

Each In Her Own Way: A Conversation With Women Designers

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On Friday afternoon, Tracy Reese (left), Maria Cornejo (center), and Suno’s Erin Beatty (right) assembled for “One of a Kind: Individuality, Integrity, and Innovation in Fashion,” a panel discussion hosted by Style.com’s own executive editor Nicole Phelps as part of the 14th annual Initiatives in Art & Culture fashion conference. The three designers touched upon topics ranging from social media to personal time management to dressing Michelle Obama, which each speaker has crossed off her bucket list. Of the latter matter, Reese (who most recently outfitted the First Lady for her Democratic National Convention appearance) said, “That evening was huge for my business, but people kept talking about the dress and I was like, what about her amazing speech?”

The designers are all keenly aware of the pressures facing working women—i.e., those without the time for several outfit changes a day. “Wearing the same thing all day long is the definition of a modern woman,” Beatty opined. “With social obligations in the evening, you get up at 6:45 a.m. and go until midnight. You change your shoes and put on lipstick, and that’s it,” Cornejo said. “I keep a curling iron in my desk,” chimed in Reese, “and assume our customers’ days are just as busy.”

The Internet cropped up as both a positive and a negative. With new collections posting instantly online, Cornejo said, “It’s very hard for anything to feel surprising anymore.” Reese concurred. “It’s difficult to focus the customer on what’s available in stores now because she’s thinking about what’s next. By the time the clothes hit stores months after the show, they’ve already been so exposed on the Web.”

But ultimately, that pressure to keep going back to the well is what drives the designers forward. “It’s indescribable how empty you feel right after a show,” Beatty said, “but that’s what makes us do it again every season.”