No matter what your political affiliation is, one thing is undeniable. We are about to embark on another four-year term of First Lady fashion. Despite an early first term rebuke by Diane Von Furstenberg, as President of the CFDA, for wearing a gown by British designer Alexander McQueen to the state dinner in honor of their visit to China, Mrs. Obama has done an admirable job of bringing worldwide attention to American designers, particularly emerging ones. Prior to her tenure, First Ladies of both parties had mostly been loyal to the triumvirate of Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Carolina Herrera. Mrs. Obama set the tone for her term by wearing a red-and-black Narciso Rodriguez on election night 2008 that had just walked the runway that prior September. One cannot help but notice the contrast of the widely reported three-cycled Michael Kors dress that she wore this past election night.
Does this repeat appearance mean that we are in for four years of recycled fashion? That seems unlikely, but I thought it would be fun to look at the Spring Summer 2013 collections of some of the designers she favored over the past four years and pick some things I would like to see her wear on the world stage that is her daily life.
Mrs. Obama first brought then emerging designer Jason Wu to global attention by wearing his one-shouldered white gown to the Inaugural Balls in January 2009. This spring, I would love to see her looking “pretty in pink” in Wu’s sleeveless peplum dress, perhaps with one of her now signature J. Crew cardigans. After all, both she and Mrs. Romney chose to take a page from Schiaparelli in wearing “Shocking Pink” to the second Presidential Debate, the town hall meeting on foreign and domestic policy.
Mrs. Obama looked red hot in a strapless Prabal Gurung gown for the last White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Perhaps she’ll choose Narciso Rodriguez’ sleeveless sheath the next time she needs to wow the crowd in red. For his part, Gurung adhered to a fairly strict color palette for Spring Summer 2013, but his drop waist dress with the multi-layered skirt would be ideal for any White House cocktail party.
The First Lady does seem to rely on Michael Kors for ladylike fashion that ranges from her “favorite” purple silk crepe de chine pintucked dress to the bubblegum pink debate suit. Hopefully, she will validate the prediction of fashion editors everywhere that black-and-white will dominate Spring Summer 2013 by choosing Kors’ maxi-houndstooth print, retro-inspired skirt suit for a daytime public appearance.
Mrs. Obama brought global attention to Tracy Reese by wearing her bold prints to the London Olympics and the Democratic National Convention. Longtime readers will know that I have a personal penchant for orange and I would love to see our First Lady bring a little whimsy to White House events with Reese’s vibrant floral, egg-shaped coat for Spring Summer 2013. Wouldn’t it be perfect for the White House Easter Egg Roll?
Mrs. Obama continued to shine a light on emerging American designers by wearing then relatively unknown designer Thakoon to the President’s speech at the DNC accepting his party’s nomination. Thakoon’s collection for next season seems so perfectly paired to this First Lady’s personal style preferences and busy public schedule that it is difficult to choose just one look. That said, his take on the “new” color blocking that includes a print as one of the blocks is “just right” for the current First Lady of fashion.
I simply cannot wait to see what looks our First Lady will choose as she embarks on another four-year term as the Commander in Chief of the fashion troops. She will no doubt turn to her tried and trusted brands at times, but hopefully, she will continue to bring emerging American designers to the attention of the world!
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