2.27.2009

Timeless Excellence

Michelle Obama is picture perfect in her official White House portrait wearing a spring 2009 Michael Kors gown and a double strand of pearls. Leave it to the First Lady to make stretch jersey look elegant.

Lady O at the EPA

The First Lady put away her biceps and glitter yesterday, but she can’t escape the fab. She spoke to the Environmental Protection Agency in a blue velvet blazer, wisely belted to balance wide-leg grey pants. Well, maybe she didn’t hide all the shine away-metallic flats and the layered charm necklace she wore to the Department of Education were a nice finishing touch.

2.25.2009

A True Gem

Is it just me or is the First Lady on fire this week?! Wu, sparkles, plum, and tonight-emerald! At a ceremony honoring Stevie Wonder, Michelle Obama is untouchable in a pleated-front jewel tone dress with a black sash. The Loree Rodkin bangles she debuted on 1.20 pair nicely with her metallic shoes. And that hair? Immaculate. She may be showing quite a bit of skin for this time of year, but wouldn’t you do the same if events were held right inside your 55,000 square foot home? *Update: dress is by Stevie Wonder's wife, Kai Milla.

Pretty in Pink on People

Attention Black Artists Association: Michelle Obama has heard your (ridiculous) cries. The First Lady wears a dress by a black designer on this week’s People magazine cover! She posed in an azalea guipure lace dress by Tracy Reese. It may not be inauguration night, but People has a circulation of about 4 million. Truce?

Sleeveless to Congress?

Who would dare? Only Lady O. As President Obama addressed the insipidly–clad members of Congress, Michelle Obama appeared unphased by flashing her incredible bare arms in the stuffy setting. It was all about effortless chic- a silk and wool Narciso Rodriguez dress in rich plum that worked in high favor of her mahogany skin. And the key element to this eye-catching look: unwavering confidence.

2.23.2009

First Lady Goes Glam

Yesterday evening’s Jason Wu selection was just a preview of the greatness that was to come later that night. Lady O was breathtaking in a sequin corset gown by Peter Soronen that hugged every curve so seamlessly you’d think the fall/winter 2008 dress was constructed just for her. Layers of pearls adorning her neck and a side-swept up-do were just enough to put the Oscars’ red carpet looks to shame. Take that, Hollywood!

2.22.2009

Weekend Style: It’s Great to be Jason Wu

60 Minutes. Inauguration night. Vogue. Jason Wu has been there for some of Michelle Obama’s biggest moments. So it’s no surprise that the First Lady looked to Mr. Wu’s spring 2009 collection for tonight’s Governor’s dinner. And this dress is the greatest of them all. Perhaps I am bias because I predicted this piece for Lady O in December. The color (her favorite), the cut (truly becoming), the details (perfection) are just how I envisioned them on the First Lady! Side-eye me if you want, but I feel like I styled her myself this evening! It’s as if we have some sort of a sartorial connection! Maybe she’s reading this blog right now! Oh, c’mon. A girl’s allowed to dream.

2.21.2009

Suited Up

Even if Michelle Obama did shun her invitations to New York Fashion Week, at least she gave a nod to New York style-black from head to toe! Continuing her whirlwind tour of federal departments, the First Lady visited the Department of Agriculture on Thursday in a black suit with bold pinstripes and flattering high-waist pants. On Friday, Lady O was simply divine at the Department of Transportation in a cropped hounds tooth jacket with a black turtleneck and pants. A silver beaded brooch and a sleek updo were the perfect touch. I’m loving it. *Update: pinstripe suit is by Alexander McQueen

2.18.2009

First Lady Welcomes D.C. Students in Style

With only two days left of fashion week, New York has just about given up hope on a Michelle Obama appearance. Meanwhile, the First Lady made dreams come true in her own home today by hosting a group of lucky D.C. students in the White House for a Black History Month event. Just as jealousy was about to rear it's ugly head, I was delighted by Lady O's Vogue shoot pencil skirt by J. Crew and patent leather round-toe pumps. A fitted mint sweater and a classic white shirt were tied together by her prized belt.

2.15.2009

Weekend Style: Back to Chicago

The First Lady passed on an invitation to walk in the Heart Truth fashion show this weekend for a vacation in Chicago with the family. Looks like she packed her favorites for this trip: the Zero + Maria Cornejo coat and the black knee-high suede boots, both first spotted along the Obama Express. Lady O wore the coat en route to Chicago, and then paired it with the boots for a Valentine’s Day dinner at Table 52.

Side note: Speaking of boots, do you see Sasha’s? A First Daughter of Style in the works for sure.

