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You’ve Come a Long Way Lady

Nov. 5, 2009
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One year since the 2008 presidential election, I’m reflecting back on our First Lady’s fashion choice for the night. Shown here, Michelle Obama is wearing the infamous red and black dress that boosted attention for designer Narciso Rodriquez, but not in a good way. From a distance, at least for me watching the election on TV, it looked more like an ‘80s disaster.  It wasn’t until I researched the garment later that I discovered a pretty dress that would have been better without the belt. Perhaps this was a mistake in guidance from the designer considering that Mrs. Obama would be photographed from several angles, many that were far away and details were lost. Even with the belt mishap, the cardigan could have been eliminated.

I’m at odds with her choice to go with Thakoons vintage inspired black silk and fuchsia floral coat. When wearing a boxy piece such as this, it would have been nice to show the fuchsia dress that she wore underneath giving the look more lines and contours.

Outside of inauguration day, we have seen Michelle wearing ensembles that didn’t quite make sense. Her trip to London last spring, wearing a J. Crew cute argyle cardigan didn’t go with her dress. Yes, you can mix shades of the same color, but this contrast wasn’t good enough to make a difference. The sweater alone with a chocolate bottom and simple white top and modest accessories would have pulled this look together.

Her inauguration day dress is one of my favorites. Not only is the pale chartreuse color fabulous, but most photos show the coat open to reveal the dress details.  The vintage inspired fabric and rhinestone neckline were contemporary, classy and elegant. I give kudos to Isabel Toledo for designing this look as well as Mrs. Obama for selecting it on such an important day in her life. Her choice of Jason Wu’s white, one-shoulder chiffon dress with appliqués and beads worn with long dangle earrings on inauguration night in my opinion was also a good one. Mrs. Obama looked beautiful, but unfortunately the dress’ train didn’t have a modest bustle to make dancing easier. Either way, our president and first lady pulled it off by looking charming and romantic, a lovely way to view our newly elected first couple rather than stiff and unapproachable. How could our president avoid random kisses on the dance floor with such beauty in his arms!

Michelle Obama definitely has a unique sense of style. Her adornment of brooches on many outfits caused a huge trend making women all over the world want to add a vintage brooch to their fashion flair.

Since then, fashion advice must have come flowing in.  Her look has improved dramatically in the past year. Today, she is well put together but she added flash with class. Our first lady is wearing a lovely choice of a cardigan (a favorite of hers) in animal print with a coordinating top and a soft pinstripe skirt.  Patterns on patterns done very well!

For more Michelle Obama photos, go to http://ineedfashion.blogspot.com/

Heidi Calaway is owner and head stylist for Boutique Vieux et Nouveau. www.boutiquemilwauikee.com



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