Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At Last, First Fashion

The "What Will Michelle Wear?" guessing game is over and the winners are....... Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu!

For the daytime activities of the Inaugural Celebration, First Lady Michelle Obama wore an elegant ensemble by designer Isabel Toledo, accessorized with olive green leather gloves from J. Crew and matching Jimmy Choo pumps.

NY Times fashion columnist, Cathy Horyn interviewed the Cuban-American designer who described the outfit as a lemongrass-yellow coat and matching dress, 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.” Ms. Toledo sounded overwhelmed. “This is so wonderful,” she said.
Ms. Toledo didn't know until this morning that the First Lady chose her design. Her husband and business partner, Ruben Toledo told WWD.com:
"We're levitating - we really are," Ruben Toledo said minutes after watching Michelle Obama on CNN in an ensemble by his wife Isabel.

"We had no idea. We hoped she would wear something because she has bought Isabel's clothes before. We never know what's going to happen," he said.

"It's just another shock, but a great shock."

However, the biggest anticipation of the day was the Inaugural Gown selection, and First Lady Michelle didn't disappoint, choosing a beautiful ivory chiffon gown adorned with organza flowers, silver thread embroidery and Swarovski crystals. The design was created especially for her by 26 yr old up and coming designer, Jason Wu. The New York based designer, who WSOIC! predicted would be the lucky winner in the Inaugural designer lottery, didn't know that Mrs. Obama would wear his design until she and her husband, President Barack Obama, stepped on stage for their first dance at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. In fact, Mr. Wu never met the first lady, working on the dress based on measurements that were sent to him by Chicago boutique owner, Ikram Goldman. NY Magazine reports:
"I wanted to design a gown that would highlight her best features. I wanted to say something about who she is," Wu said. "I see her as a powerful, energetic, incredible woman. I wanted the gown to have a dreamlike quality because it's pretty surreal."

Although most of the fashion focus was on Mrs. Obama, the First Daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama (affectionately known as the "weeMichelles" in the blogosphere) made fashion statements of their own. Both girls were decked out in beautiful, brightly colored outfits from Crewcuts For Kids, J.Crew's children's line. Malia wore a double-breasted deep periwinkle blue coat, accented with a black scarf and blue velvet ribbon belt. Little Miss Sasha donned a deep coral dress under her sweet guava coat, vivid orange scarf and glove set. The look was finished off with a velvet orange belt. Both outfits were especially made for the Obama girls and are presently not available for purchase.

As we can see, bright colors and unknown designers were a theme for the Obamas' fashion choices. I think that fits in well with the Obamas and the journey they, and our country, are about to embark upon. They are a symbol of optimism and renewal, as we face unknowns and challenges in the next four years.

Congratulations President Barack H. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. May God Bless you, your family and our country.

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