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Entries in Jason Wu (67)

Tuesday
Mar092010

A Smithsonian Debut

Images by Mark Wilson / Getty Images

This morning the first lady will donate her fabulous, frothy Jason Wu inaugural gown to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Mrs. O's inaugural gown will be part of a new gallery, "A First Lady's Debut," which will showcase 11 dresses worn by first ladies. Mrs. O will be joined by designer Jason Wu and a group of design students.

Update #1: Today brings us not just one fabulous dress, but two! For the Smithsonian event, Mrs. O wore a dress from another up-and-coming designer, Prabal Gurung, who was recently highlighted on this blog, here. The dress is a black and white brush painted rose silk twill gazar hand draped off-the-shoulder design from Mr. Gurung's Spring 2010 collection. For a more detailed look, see below.

P.S. How fabulous does Marian Robinson look?

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

Update #2: The first lady's full and entirely inspiring remarks:

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, everyone.  Thanks so much.

Well, clearly, it’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you today.

Let me begin by thanking Secretary Clough for that generous introduction.  I want to thank him and his wife Anne for their dedication to the mission of the Smithsonian.

And I want to thank our hosts from the National Museum of American History -– Dr. Brent Glass and John Rogers.  Thank you for making these museums such wonderful places for people of all ages to learn and to explore.

And I have to also do my part in recognizing our very special guests, the students and the teachers from Huntington High School, who made the trip all the way from New York to be here.  You all please stand so we can see you.  (Applause.)  Now, there’s a special reason why I invited these students here.  They sent me this book of beautifully designed inaugural gowns of their own creations, and I had so much fun looking through all the designs.  You all are obviously a very talented and beautiful and handsome group of people.  And I am so pleased to be able to share this special day with you.  You make us proud.  And thank you for the gifts.

And, finally, I also want to thank all the board members, the staff, the supporters of these museums, all of you, for the work that you do every day, and for being here and sharing this moment with me, as well.

So, here we are.  It’s the dress.  (Laughter.)  And I have to say, to be honest, I am very honored and very humbled, but I have to say that I’m also a little embarrassed by all the fuss being made over my dress.  Like many of you, I’m not used to people wanting to put things I’ve worn on display.  (Laughter.)  So, all of this is a little odd, so forgive me.

But, at the same time, I truly recognize the significance of this day.  This gown –- and all of the items that we’ll see in this wonderful exhibit –- help us connect with a moment in history in a very real way.

When we look at the gown that Jackie Kennedy wore 50 years ago, or the one that Mary Todd Lincoln wore more than a hundred years before that, it really takes us beyond the history books and the photographs, and it helps us understand that history is really made by real live people.

The detail of each gown –- the fabric, the cut, the color –- tells us something much more about each single First Lady.  It’s a visual reminder that we each come from such different backgrounds, from different generations, and from different walks of life.

Each gown places us right in the moment and makes us wonder about the intimate details of that evening, like how did she feel in the dress?   Did her feet hurt in those shoes?  (Laughter.)  How many times did her husband step on that train?  (Laughter.)  But, more importantly, these gowns and this exhibit uniquely define a moment in our American history.

When I look at my gown –- which I, in fact, have not seen since the day that I took it off –- memories of that moment truly come rushing back.  I remember that it was freezing cold in Washington.  I know we all remember that.  Yet, despite the frigid temperatures, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the Mall.  Nothing was going to stop them from being part of history.

That day was so hectic for us.  And I remember the inaugural parade and how the President and I stood and we waved until every last band walked by.

Then we only had less than an hour -- ladies, if you can believe that -- (laughter) -- all of my friends left us in the stands, by the way.  (Laughter.)  “See ya, good luck!”  (Laughter.)  I was like, “Yeah, thanks.”  (Laughter.)  “We have to get ready for the ball.”  (Laughter.)  Like, “Yeah, so do I.”  (Laughter.)  So at the time I wasn’t really focused on what I was wearing that evening -– I was really just trying to stay warm.

