First Lady Fashion. Designers Sketch Inaugural Ball Gowns Suggestions for Michelle Obama

December 3, 2008 • Fashion

Michelle_obama It seems everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what Michelle Obama will wear to the Inaugural Balls (and inauguration itself). Designers are in a frenzy and fashionistas can’t wait to see what she will chose. It almost makes you forget times are very tough. And who couldn’t use a little escape from all the doom and gloom?

According to an expose in today’s WWD, the designer big guns are finding Michelle to be more of a challenege to dress, since her chic is more lowercase democratic than was Jackie Kennedy’s. Throughout the campaign, Obama avoided all major names except Narciso Rodriguez, while showing a penchant for Chicago designers (Maria Pinto), young types (Thakoon; Jason Wu) and cost-conscious labels (Donna Ricco; J. Crew).

Nevertheless, every designer yearns to dress Michelle, who could raise the profile of American fashion around the world. WWD asked various designers for ball gown sketches. Some denied the request, but thankfully many provided their ideas for the perfect ‘coming out’ gown.

Here are some…

Monique Lhuillier – I had to start with my personal favorite. This would look amazing on Mrs. Obama.

Carolina Herrera

Badgley Mischka – this looks hard to move nevertheless to dance in.

Betsey Johnson – You gotta love her! So over-the-top and patriotic! Um, no.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel

Christian Lacroix – this actually scares me.

Diane von Furstenberg – Lovely, but not grand enough for the occassion.

Marc Jacobs – dare I say I don’t like the color palette for her?

Michael Kors – understated and expected.

Oscar de la Renta

Peter Som

I’m hoping for the Lhuillier! The color and design are on the money.

To see the rest (there were 35 in total) visit WWD here.

Photos & sketches: WWD,

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4 Responses to First Lady Fashion. Designers Sketch Inaugural Ball Gowns Suggestions for Michelle Obama

  1. Kelley D. Woods says:

    The Monique Lhuillier is fabulous!.. It would be my top choice.. absolutely gorgeous.
    The Michael Kors is great, blue looks great on her..
    The Carolin Herrera is beautiful too.. The green would look great against her skin tone..
    And to top off the look, Classic Makeup, with neutral smokey eye, and a nice Red Lip would look spectacular…
    Christian Lacroix though ???!!

  2. Ginger Krit says:

    [Q] From Steve Gearhart: “Where does the term baited breath come from, as in: ‘I am waiting with baited breath for your answer’?”
    [A] The correct spelling is actually bated breath but it’s so common these days to see it written as baited breath that there’s every chance that it will soon become the usual form, to the disgust of conservative speakers and the confusion of dictionary writers. Examples in newspapers and magazines are legion; this one appeared in the Daily Mirror on 12 April 2003: “She hasn’t responded yet but Michael is waiting with baited breath”.
    It’s easy to mock, but there’s a real problem here. Bated and baited sound the same and we no longer use bated (let alone the verb to bate), outside this one set phrase, which has become an idiom. Confusion is almost inevitable. Bated here is a contraction of abated through loss of the unstressed first vowel (a process called aphesis); it means “reduced, lessened, lowered in force”. So bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion, such as terror or awe.
    Shakespeare is the first writer known to use it, in The Merchant of Venice, in which Shylock says to Antonio: “Shall I bend low and, in a bondman’s key, / With bated breath and whisp’ring humbleness, / Say this …”. Nearly three centuries later, Mark Twain employed it in Tom Sawyer: “Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale”.
    For those who know the older spelling or who stop to consider the matter, baited breath evokes an incongruous image; Geoffrey Taylor humorously (and consciously) captured it in verse in his poem Cruel Clever Cat:
    Sally, having swallowed cheese,
    Directs down holes the scented breeze,
    Enticing thus with baited breath
    Nice mice to an untimely death.
    [I’m indebted to Rainer Thonnes for telling me about this little ditty, which appears in an anthology called Catscript, edited by Marie Angel. However, it was first published in 1933 in a limited edition of Geoffrey Taylor’s poems entitled A Dash of Garlic.]
    World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2008. All rights reserved. Contact the author if you want to reproduce this piece, but first see our advice page, which also has notes about linking. Your comments and corrections are welcome.

  3. I love how De La Renta included Maya and Sasha in the sketch 🙂
    As for the dresses, most of them are gorgeous. But my personal faves would be the Lhuillier and the De La Renta…

  4. lucy says:

    i liked it …………………………i am a fashion designer too……..

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