Photo by Flickr user Mike Baird // Creative Commons
After a week of non-stop coverage on Mrs. O's election night dress, all eyes now look forward. What style influence will Mrs. O have as first lady? And of greatest interest, what and who will she wear for the Inaugural Ball?
Slate Magazine offers "Fashion Advice for Michelle Obama" (and calls us an "obsessive new blog dedicated to her sartorial choices"). A great read and love note to Mrs. O's style. Our only point of contention is the warning about up-dos. We've never seen a Mrs. O up-do we didn't love. Evidence above.
In an interview with Maria Pinto, WWD uncovers information about a not yet worn Mrs. O ensemble: "Obama has at least one more [Maria] Pinto design she has yet to wear publicly, a lean black cashmere number with a 'cascade effect' in back." On what she'd like to see Mrs. O wear for the Inaugural Ball, Pinto says: “I see her sleek but with more froth. It’s right for the moment. I don’t see her in a big, poofy ball skirt.” (Thanks for pointing us to this one Audrey.)
Forbes joins the Inaugural Ball speculation with "Ten Inaugural Gowns Fit For Michelle Obama". A fun read, though they've missed a few obvious contenders in their slide show. Donna Karan talks of designing for Mrs. O in U.K. magazine Grazia: "She has so much of her own style, I would love to dress her. It's not about her clothes, it's really about who she is, and her passion for her children, culture and wellness. I'm hoping to get to work with them - it would be my dream."
From Mrs. O's hometown, the Chicago Tribune declares: "Michelle Obama emerges as an American fashion icon". In the article, Tim Long, Curator of Costumes at the Chicago History Museum, says this of Mrs. O: "As we learn about how much interest she has in fashion, it will be one other thing that shows a complete picture of these two people, who are sophisticated in many ways."
Update: Let's add Jezebel's latest post "Michelle Obama in Vogue: What Should She Wear?" to the list. (Thanks Lisa for sending us the link.) This post follows much speculation that Vogue has approached Mrs. O to grace its cover. And Jezebel's sartorial suggestions are spot-on - this purple embellished number in particular.
At Glamour's Women of the Year awards, held on November 10 in NYC, U.S. Secretary of State and honoree Condoleezza Rice offered a bit of fashion advice for Mrs. O: "Well, she's terrific. She looks wonderful in everything that she wears," Rice told Us Magazine. "I know she'll do what I believe - which is to wear things you feel good in. Things that are yours, not something that someone gave you." "Also," Rice added, "it's okay to wear red once in a while."
Photo courtesy of the White House / Eric Draper
We've noticed interest in Mrs. O's style growing apace around the world, particularly since the election last week. Without doubt, the Maria Pinto coral red dress she wore at the White House yesterday caused a spike in global media admiration, with the dress earning its own column inches in the mainstream British press.
Sarah Vine, lead columnist at The Times in London talks of her choice today saying, "It is a dress that requires total self belief and chutzpah...it has been a long while since a neckline as fashion-forward as this has been spotted within a mile of the Oval Office...by wearing it Mrs. Obama is leaving no room for confusion: she means business."
In an earlier piece, also for The Times, Vine talked of how Mrs. O challenges Carla Bruni, the ex-super model wife of President Sarkozy of France, in the style stakes: "For Carla Bruni, reigning queen of First Ladies, the game is finally up....in Michelle Obama, Ms. Bruni has truly met her match. This is a First Lady like none before.....Everything about this woman speaks to the modern, post-feminist woman: she is manifestly clever, independently minded, attractive in a normal, accessible way....Her demeanour is a reassuring mixture of sassy and self-deprecating; her easy, confident dress sense neither too sexy nor too self-conscious."
Mrs. O's uncanny knack of mixing her labels with high street basics was noticed by Carola Long at the UK's Independent newspaper. We also particularly liked a piece written back at the end of September by Shane Watson for The Sunday Times which credits Mrs. O's style as one which provides women the world over with a great new working look: "For once a woman in a position of power has not felt compelled to follow a formula, and is power dressing as herself..."
Check out the article itself for Watson's Mrs. O-inspired "Rules of the Real Power Dressing". Post her entry last year in Vanity Fair's International Best-Dressed list perhaps the global media interest should come as no surprise. It remains to be seen if Mrs. O's style will remain a topic of such hot interest and debate, but it certainly seems like she is shaping up to be something of a global style icon in the making.