Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural Fashion

I have to confess: I love Michelle Obama. I love everything she wears. She can go no wrong in my eyes. She could wear Bjork's swan dress and I'd blog about it, all, "OMG SO CHIC I LOVE HERRRRR!" I feel towards her the way a lot of people feel towards Cate Blanchett, where Cate can wear some crazy metallic alien outfit and her fans proclaim her the hottest woman on the planet, while everyone else scratches her head and thinks, "I don't get it, but I guess she's sort of pulling the 'hot mess' look off." Basically, even if I don't love Michelle Obama's outfit, I love Michelle Obama in the outfit.

By now, I'm sure you've all seen the Toledo yellow coat and dress she wore to the inauguration, and the white Jason Wu gown she wore to the inaugural balls. But just to refresh your memories:

What's to say that hasn't already been said? She turned two lesser-known designers into household names, she made unexpected choices, she opted for her own original look instead of something bland and dull, and she put to shame all the First Ladies that've come before her. Barack is a lucky man, indeed.

One of the reasons I love Michelle is that she makes it OK to love fashion. She is certainly not a frivolous woman, but she has an obvious knowledge of design, trends, and the fashion industry, and you can tell she enjoys playing with clothes and using her outfits to express herself. But she's no Sarah Palin, spending exorbitant amounts of money on attractive but dull clothes-- she knows how to bargain shop, and looks just as good in J.Crew as she does in Narcisco Rodriguez. And she doesn't tsk-tsk those who are as fascinated by her clothes as she is. Notice how she wore her inauguration coat open to reveal the dress underneath, even though it was something like 25 degrees in D.C. She knows that we've been waiting for months to see what she'll wear (and that Isabel Toledo deserves to have her dress shown off as well as the coat), and she's willing to suffer a little bit to give the public what they want. I don't remember where I read this, and it could be untrue, but I've heard that Jackie Kennedy tried to discourage Oleg Cassini from reproducing her looks on a mass-market scale, because she disliked the idea that any American housewife could imitate her couture looks. That's not our Michelle-- Mrs. O is a woman of the people.

So, in honor of our new First Lady and her love for J.Crew (her inauguration gloves and, I believe, shoes were from the Crew, as were Sasha and Malia's adorable outfits), here are a few pieces I could see her wearing around the White House in the near future.

I'm expecting to see a lot of women wearing lemongrass in the future, and this Double-cloth Madeline Coat, $129.99, is a great way to combine a classic coat with a distinct color. If you're looking to invest in a special occasion jacket (because Michelle Obama is certainly not afraid of a little bling), try this metallic jacquard jacket, $89.99.

Boucle fabric is quintessentially Ladies Who Lunch, and no lady lunches better than the First Lady. So I can see our Mrs. President putting her own spin on it with the Astrid Boucle Jacket, $49.99. The bright berry color would look fantastic with her skin tone, and I can see her removing the flower pin and using a vintage pin of her own.

It's perfectly fitting that this silk clutch, $88, is called the "gala clutch," because it would be the perfect accessory for a presidential ball. It comes in a few other colors, including a lovely winter white, but I'm a fan of this optimistic yellow. The big swooping bow is a nice combination of classy and playful-- perfect for complimenting a fancy gown but not competing with it.

Michelle rocked some lovely green heels on inauguration day. These Gayle patent-leather heels, $119.99, are definite showstoppers. The patent leather, suede, and gold buckle are office friendly, but with a lot of personality.

Michelle knows the power of a great printed dress. I think she'd look fantastic in this Grenada palm pleated halter dress, $198, probably dressed down with a matching cardigan. The halterneck would show off her buff shoulders (did I already mention how much I love how she has such a strong, athletic body and she knows how to work it?), and the fuschia against mocha is totally original. I only wish that I had the sort of skintone that would let me look good in this dress, too.

This final dress is a little more restrained, but the shimmery fabric and lovely fabric makes it far from boring. The Watercolor silk taffeta Mcloed dress, $199.99, has cute cap sleeves and a faux-wrap bodice, highlighting her fabulous waist. I could see her wearing this to a afternoon charity tea or something.


Anonymous said...

Julia York!
I'm guessing you've seen this, but i was checking out street-spotted and they're looking for fashion bloggers, photographers, etc for their blog. You would be perfect! It says applicants just need people with fashion blogging experience who attend NYU. If you this is the first you're hearing about this, then just go to street-spotted's website and scroll down to the third entry.

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