For a second time, Jason Wu has designed Mrs. O's inaugural ball gown. In some sense, it's bit of a surprise. If there's one way to describe the first lady's style, it's diverse. Over the past four years, Mrs. O has worn more than 50 designers, and that's a conservative count. While Jason Wu has remained consistently in the mix - most recently, Mrs. O has worn pieces from the designer's Miss Wu line - new names have emerged too. When polled last week, 10% of you thought Mrs. O would wear Jason Wu for this occasion. This choice indicates a lasting affinity for the designer, and a connection between Wu and Mrs. O that takes on new, even greater status.
As for the dress: the cut of the gown highlights Mrs. O's enviable arms, shoulders and back. The color reads power, and provides an energetic shift away from the subdued hues of the weekend. The lightness and movement of the fabric connotes an easy femininity. All in all, a winning combination.
Per a White House official via the pool report: "The first lady is wearing a custom Jason Wu ruby colored chiffon and velvet gown, shoes by Jimmy Choo, and a handmade diamond embellished ring by jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald. At the end of the inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives."
Of note, I believe the Kimberly McDonald "embellished ring" is incorporated into the neckline of the dress, per the sketch below. To see more of the first lady's inaugural jewels from Kimberly McDonald, click here.
For further reading:
"Mrs. Obama's Inaugural Wardrobe by Many Designers" [New York Times]
"Picking a Winner Among a Field of Bold Theories" [New York Times]
"First lady Michelle Obama serves as fashion icon" [Washington Post]
A sketch of the gown via CNN's @AlinaChoCNN: