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Friday
Sep252009

In Geometric Fashion

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

First Lady Mrs. O is again hosting G20 spouses at the Pittsburgh Summit today. For this morning's group photo, Mrs. O chose a dress by Zero + Maria Cornejo, cinched at the waist with a Sacai belt.

The dress features Maria Cornejo's signature Shapes print in silk charmeuse fabric, in hues of amethyst, charcoal and cream. The print is inspired by the three basic shapes that Maria Cornejo's designs are derived from – the circle, square and triangle. 

Click here to see the dress in a different cut. More to follow.

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Reader Comments (93)

I love this dress and I am glad to see her bring back one of her signatures, the belt!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterCreed419

love the whole look, the belt fits the outfit perfectly


Carla Bruni is becoming too predictable and boring though

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Registered CommenterPalGirl2008

Its beautiful, its sophisticated, an appropriate outfit for today's events. The belt serves as a very fashionable addition. I love Carla's shoes. Once again Mrs O portrays simple elegance.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:45 PM | Registered Commenterboazwife

I cant keep my eys off Carla's shoes. Mrs. O dress is gorgeous and flatters her figure. I'm happy she is not afraid of color.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMimi O

Now this is one dress i can say I like with a belt the first lady looks very beautiful today!! Two thumbs up.

ps: I love the first lady hair

PalGirl2008
I agree with you I love carla bruni aswell but I think she needs to push the envelope a little like Flotus it makes you different from everyone

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Registered Commentersierra

Love, love, love Carla Bruni's shoes. Would love to see a close up of them. They look fabulous!!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterbmw

Her actual waistline is not that high but around her navel. Please get that right! That would make the First Lady EXTREMELY torso short.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterT

Definitely a nice dress. Her hair and make up are flawless as usual. I could take or leave the belt in this case. I think this is a nice look for the events she has planned for the day, which consist of celebrating the arts.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:22 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

Good heavens! This belt actually looks okay with the dress. Not the usual horror.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Registered CommenterHyde Parker

This is a wonderful day look. I love that Mrs. O & Sarah Brown are sporting such striking geometric patterns.

Interesting to contemplate some of the other spouses and what's going on with their husbands/politics, etc.

Carla Bruni always looks a bit "nice schoolgirl" or "chic lady" at these things because she's got a rather colorful past.

Sarah Brown is wearing a fab look here, but seems a bit thin & stressed. Her husband's political status is rocky and he's being urged by many in his party to step down before the next general election, which Labour is expected to lose anyway; there are rumors re his health (he's blind in one eye & rumors that his good eye is weakening); plus, rumors in the UK that President Obama "snubbed" 5 requests for a private meeting (who knows who's spreading this rumor -- could be enemies within and without his party. It's that bad now.)

Re fashion & a country's politics: Last week Sara Brown hosted a reception kicking off London Fashion Week at #10 Downing Street. Carla Bruni, of course, is expected to sport very high-end French fashion. I wish Mrs O could more obviously support our fashion industry by hosting receptions or attending the runway shows, but I guess it would be considered frivolous, elitist and uncaring by some. It's an important American industry, though!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

PS - Beating the old horse belt -- All over the runways: Belts at empire waist or worn as corset or slung low on the hips.

OK, I'm just in the tank for Mrs. O's belts.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

It is uncharacteristic of French women to "push the envelope." Carla Bruni is dressing in the elegant manner expected of a woman in her position.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenteranna

Can I just say Mrs.O has perfectly shaped calves and ankles! Oh, and the dress is cool too! LOL

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTracy

I like this look. Mrs. O has chosen an art-inspired fabric to celebrate the arts. The bold fabric is strong enough for this bold belt. It all works beautifully. She looks great.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

Michelle looks lovely as usually, as do the other ladies...but nitpick alert...are the other first ladies allowed to wear open toe shoes before evening hmmmm??? is that nail polish I see oh the scandal..only not.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterThatotherMimi

Now THIS is how a belt should be worn with a dress. She often accessorizes with belts when it is really unnecessary and ends up making the outfit look a bit jarring. The belted look often works for her when she has a simple dress on with only a few key accessories, like she did in Iowa last year in the purple Maria Pinto dress and Alaia belt.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:01 PM | Registered CommenterAri

Very event appropriate! This should please everyone; color, cut, fit, design, and belt are all
perfect.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterchar

