1.20.2009

MIchelle Obama and her girls shone!





There were rave reviews for Michelle Obama's outfit today - and her daughters' coats too. (The girls' clothes were from J. Crew.) I only found one negative comment (later I found more negatives) in a quick Google survey:
"This particular look is a little too sparkly for day, and wearing a matching coat and dress is a little 1962."— Linda Wells, editor-in-chief, Allure magazine

But, here was one of a thousand positive reviews:

The Isabel Toledo suit that Michelle Obama wore was the color of a ray of sunshine -- an apt metaphor for the brand-new day we have been waiting for. And I love the fact that Isabel lined it in pashmina to keep her warm. It just goes to show that style can go hand-in-hand with intelligence and innovation. Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief, Harper's Bazaar

Stacy London, co-host of TLC's What Not To Wear, praised Michelle O's choice, but with reservations for the rest of America copying her. Here's what Stacy said:

I think she can pull yellow off, but it's hard for American women to emulate.

I think Michelle is separating herself from the pack with this outfit. It is a bold color choice few women can pull off. The wool lace is intricate and much busier than the sea of cashmere coats surrounding her. Instead of the traditional bold primary colors: red or blue, she chose a color specifically for her. The matching coat and dress is reminiscent of Jackie O's classic 60s style. I can't wait to see what she wears to the balls.

I think the matching coat and dress look will be copied. I think the color palette will be a hard sell going forward. Also, the texture of the lace work is very busy for the average American woman.
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The comparisons to Jackie O. are, of course, everywhere.
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The designer for Michelle Obama's dress is a Cuban/New York designer. Here's a bit about Isabel Toledo:
Ending months of speculation, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed her dress for the swearing-in ceremony -- a sparkly yellow day dress and coat -- and its designer: Isabel Toledo.

The International Herald Tribune reported that the designer did not know until this morning that the first lady would wear her lemongrass-yellow coat and matching dress she specially designed for her:

"We're all up here watching the T.V.," said the designer in a telephone interview from her New York studio.

"It's great. We're so happy."

Toledo, who has been making clothes in New York for 25 years, said the coat and dress were made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk.

"I wanted to pick a very optimistic color, that had sunshine," she said. "I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody."

Toledo, sounding overwhelmed, said, "This is so wonderful."

About 13 people in her studio worked on the outfit over the Christmas holidays. "Chinese ladies, Polish ladies, Spanish ladies - I have a picture of everyone working on her clothes," Toledo said.

She added, "We're all grateful for this opportunity, and we don't even have a PR person!"

The ball gown was designed by a mere kid, 26-year-old Jason Wu, an immigrant from Taipei. What a thrill that must be for him!

I didn't vote for Obama, but I enjoyed watching the festivities today. I get a kick out of everyone weighing in with opinions about fashion. For a time, it was fun to set aside politics and bask in the optimism that so many were feeling. I loved the inaugural poem called "Praise Song for the Day," by Elizabeth Alexander. I'm going to post the full transcript soon. It was incredible.

3 comments:

Becky said...

Did you see Mrs. Biden's gown, it was even better I thought.

Georgana said...

yes, I have really like lots of Michelle's outfits. I think she has great style (& stylists).

Merilee said...

I loved the gold sparkly outfit but NOT for that occasion. I wanted to see some red, white and/or blue. More a patriotic look than a new queen look. Where were King and Queen Obama's crowns??
Loved her ball gown.