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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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

The Huffington Post ran a style story today with the headline, "FLOTUS Looks Boo-tiful in DVF" referring to the diagonal stripe dress that the First Lady wore for yesterday's White House Halloween festivities. The story elaborates, "The FLOTUS wore a a black coat over a festive orange, gold and black striped dress from the Diane von Furtsenberg Fall 2011 collection." The dress is also available at Neiman Marcus, here.

When I saw the dress in question, I assumed (and reported) that it was the ASOS Midi Body-Conscious Dress in Metallic Stripe, seen here. But now, I'm not so sure. Well, pretty sure, but the eyes can deceive, and The Huffington Post proclaimed DVF so boldly. Either would seem to be a viable possibility, as Mrs. O has worn both labels on multiple occasions. 

A few questions arise: Is Mrs. O indeed wearing the ASOS dress? Is the ASOS dress a copy of DVF? And is this adventures in copyright territory? Of note, Diane von Furstenberg has worked to establish the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act through her role as President of the CFDA.


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Reader Comments (41)

I'm not sure, but looking at the neckline it looks like the ASOS. Whether or not they copied DVF or vice versa is another question.

Here is a pic on this link of Mrs. O and Caroline Kennedy today:


Both ladies look nice, but I really like Mrs. O pink dress.

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:27 PM | Registered CommenterNyon

Looks like ASOS because of the neckline. Don't know who copied whom because not sure what date dresses where shown in collections.

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterjblue

You can see it in the stripes. With the DVF the gold stripe is above the orange stripe on the bottom. Not so in Mrs. Obama's dress.

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJaimie

It seems like it has to be the ASOS one from looking at the stripe pattern. The DVF goes black, orange, gold, black, gold, black, orange... while the ASOS and Mrs. O's dress goes black, orange, gold, black, orange, gold...

Seems pretty similar to me to be a coincidence, so I don't know.

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

It is definitely the ASOS dress. Look at how the stripes are arranged between the two dresses. On the ASOS dress, there are three large stripes, and each one has an orange stripe on top with a gold one underneath. The DVF dress has a solitary gold stripe at the waist and a solitary orange stripe a little lower. Mrs. O's dress matches the ASOS stripe placement.

Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSarah

It's obviously Asos that she's wearing. I'm basing this on a number of aspects.

The color of the red stripe: The Asos dress is more of a red-orange, like the FLOTUS's dress. DvF has a deeper red.

The position and pattern of the stripes: The stripes of the Asos dress are more uniform and are all red->gold. The DvF dress has a less defined pattern where it's red->gold, just gold, just red, gold->red.

It's fairly evident, at least to me, that she;s wearing the Asos dress.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoy

It's definitely the ASOS dress, the stripe pattern is the same.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I agree with Nyon, Mrs. O's neckline looks more like the ASOS design. They do seem to be uncomfortably similar, don't they?

Great photo with Caroline Kennedy, two of my favorite people!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:56 AM | Registered CommenterGroovy

The DVF dress is red/black/gold, (listed as pomegranate on Nieman Marcus and looks obviously red there), and the ASOS dress has a neckline, stripe pattern, and color matching the one Mrs. O wore. Lastly, the DVF dress has the stripes at a different angle, if un-altered it would be below the knee on the First Lady and if altered the stripes would be cut off about midway across the front of the dress. I also think Mrs. O is more inclined to spend $80 vs $498 on a dress to wear just once, she re-wears all of her high-end pieces.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 1:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterScientist!

follow the stripes. its definitely the asos dress. the color order of stripes on the DVF dress is different.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 1:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlison

Not only the neckline but also the composition of stripes is similar to the ASOS Design. ASOS and this blog are the winners!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I'm feeling that it is ASOS. I actually prefer the colour, cut and fit of the ASOS dress. The orange print has sold out on their website but they have a blue print in the same design which is retailing for £40.00. They have it in a UK size 12 (US size 8). I'm really thinking of purchasing it as an incentive to lose a bit more weight before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:02 AM | Registered CommenterJestina ( London, England)

I agree with Nyon, Groovy and Jestina : it is ASOS.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnne laure ( Souspierre, France)

I think it is the ASOS dress which is body hugging like the one Mrs. Obama is wearing. the DVF dress has a loose fitting, so unless it was altered, I beleive she is wearing the ASOS dress.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterunam

I think it is the ASOS dress which is body hugging like the one Mrs. Obama is wearing. the DVF dress has a loose fitting, so unless it was altered, I beleive she is wearing the ASOS dress.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterunam

Both the neckline and the orange stripe (the DVF has a "pomegranate" stripe) indicate Mrs. O wore the ASOS dress.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterkitcat

I think it is definitely the ASOS dress based on 1) the neckline 2) the colors (although I know that could be lighting) but mainly 3) the lack of the double gold stripe in the middle.

I actually think I like the ASOS one better too...although it seems apparent that they took some ideas from DVF.