I rather like this belt with this dress, and I LOVE this dress. Wow, Mrs. O has been hitting it out of the park lately -- and I include the Medal of Honor dress here, which regardless of whether it was "appropriate" or not, looked gawjus on her. I didn't even know this summit was going to be a big clothes occasion! I feel like I'm getting this totally unexpected fashion treat.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:42 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

All of us are definitely on the same page on this one! My comments have already been voiced by the previous posters: This belt actually looks good and looks like it belongs with the outfit; and
Carla Bruni looks very drab.Ugh.
But the 1st person I noticed in this picture (After Michelle of course), was Mrs. Brown. Her blouse & necklace really rock, and together with the floral dress & cardigan from yesterday, she is definitely on the right track with her fashions.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBabs

It amazes me how anyone can criticize Carla Bruni because she has not "pushed the envelope" with her outfits. She is the epitome of sophistication and the quintessential classic woman. Unlike Michelle Obama who is not consistent with her outfils, Ms. Bruini continues to dress with class and beauty. I have yet to see Ms. Bruni not looking absolutely beautiful. And yes, her shoes in today's picture are fabulous.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterloulou

That belt has actually found its perfect place! WOW!!!!!!! I love the bold print of the dress and it is not overpowered by the belt. This is another hit for Mrs. O. Thot carla Sarkozy looked a bit bland, her shoes are really nice but I expect a bit more from her fashion-wise seeing that she was a model. C'mon Carla lets spruce it up a bit OK!!?

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:01 PM | Registered CommenterTsetse Johnson

BOLD and BEAUTIFUL!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:18 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Love the outfit Carla Bruni wore.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlyse

See, the belt worked out fine for a change..lol. She should only wear the belts with dresses like this one. I was lookin for pics of her at the Andy Warhol museum, but i didn't find any, but there were pics of some of the first ladies..Im like "wheres Mrs. O, she is the host".
Im not impressed with Carla Sarkozy's style, she seems to wear the same type of plain straight dresses, in mostly black or dark colors..I agree she needs to spice it up!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBritt

I love the photos of Carla Bruni. She looks fantastic. Ethereal and light; and always the picture of classic elegance.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergloria

The belt looks good because this dress is perfect - it falls just right. Note how it isn't one of the wider a-line skirt looks that only emphasize her hips. She has acheived an hourglass figure by cinching in the dress with the belt so that the dress falls in more toward the body as it goes to the knees, but not so much that it looks tight. She should wear v-necks and 3/4 sleeves more often. No one has mentioned sleeve-length much but 3/4 is a perfect look on her. She looks really great. The length of the dress is just right, too. Every inch the lady. A+, Michelle! I'd like to see this look with a royal blue pump, as well. Very nice.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

Wondering if Carla intentionally kept it low-key since it is her friend Michelle's time to sparkle in the limelight and the press. Good friends do that, you know.

I notice there is no hose on Carla....and several others are bare-legged. Has the FLOTUS started a very welcome trend???

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

The neckline on Mrs. O's dress is lovely and unusual. Gorgeous and I too like the belt.

Carla looks good and her shoes are great, but why not just a little color considering the event.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

They all looked nice.. i would looooooove to see the critics of the First Lady's attire.. would love to see how you " bring it" LOL

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRenetta

About Carla's outfit, I think it is definitely classic, clean and modern but my only criticism is that it seems like she has literally worn the same outfit for the past three days during the G20 events. On Wednesday she wore a black shift with a thin black belt at the waist. Last night she also wore a very similar black shift with some crystal embellishment at the top and again today she wore a black shift, but this time with a very drab colored jacket.

And about Mrs.Obama not being consistent with her outfits I think that is completely untrue. She may wear different colors, prints and designers, but her overall preferences are very clear and often times very flattering on her. She tends to wear bright saturated colors and prints that flatter her skin tone, slim shift dressed that hug her figure, usually bright cardigans, unique belts at the waist, dresses or skirts with a 50's style circle cut, dresses with movement, bold jewelry & broaches in unexpected places, and when she does wear an actual suit it has unique detailing like pleating in the jacket or beautiful intricate beading at the neckline.