But I’ll never forget the moment that I slipped on this beautiful gown.  I remember how just luscious I felt as the President and I were announced onto the stage for the first of many dances.  And I’ll cherish that moment for the rest of my life.

And now that the crowds are gone, and the Mall is silent, and our family has settled into our new home, the White house, this gown is one of the most tangible things I have left to remember that day.  And that’s why it will always hold a special place in my heart.

And today, when I look at the dress, I remember all of the incredible people that we met along our journey and on that day, and how warmly -- welcome they received us.

I remember the joy on the faces of so many young people who devoted so much time to getting us to that point.

I remember the wonderful letters we received from folks who were there and others who watched the event from home; people who told us about how much that day meant for them and their families -- letters from octogenarians who told us how they never thought they’d live to see the day.

I remember all the men and women who worked so hard and so long to make sure that every single detail was just perfect.

And I remember the time we shared with Americans from every corner of this nation.

And one of the people who made that day possible is the creator of this beautiful gown, Jason Wu, a young man who, not so long ago, was just an aspiring designer like many of you students here.  When Jason was just five years old, growing up in Taiwan, his parents would take him to the bridal shops so that he could sketch the gowns in the windows.  He started making clothes for dolls when he was 16, and after studying under some of the best designers in the world, he opened his own shop four years ago with the money he had saved.

And Jason’s dress, as you can see -- this gown is a masterpiece.  It is simple, it’s elegant, and it comes from this brilliant young mind, someone who is living the American Dream.

The countless hours that you can see that he spent sewing this piece made my night even more special, and now I am proud that millions of visitors will be able to see just how talented this young man is.

Thank you, Jason.  Thank you for your vision and for your hard work, because, in the end of the day, today is about much more than this gown.  It’s also about how, with enough focus and with enough determination, someone in this room could be the next Jason Wu.  Someone in this room could be the next Barack Obama.  It’s about how the American story is written by real people –- not just names on a page.  And it’s about how something you create today –- whether it’s a dress, or a painting, or a story or a song –- can help teach the next generation in a way that nothing else can.

Thank you all so much.  (Applause.)

Update #3: A fabulous behind-the-scenes video from the Smithsonian:

Friday
Feb262010

Lovely Knots

P022510SA-0165

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Image by Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

Yesterday Mrs. O met with the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala, during a visit to the White House. Per the New York Times, the women "discussed obesity, diabetes, addictions and the situation of undocumented Mexican minors in the United States."

Later in the day the president and first lady honored leaders in the arts, awarding the National Medal of the Arts and National Humanities Medal to 20 recipients, including, per the Washington Post, "singer Bob Dylan, actor and director Clint Eastwood, painter Frank Stella, and Nobel laureate and author Elie Wiesel."

For both appearances, Mrs. O wore a violet dress by Jason Wu, embellished with french knot embroidery. The dress was last seen during a White House preview event for the Governors Ball in 2009, here.

Sunday
Feb212010

Sleek and Chic

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

Image by Kris Connor / Getty Images

In preparation for this evening's Governors Ball, the first lady hosted a music preview event at the White House this afternoon, featuring Grammy-winning composer and singer Harry Connick Jr. who performed for an audience including young glee club members from a local Washington, D.C. elementary school.

For the event, Mrs. O debuted a sleek new version of her bob haircut, wearing a v-neck dress with a patterned blouse top, paired with an Alaia belt and bolero.

Update: Mrs. O wore a custom sheath dress with gathered leaf print chiffon bodice by Jason Wu.

Friday
Jan012010

The Best of 2009

Before the clock strikes midnight and this officially becomes the second day of 2010, I wanted to take a look back through 2009 to highlight a few favorite Mrs. O ensembles of the year. With my top five outlined below, I'd also love to hear your favorite picks.

