77 posts tagged "Michelle Obama"
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.
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.
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.”
For the style set that insists on local food, local booze, and locally sourced designs, here’s local art. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) kicks off its eighth annual BAMart Silent Auction tomorrow, and honorary curator Beth Rudin DeWoody selected pieces made by artists either based in Brooklyn or who have previously collaborated with BAM. They include Nate Lowman, Richard Prince, and Terence Koh. Polaroid portraits of Dolly Parton, Keith Haring, and Bianca Jagger may go quickly, but we’re told that a few other artists’ works are set to be the big-ticket items here. Among them, a piece (pictured) by Mickalene Thomas (whose portrait of Michelle Obama was the first painting of the First Lady to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery), an ink and graphite work by Matthew Ritchie, and an etching (Plate Distortion II) by Tauba Auerbach. The works are currently on display at the Dorothy W. Levitt Lobby of the Peter Jay Sharp Building at BAM and viewable online. The auction, supporting BAM initiatives, launches tomorrow on Paddle8.com and runs through April 22.