Love your blog! (And Mrs. O's style)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterLaura

It's clearly the ASOS dress if you look at the pattern of the stripes - you were right! But I agree, no matter which dress she actually wore, there's potentially an issue here for copyright. If you can't tell at first look whose design the dress is, that's problematic for whomever came out with the design first.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterMeagan

I agree with the above posts that it looks more like the ASOS dress -- both because of the neckline and the positioning of the first diagonal stripe. The fit seems more like the ASOS as well. I wonder which dress came first?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterouapiti

OMG, this is an amazing photo of Mrs. O and Caroline Kennedy:


Mrs. O is wearing a BOMBSHELL dress!! LOVE the gorgeous neckline and draping in the bodice and the colors are spectacular. Wow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM | Registered Commentermeta

You were totally correct! This is the ASOS dress.. If you look carefully, the DVF version has a solo gold stripe. Mrs. O's dress does not, like the ASOS version..

(And, not to lessen the incredible similarities:) I think that copyright issues with clothing require the knockoff to be at least 30% different from the original to avoid being an infringement. The fit and the lack of solo gold stripe, neckline + different continuation of stripes on the sleeves are different on the ASOS version. Not sure if that's 30% or not, but.. it should be interesting to see how this is handled by DVF!! I feel like DVF must've created this first, and then it would've trickled to ASOS, but.. we'll see.. Hope you keep us posted!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterashley w-p

The dress looks like ASOS to me. the color scheme is anexact copy of the ASOS dress and seems more body hugging than the DVF dress. She looks good.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterRUNNERGIRL

I'd say it's the ASOS dress.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterVonmiwi

The design pattern and color of FLOTUS' dress is identical to the ASOS dress. The gold stripes and colors on the DVF dress are slightly different. Either way, that particular design is obviously popular!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterDesigns

I think the dress that our Michelle is wearing is by ASOS. I don't know which came first, but I will say that I like the bateau neckline on the DVF dress. That neckline is extremely flattering for most women.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

Well, glad we agree! The vote seems rather unanimous. I've been in the ASOS camp from the start, but just wanted to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. My guess is that the ASOS dress came after, as the DVF dress would have first debuted in February 2011, while ASOS is more of a "fast fashion" player.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Registered CommenterMrs. T

I think Mrs O dress is ASOS because the collar is round on both dresses, the DVF dress collar is different.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEleni

The dresses seem different enough that it's clear that Mrs. O is wearing ASOS.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs 2S

I agree it is the ASOS dress based on the neckline and pattern of stripes. For more Halloween pics go to the Washington Post story of the White House party. Cute kids, great First Couple, and First Grandma looks pretty cute, too!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPinda

It is obviously the ASOS dress, which may very well be a "mock-off" of the DVF dress. But there are sufficient differences to avoid any copyright issues. As others have noted, the neckline and overall cut of the ASOS dress, the different stripe patterns, and the clear difference between the bright metallic gold in the DVF dress and the dull, almost bronze metallic in the ASOS.

And it's not the first time that ASOS and others have done very close "mock-offs". Have a look:


I'll bet that DVF number cost a lot more than $71.00+.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeeGee

I Think we all agree that you were right. ASOS all the way. Good spotting for you. it does bring up a good question as to trademarks in fashion...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterKahalia

I bet a lawsuit is filed soon, probably by DVF vs ASOS.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I vote ASOS, but whichever, this is a fun sleuthing game!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 8:54 AM | Registered CommenterBevi

The neckline is definitely the ASOS dress and coincidentally her mother, Mrs. Robinson's bunny sweater is from ASOS.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. P

Justin Fenner at Styleite says it is ASOS:

Michelle Obama Wore A Knockoff DVF Dress On Halloween

The American fashion establishment is not going to be happy about this. First Lady of fashion (and you know, our country) Michelle Obama attended the annual White House Halloween Party on Saturday wearing a knockoff of one of Diane von Furstenberg‘s dresses.

More here: http://www.styleite.com/media/michelle-obama-knockoff-dress-dvf/

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeeGee

Obviously the stripes of the two are different!!!! And I am not even a fashion guru! I just like Michelle and am interested in what she does from day to day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterbubba

Well, I took the link for the ASOS dress and.. I BOUGHT IT!!! I'm so excited! I finally was able to buy something that she wore that was not sold out! I'll need to increase my gym visits, and wear Spanx, but it spoke to me and I ordered it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered Commentervik

I do have to day that I like the DVF version more. Its more classy, the colours are not as bright as the one from Asos, its supposed to be less tight and the stripe pattern is a little bit more sophisticated since it doesnt repeat the same pattern over and over again. On the other hand....the one from Asos is much cheaper, you can buy it a size up, and throw is away next month and buy a new dress (since you do not want to become the orange striped dress girl)...

Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargot

why does everyone assume asos is in the wrong? dvf has a past of ripping off smaller/indie designers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterkristen

I got curious because my late aunt who was a garment worker once commented that as long as there was some slight change it was not considered an exact copy. Interestingly fashion designs do not enjoy the same kind of copyright protection that books, music, poetry, and even boat hull designs enjoy. Interesting article from this past July. ASOS is not in trouble.


Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr. Cheryl

i believe i read somewhere that there had to be 20, slight changes to a garment in order not to infringe on copyright laws, but how slight is slight?

Friday, November 11, 2011 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterkristen

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