#1 Orange gold Rodarte dress in Copenhagen worn with a trio of vintage brooches / October 1, 2009

While the Olympic bid for Chicago was not a success, the trip to Copenhagen did bring one of Mrs. O's most stunning style moments of the year. The first lady has improved perceptions of American culture abroad, in part, by projecting elegance and sophistication through her style. It is a powerful, smart use of fashion, purely embodied through the Rodarte dress and vintage pins below, worn as Mrs. O represented the United States on a world stage in Copenhagen.

Photos by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

#2 Peter Soronen Twilight Gown paired with a Tom Binns necklace for the National Governors' Association Dinner / February 22, 2009

The National Governors' Association Dinner happened to fall on the same night as the Oscars, and as one flicked from TV to laptop screen, it was hard to remember which was which. Mrs. O looked unlike any first lady had looked before in her sequined Peter Soronen corset gown, accessorized with ropes of crystals and pearls by Tom Binns. It was the perfect union of classic glamour and modern edge, and certainly one of the most exciting looks of the year.

Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

#3 Isabel Toledo lemongrass dress and coat chosen for the inauguration / January 20, 2009

Many Americans were introduced to Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo on January 20, enchanted by her inaugural creation for our new first lady. Amidst a sea of navy and black wool winter coats, the eye was instantly drawn to Mrs. O's bold lemongrass hue, which projected an optimistic mood on the cold winter morning.

The ensemble in its entirety is an example of classic Mrs. O style. With the Isabel Toledo dress and coat, Mrs. O wore a Nina Ricci cardigan, a vintage pin from the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection at the collar, green Jimmy Choo heels and J.Crew leather gloves -- a mix of price points and aesthetics, and a fresh play on color.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

#4 Alaia dress worn for American Ballet Opening Night Spring Gala in New York City / May 18, 2009

Throughout the year, we saw the first lady embrace a wide range of fashion talent -- young, up and comers; established, mainstream labels; and a handful of lesser known, semi-couturiers. Significant among those is Azzedine Alaia, who has been described as the "last true couturier." Mrs. O publicly wore Alaia for the first time during the G-20 and NATO summits overseas in April. Soon following, she chose this frock, said to have been a long-time favorite in her closet, to wear to the American Ballet Opening in New York. The touch of sparkle and structured construction made it one of the best looks of the year.

Image via a kind, anonymous friend

#5 Violet Jason Wu dress with french knot embroidery, worn for a White House kitchen event / February 23, 2009

When seen from afar, one might perceive a simple, printed cocktail dress in this Jason Wu frock. But viewed up close, we discover thousand of hand embroidered knots, clustered in florets to create the pattern on the backdrop of violet fabric. As we whiz through glossy magazine pages, it's often easy to overlook the fine craftsmanship that goes into beautiful dresses. But we see a prime example of it here, offering an entirely new, substantive dimension to following the first lady's style.

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Monday
Dec282009

Jason Wu for You

Dear Mrs-O.org readers,

2009 has been a magical year. We watched the Os enter the White House, and have been merrily following the first lady's style ever since. Along the way, this blog even became a book. So, to mark the close of the year (and perhaps to distract us while the Os enjoy their much deserved vacation), I'm giving away a brand new Jason Wu dress.

The lucky winner will have a piece of Mrs. O's style in her closet, as the first lady wore a custom teal version of this same Jason Wu dress in late July, seen here. With its classic lines, flattering beige hue and double bow detail, this dress is sure to delight.

Details: Jason Wu / Size 6 / Linen and Cotton Blend / Shoulder to Shoulder = 16" / Bust = 31" / Waist = 28" / Hips = 39" / Length = 39 1/2"

How to win: This dress will go to one lucky winner. Leave a comment with your name and email. (Note: Your email should go in the field marked "author email", not in the body of the comment. Your email will only be used in order to contact you if you are the winner. It will not be stored or shared anywhere else.) I'm planning to use random.org to select the winner next week.

Deadline: All comments must be left by December 31, 2009, 11:59 EST. Only one entry per person, pretty please.

Good luck and hooray!

xoxo,

Mrs. T

Update: Congratulations to Barbara O. who left comment #297 and will receive the Jason Wu dress. Happy New Year!