Carla's style can usually be summed up in one word. Dior. Very predictable.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Registered CommenterAri

First, Carla needs a hair style! The center part and straggly locks make her look like a school girl, not the First Lady of France. Then she needs some color or jewelry or something. She looks drab. Yes, she is thin so she looks OK. But she should be looking fab and does not.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterklem

I can't fathom why people get so bent out of shape re her belts. And just as an FYI to some: not ALL belts are meant to be worn on the waist or simply to keep your pants up.

For ONCE I wish folks would STOP moaning about her belts. Give it up! She likes them. Leave her be.

Oh, I almost forgot: love the dress. Flawless as usual.

xoxo

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterLulumay

HERE WE GO AAGIAN SHE LOOKJED NICE SHE CANT LEAVE WITHOUT HER BELT LOL

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Carla Bruni, though very elegant, is ALWAYS in Dior and though of course this is not a bad thing, she does not truly mix things up. I think those shoes she has on are so cute - But this IS mixing it up for Carla - they're not her usual ballet flats.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarisa

In defense of Ms. Bruni, I think that as a former model, entertainer, and someone with a certain reputation before marrying Mr. Sarkozy, she may feel the need to dress in a very classic and conservative way to be taken seriously and to seem substantive enough for her role as First Lady. I don't know, but it's just a thought.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

Oh my gosh, Babs, I didn't even recognize Mrs. Brown until you said that! I just wondered who that pretty lady was who somewhat resembles the redhead in Sex and the City (can't remember her name).

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

@ Willow. You are thinking of the character "Miranda" played by Cynthia Nixon. I agree that Mrs. Brown resembles her.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:05 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

Sarah Brown has really stepped up her game. She got slam dunked in the press when Michelle came to London because she was not up to par with Mrs. O fashion wise. I think she's reevaluated her wardrobe because she's looked really nice these last two days. And she seems to be taking fashion cues from Michelle with the cardigan and the bold patterns. They are working for her.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Love this dress on MO - beautiful colors. And the v-neck is always great on her.

Regarding Carla, I agree she plays it a little safe - especially with color - perhaps because she probably risks more than other first ladies being thought to be less than serious about her role. (Though I think she's VERY serious about it.) Keep in mind that she's almost always in Dior, which means each outfit is into the thousands. Imagine the uproar if MO spent at that level - no matter whose money it was.

I did see a spectacular picture of Carla in the Daily Mail, arriving in Pittsburgh in an oatmeal shade sheath, with a small bow belt in front, and a beautiful, short swing jacket to match. It was probably the most beautiful outfit I've ever seen her in. It was part of an article comparing her to Jackie O. I actually think it's a valid comparison - much more than MO and Jackie. Carla and Jackie have in common very classic, often couture clothing - clean lines, few prints, not a lot of risk, and usually major money. FLOTUS, on the other hand, does take risks and sometimes takes the heat for it. But I think she is exactly the right woman for us at this moment - as is her husband the right man.

I took the comparison to FLOTUS with Raina, Diana, Jackie, et al to be because they were, and are, such icons in the fashions they wear. They are all serious about their work and causes, but all of them get a tremendous amount of press regarding the clothes they wear. I didn't think the remark was trying to fold MO into a "royal" mind set.

If you're interested in hunting down the Carla outfit, I think I got there thru daylife.com.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:32 PM | Registered Commenteroperafanatic

I have been following this site for a while now and after the comments I feel like saying my two cents worth. We all admire Mrs O for her accomplishments, for me personally I admire the face that she chooses what she wants to wear and is never afraid to try something different. She is most adventurous and so comfortable in her skin that it is a wonderful, refreshing ray of sunshine for many of us women today who allow ourselves to be dictated to by society.
The first family are open and genuine are not afraid to allow us to see all sides of their humanity. It doesn't matter what we think, whether the belts work or not, or the cut of the dress or how her hair looks, she is dressing for herself. She is brave enough to try different looks and that is most admirable in my opinion. Considering her incredibly high public persona it makes it more amazing that she is so adventurous! She represents a modern woman who is comfortable in her space. That is admirable and if I dare say we have no right to critisize what she wears. As the old saying goes, Say good or nothing at all. We as a society tend to thrive too much on negativity and fault finding. How does bashing Mrs O's fashion choices make one feel better? She seems to have fun with it so why allow that to affect you? This family is here to break many old outdated moulds. Have fun and be yourself.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterLooking Good

I love this dress and I don't mind the belt, but I don't understand why it is so high.

