Mrs. O met with children at the White House this morning, taking a series of their questions as part of "Take Your Child to Work Day". With little hands enthusiastically raised high, questions touched on a range of topics -- from Bo to the White House Kitchen Garden to the Secret Service.
Mrs. O is wearing a Junya Watanabe asymmetrical argyle cardigan in fuchsia, similar to the cardigan she wore in London. The cardigan is paired with the white Moschino bow blouse, last seen in Prague, and belted at the waist with the silver studded Sacai belt worn on the cover of Essence. The layered tops are paired with black pants. Today's ensemble is a great example of Mrs. O's knack for re-mixing and wearing what she loves.
Update: As Politico reports, it seems Mrs. O also squeezed in a visit to the Office of Personnel Management, yet another stop on her tour of federal agencies. "She shook hands with employees, worked the crowd and also welcomed John Berry, the new agency director, who she said recognized the importance of diversity."
Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images
This afternoon First Lady Mrs. O helped to plant a tree as part of a service project at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. The event was organized by the Student Conservation Association, an Americorp organization. The group's leader explained that the Student Conservation Association has been planting trees in the area for 5 years, and a has a relationship with the park that extends back a decade. The trees were planted to help protect the nearby Anacostia River.
As the group got to work, Mrs. O removed her navy nylon jacket, revealing a navy blouse with green ruffle front, a navy bow and navy chiffon trim. "I just want to point out that these good looking arms come in handy," President Mr. O commented. Watch a CSPAN video of the event here.
Update: Brilliant work Mrs. Oers! The top is in fact Lanvin. We've spotted a similar style here.
Today President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act that intends to more than triple the number of AmeriCorp volunteers to 250,000 over the next five years.
For years, an invitation to a party at Desiree Rogers’s luxurious Chicago home was one of the city’s most sought-after prizes. She knows everyone; she likes to mix up the company—so there was always some new and exciting person to meet; and she has great taste. Her New Orleans-bred charm doesn’t hurt, either. Often, there is little “fun” in fund-raising parties, but the ones Rogers held for Senator Obama during the primary campaign were frolicking festivities, with non-ticket holders scrambling to find a way in.
So it is little wonder that, as previously noted here, she is the perfect White House social secretary for the Obama White House. In a short amount of time, she has already organized more than 60 social events, including the Easter Egg roll last week, the St. Patrick’s Day party for 400, and the two lunches Mrs. O has hosted for congressional spouses.
Coming soon: a third lunch will include spouses from the Cabinet plus what the White House social office is calling “D.C. influentials.” Also under consideration by Rogers: a poetry slam (slams did originate in Chicago); an Earth Day celebration; and a Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Rose Garden.
You can read more about Rogers’s approach to her job, and her meetings with her staff in an article by reporter Lynn Sweet in the Sun-Times. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the organization behind the creating of some new traditions at the White House.
On the day of the Inauguration, there was much intrigue about the necklace - or was it a pin? - worn at the collar of Mrs. O's Isabel Toledo lemongrass dress. Questions would be answered soon enough.
The mystery accessory proved to be a Victorian sash pin, acquired through the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection. The discovery of Carole Tanenbaum's collection, a finely curated, hand-picked selection of costume jewelry has opened up a new world for us.
We now often visit the collection's site to admire the distinctive pieces, or to read updates on Carole's blog (the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection provided jewelry worn in Grey Gardens, which premieres this evening on HBO). The collection has also revealed a few more secrets about Mrs. O's enviable brooch collection.
On a campaign stop in Pittsburgh last October, Mrs. O wore an orange flower pin at the shoulder of her Abstract rose print J.Crew dress. We recognized a similar pin on Carole's site - a rare Hattie Carnegie silk flower pin from the 1960s - and later confirmed that indeed Mrs. O's pin was Hattie Carnegie as well. We were unfamiliar with the designer at the time, but eager to learn more.
In 1904, Henrietta Kanengeiser emigrated to the US from Austria-Hungary at the age of 18. After changing her name to Hattie Carnegie in 1909, she opened a millinery shop on E. 10th Street in New York City called Carnegie - Ladies Hatter. In 1923, the flagship Hattie Carnegie boutique opened at 42 East 49th Street.
En route, Hattie Carnegie had begun manufacturing a high quality costume jewelry line in 1918, which continued to be sold after her death in 1959 and well into the 1980s. Carole Tanenbaum's collection offers rare Hattie Carnegie pieces of the highest quality and finest condition for the serious costume jewelry collector. For those who don't mind a few scratches or missing stones, and pieces that likely aren't as rare, eBay also has a range of Hattie Carnegie pieces up for auction.
A quick search led us to the following: #1 Bee brooch, #2 Turquoise flower pin, #3 Blue flower pin. The pear pin shown above is a Hattie Carnegie pin (stamped "Hattie Carnegie" on the back), acquired a few weeks ago. It has signs of wear - the paint is chipped in a few places, the closure a bit bent - but we will treasure it, and the hidden connection to Mrs. O, none the less.