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First Lady Michelle Obama wears a red petal print silk organza off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown to tonight's state dinner at the White House. The color, red, is not a complete surprise, as it symbolizes good luck and happiness in Chinese culture. The choice of design house is more unexpected, as many had speculated that the first lady would wear a gown by a Chinese-American designer. If we've learned one thing about Mrs. O's style, it's that it never fails to surprise. The gown is a daring, high-glamour choice for the occasion.
It is also a wonderful honor for the house of Alexander McQueen. The work of the late designer has long been a staple in the first lady's wardrobe. Booth Moore of the L.A. Times reports that this gown, in fact, was designed by Alexander McQueen's successor, Sarah Burton. Indeed, the dress appears to be a variation of an Alexander McQueen Resort 2011 gown, seen here.
If you haven't yet seen it, please do give Robin Givhan's piece for The Daily Beast a read. In her first story for the site, Givhan does a superb job of translating Mrs. O fashion's message, in a way only she can. Of a seemingly unexpected choice, Givhan presents great logic.
"The red petal print, silk organza gown wasn’t so much an act of diplomacy as a broad statement about the new realities of the fashion industry. In choosing a dress from Alexander McQueen, Mrs. Obama championed the cause of artisan design, the legacy of bespoke tailoring, and the staggering creativity that can be nurtured in the frock trade when it is at its best."
"Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen: Lady in Red at the White House State Dinner" [The Daily Beast]
Update: For those curious about Mrs. O's jewelry, the First Lady wore Ruby and Geode Earrings in 18k Yellow Gold from New York-based jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald.