Male Box. First Fashion

February 3, 2009 • Male Box


Joseph Ungoco for Second City Style Magazine

While our new President fights to make critical appointments to his
“Kitchen Cabinet”, our new First Lady is making equally critical
appointments to her “Fashion Closet”. Mr. Obama’s choices in
designers for her official wardrobe reflect the ethnic diversity one
would expect of a Democratic President of the post-racial period.

Mrs. Obama’s choices equally reflect ethic diversity among American
designers. While Mr. Obama chose Hispanic- and Asian-Americans for the
positions of Secretary of the Interior and Energy, respectively, Mrs. Obama chose Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu
to outfit her on the day and evening, respectively, of her husband’s
groundbreaking inauguration. Say what you will of the clothes
themselves, but fashion history was made that blustery January day as
two designers – who are well known to fashion insiders but relatively
unknown to the American public – were elevated to international fashion
superstardom. For the first time, an Asian American designer’s inaugural ball gown will stand in the Smithsonian Institute alongside some of the best designers America has had to offer.

The woman behind Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe, already dubbed “The First Stylist” by the fashion community, is Ikram Goldman, owner of Ikram, a boutique in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Mrs. Obama purchased her Isabel Toledo dress and coat, as well as the coordinating green patent leather Jimmy Choo “Glacier” pumps, from Ikram. The green leather gloves were J. Crew. The Swiss wool lace coat and dress – reminiscent of the must-have Prada Guipure lace dress for Fall/Winter 2008
that some fashion insider may have advised you to purchase early last
fall – has been variously described in color as lemongrass or
hope-evoking gold, but is, in my opinion, more green-yellow than
yellow-green. Sorry, Pantone, my color references tend to go back to my beloved box of 64 Crayola crayons
(with the built in sharpener!) from my childhood. Regardless of whether
the color of the outfit reflects the hope of a nation, the coat’s
“secret” – an ultra-lightweight pashmina lining for warmth – definitely
reflects the retreat of outward luxury in an economic recession.

Read more "First Fashion" here.

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