Photo credit: Flickr user Barack Obama via Jeffrey Katz for Obama for America // Creative Commons
Mrs. O, our first lady. We are thrilled! To celebrate this historic evening, Mrs. O wore a Narciso Rodriguez frock from the designer's Spring 2009 RTW collection. Mrs. O paired the dress with a black cardigan and kitten heels, adding a touch of sparkle with diamond bangles and earrings. Malia and Sasha were adorably coordinated in red and black.
Clearly there are a range of opinions about last night's dress, many of them quite strong. And while admittedly it's not our favorite of Mrs. O's frocks, we don't feel as negatively as some. As others have observed, it would have nice to see the dress sans cardigan.
One of the strengths of the design is the hourglass shape created by the diagonal bands of black satin in contrast to the red textured fabric. Already a rather complex design, the addition of the cardigan perhaps cluttered the look and diminished the hourglass effect.
For you adamant naysayers, New York Magazine does point out that the Narciso Rodriguez collection the dress stems from was one of the most critically acclaimed of New York Fashion Week. Though not our Maria Pinto prediction, Narciso Rodriguez was another likely candidate. Mrs. O has been seen in his designs several times before, most recently at the second Presidential Debate.
Update: There's a great piece on BlackBook in praise of Mrs. O's dress. The author asserts the dress is Mrs. O's "most commendable fashion statement as of yet." Judging by the comments left here, it seems most would disagree. But this polarization is a good thing. It means the dress is interesting, which is far better than the alternative - boring. Love it or hate it, this dress will forever be part of our memory of last night and our first look at Mrs. O as first lady (past wishful thinking aside). We will begin eagerly anticipating the Inaugural Ball.
Narciso Rodriguez Spring 2009 Collection: Photo courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez