Images by Saul Loeb / Getty Images
Love a good reader tip! Reader "njmrso" reports that the skirt Mrs. O wears in the photo above, taken on January 3 as the Obamas traveled back from Hawaii, is the work of Gregory Parkinson. And indeed, it appears to be from the designer's Spring Summer 2011 collection, seen here.
The choice is significant in that Gregory Parkinson was selected as a 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist. Just a few days before wearing the skirt above, the first lady also wore a skirt by Jolibe, a fashion house sponsored by the CFDA Fashion Incubator.
Steven Kolb, the CFDA's executive director, was recently quoted in WWD, discussing what he considers to be the "pinnacle" for an American designer -- dressing the first lady -- and referenced this very occasion:
Kolb cited Joel Diaz of Jolibe, a participant in the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator program, whose work was scouted by Obama’s wardrobe adviser, Chicago boutique-owner Ikram Goldman. “Mrs. Obama wore his skirt. That, to him, was such encouragement,” Kolb said. “It’s validation in a lot of ways.”
It's exciting to see Mrs. O shine a spotlight on yet another CFDA darling. Parkinson was born in the north of England, but has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1989. His signature "hand-dyed, sliced and layered" fabrics offer a distinct aesthetic, combining "an English sense of eclectic colour and pattern with a Californian love of casual." His collections are carried at Barneys New York and Linda Dresner.