I'm not trying to be dis-respectful, I'm really not. But I think her breast sitting on her belts looks terrible. It takes away from the overall look.

Okay so now I'm ready for everyone "yell at me". (But that won't change my opinion)

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

First, let me follow suit and make the judgmental post. (Like France's first lady really cares) Carla is blab and drab, but our Michelle sparkles.

Now, I agree Carla's shoes do look to be fierce, but you can't really tell from the picture.

I love the placement of Michelle's belt and she has inspired me to wear mine an inch or too below "the girls." It has a surprising slimming and shapely effect. I am a 49 (soon to be sensational 50) year old African American lawyer and Michelle's look is always exactly what it should be: and that's whatever she ____ - well pleases it to be at that time. Rock on FLOTUS!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterValerie Robinson

@ michelle: you don't have to type in all caps. It makes it read AS IF YOU'RE SHOUTING AT US! You see that everyone else is typing normally.

I think Carla Bruni looks just lovely. I just hate comparing these two women to each other, even if the comparisons are favorable towards Mrs. O. Its a type of construct you would never see people starting up between two men. They are two different women in two different positions with two radically different senses of fashion and...that's all. If they look good or bad, let it be on their own terms, not by the terms of some kind of fake competition.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterChristina

loulou -
what a wonderful description of Carla Bruni. Well said!!

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterbmw

Mrs. Brown is profiled in The Guardian today: "Can Sarah Brown rescue Labour?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/sep/25/women-gordon-brown

With a slideshow: "The reinvention of Sarah Brown"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/gallery/2009/sep/24/sarah-brown-popular-twitter

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

Mrs. O looks good. I was surprised to see Mrs. Brown in such a striking print and even more surprised to see Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy in such a conservative look !

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Registered CommenterStrong Foru

I agree with you Christina.

Carla Bruni looked fine and I don't think that we should encourage comparisons between two extraordinary and VERY different women.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichelleToo

Wow! FirstLady Michelle looks awesome. Because of her, Ive introduce bold shapes ,colors and yes, belts into my wardrobe which needless to say, my man just loves! Work it !

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoss

I think all the ladies look lovely in their own way. I'm sure they dress to make themselves happy. I dont get the so called media fueled Carla vs. Michelle rivalry. It is clear from the pictures that both women hold each other in high regard. Michelle today referred to Carla as her dear friend. I think the media has this overwhelming hunger to start alot of @#$. However we women feed into the competition. If both Michelle and Carla are friends then why must we women pit them against each other...why does one group hate the other group when both women are wonderful friends. Don't let the media WIN! Dont let them tear women down for their own greed.

Regarding Mrs. Brown she looks wonderful, is she wearing a belt? I follow her on twitter and I admire her for working on maternal health Perhaps all first ladies can join together to create their own agenda.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterThatOtherMimi

hiya.i'm new here.i live in germany and i'm as obssessed with the first lady as anybody here.i just wanted to jump into the conversation today because the repeated criticisms that i hear about FLOTUS is that she is bottom-heavy and shouldn't emphasize her waist.i think some people simply project their insecurities onto
her.if she was that self-conscious about her body, she will always wear sleek sheath dress and pencil skirt.the fact that she isn't doing that serves as proof that she loves her curves and embrace her body.it just bugs me that people always say the same think when she doesn't wear figure-hugging outfits. just because you wouldn't emphasize what you consider flaws on your body doesn't mean FLOTUS ( who by all her appearances thus far, has showed that she sees them as her assets) should do the same.i don't want to lecture anybody, it just seems to me that people have seen so many models on the runway that they have forgotten what real women look like.i will drop from time to time.you all are a nice bunch.greeting from dresden, germany.as for carla, i think the french are too harsh to her.she could never be as bold and daring and outside the box as the FLOTUS.they wiil crucify her otherwise.we should feel lucky that michelle provides us such a wide-range of outfits, otherwise this site will be boring.the belts, the brooches, the pins... all that is what attracts us to her in the first place ( well as far as i'm concerned).i don't want her to become as predictable as carla not that i don't admire her, but i like michelle quirky, whimsical , edgy approach to fashion better. it shows character, strength and individuality and the fact that sometimes her charisma outshines her outfit is proof of that.i wish y'all a nice week-end.

Friday, September 25, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterchrystelle

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