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Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 

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Saturday
Dec112010

Must Read Mrs. O

Hope everyone is having a delightful weekend, and staying warm and cozy. For a bit of weekend reading, I thought you might enjoy this New York Times profile on a Mrs. O favorite, designer Azzedine Alaia. In fact, the profile begins with an account of the revered fashion critic, Cathy Horyn, tracking down Mr. Alaia to confirm that the first lady was wearing a dress of his design for the NATO dinner in April 2009. While Ms. Horyn is known for her sharp tongue, this piece is a bonafide kiss on both cheeks to Mr. Alaia. Enjoy! 

A reporter was calling from New York. That evening, April 3, 2009, at a dinner in Baden-Baden, Germany, for NATO leaders and their spouses, Michelle Obama had worn a form-fitting black dress opening to a tiered skirt. Pictures of it were on the Internet. The first lady obviously loved clothes, and the media quickly got the idea that she was not going to be stuck on one or two designers and almost as quickly developed a rationale for her ever-changing wardrobe. The 50-odd labels she wore in the first year reflected a “democratic” approach.

You couldn’t blame the wire services for not knowing every designer’s signature style. So the pictures from Baden-Baden were sent without ID.

But one thing alone identified the dress as an Alaïa; well, two things. Even without the cold gleam of the first lady’s arms, it provoked the idea that a woman tends to look her most beautiful in clothes that make her look strong, not glamorous or sexy or powerful. 

Azzedine Alaia: The Master of the Female Form: [NYT Fashion & Style]

Reader Comments (9)

Mrs. T, we are indeed warm and cozy in So Cal. It's 82 degrees at the moment!

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

canyongal, I am envious! NYC is beyond chilly. I am currently bundled under a blanket, as the heat in my little shoebox of an apartment is barely working.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 4:35 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

Much rain here in Seattle, and more on the way!

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Registered CommenterGroovy

>>Even without the cold gleam of the first lady’s arms, it provoked the idea that a woman tends to look her most beautiful in clothes that make her look strong, not glamorous or sexy or powerful. <<

I concur. Although it's interesting that the author thinks that 'strong' and 'powerful' are not one and the same.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterglammie

glammie, the same thought occurred to me. i also noted that ms. horyn put democratic in quotations, which makes me think she's mocking the idea. but, that aside, it's a great profile on alaia.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 11:11 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

I think this is a pretty good profile of Alaia. He is very secretive and there aren't a lot of articles about him in the French press either. Before he came to Paris he was at 'Beaux Arts' in Tunis, in the SCULPTURE section. Interesting! In France, people keep in mind the dress he made for Jessye Norman when she performed the 'Marseillaise' at the Bicentennial of the French Revolution.
On to the words. I'll add my two cents from the outside since I'm not a native English-speaker and maybe I'm completely wrong here.: ) I feel there's a difference between 'strong' and 'powerful', 'strong' is related to the character, the personality whereas powers are given to you, come from the position you held in society, nothing permanent.'Democratic' in quotations, I felt that was just a play on words in relation to the 'Democratic' Party not on the deeper sense of the word. Discuss ...

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 3:48 AM | Registered Commenter

"A woman is beautiful when she is loved"....which the FLOTUS obviously is. But beauty also comes from confidence. We can see when she knows she has hit a home run with an outfit. She carries herself differently.

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered Commentercanyongal

Alaia is such an intriguing man. I love his new collection.

The Obamas were out tonight, attending a benefit for the Children’s National Medical Center at the National Building Museum in DC and they all look absolutely STUNNING:

http://theobamadiary.com/2010/12/12/have-yours-elves-a-merry-little-christmas/

LOVE Mrs. O's dress. The girls look so sweet and gorgeous and Grandmom Robinson is really pretty. And of course, PBO is beyond handsome. How fortunate we are to have such an amazing family in our White House!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Registered Commentermeta

I've loved Azzedine Alaia's work since I first became aware of him in the 80s, but I didn't know all about his background & the way he works. He and Cathy have a longstanding rapport & it shows in this piece.

Thanks so much for pointing it out, Mrs. T. You're a doll.

Monday, December 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

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