2.12.2009

Something New

Most women who attended the grand reopening of Ford’s Theatre last night arrived in floor-length evening gowns. Except for Michelle Obama, of course. The First Lady was daring in a v-neck, empire waist dress with a wide flare at the knees. The silk and crinoline combo makes for an interesting contrast of textures and the unique houndstooth-ish pattern is refreshing. This is very different from what we’ve come to expect from Lady O, and I’m sure some will be troubled by it; however, the details are impeccable: flawless frosty rose eyes and lips, pretty dangly earrings, inauguration bangles, and classic black satin pumps. And she looks about 27. Never a bad thing.

2.11.2009

Michelle Obama Visits the Mecca

I wish someone told me that 2003-2007 was not the time to attend Howard University. Today, the First Lady addressed 250 students at my alma mater during the panel discussion “Home, Work, Community: the Role of African American Women as Change Agents”. I found this quote rather poignant considering the inexplicable outrage over her Vogue cover:

"All I know is that it's important for you to be true to yourselves, not to worry too much about what other people are going to think or make of your choices, because everyone will question what you do and tell you you should've done it the other way."

This may explain why the unnecessarily controversial photo was about her image and not the styles of Vogue or Annie Leibovitz. As you can see, I still do not understand what all of the fuss is about. Moving on, I’m sure one of the nation’s most fashionable colleges approved of this lovely red Maria Pinto fall 2009 dress and long strand of pearls. Grade: A.

Photo: whitehouse.gov

CHILL OUT

I must say that I found the uproar over Michelle Obama’s Vogue cover a bit startling. Calm down, people. Look a little closer and do your research before you throw a fit.

The general consensus is that her expression is awkward. Please keep in mind that, although Lady O is stylish, Vogue is far from her playing field. How comfortable would you look posing for Vogue if you were a self-proclaimed “tomboy jock at heart”? It’s like me, a fashion assistant, posing for the cover of Popular Science.

Ok, she looks a little bemused. So what? Don’t all cover girls? Ok, it's airbrushed. Show me a Vogue cover-or any magazine-that isn't. Focus your eyes on the bigger picture. Observe the smart cover lines, the complimentary text color, and how the golden background brings out that gorgeous magenta dress and her skin tone. Plus, do your arms look like that?

Yes, the photos on the inside are better-which is usually the case in magazines- but those images are of her in her natural state: WORKING. That is her job, not posing for high fashion magazines.

If you were anticipating glamour, a wide open mouth, or controversy, well, you let yourself down. We should all know by now that this First Lady is not one to make a large-scale production of anything. Michelle Obama is a woman of simplicity, elegance, and grace, all of which are reflected in her pose, dress, and surroundings. The actual excitement was over a humble, accomplished, black woman being on the cover of a white, elitist, fashion magazine.

So, relax. Any way you look at it, this cover truly captures the essence of the First Lady: refined, poised, and stylish, yet a bit uneasy with her fashion icon status.

Ta-da!

Readers, I am so tickled by this cover that I don't even know where to begin. Isn't she darling? Let me collect my thoughts and get back to you later. In the meantime, enjoy!

2.10.2009

The First Lady Does Vogue, Mary's Center

It’s official. The First Lady is the cover girl for Vogue’s March issue! The Washington Post confirmed what we’ve suspected since photographer Annie Leibovitz was spotted leaving the Hay-Adams Hotel, where the Obamas lived briefly before 1.20. Soooo. Are you ready for the details? Here we go. Magenta Jason Wu on the cover! Black Narciso Rodriguez inside! An article by Andre Leon Talley! A rarely worn diamond! Can you take it?! Something tells me Vogue’s newsstand sales will be higher than usual next month.

While I was hyperventilating over this news today, Michelle Obama stopped by Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care. I love that Lady O always gets dressed with her audience in mind. Like this winter white sweater under a tie-front top with green bows and charcoal slacks. Totally relaxed and approachable. Just what young people need, right?

And add those ballerina flats to the First Lady’s favorites. She escaped to Camp David in a black pair last weekend and slipped into gold this afternoon.

2.09.2009

Back to Work

The First Lady went back to work today looking refreshed after a weekend retreat to Camp David. She visited the Department of the Interior in a simple black pants suit adorned only by a large black and white floral brooch she wore on the campaign trail. No color. No prints. No pearls. How un-Lady O! Seems like the Department of the Interior found this peculiar, too. They presented her with a purple Native American shawl. Much better.

Weekend Style: Camp David

The Obamas took their first retreat to Camp David on Saturday evening, and the First Lady balanced her roles as Mom-in-Chief and Commander-in-Chic. She went for no-fuss in skinny jeans and a tee, but polished it up with a cardigan and ballerina flats.

Lady O returned Sunday evening keeping it real in pink and black Nikes. And I’m not mad at her.

2.06.2009

The First Lady Takes the Spotlight

Well, the First Lady sure stole the show tonight when she arrived with President Obama at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s performance in D.C. Lady O ended her busy week on a high note in a fantastic black matte dress. She traded her signature pearl necklace for an eye-catching pearl-loaded brooch. No need for a cardigan this time. It’s already attached to the dress! Gosh, that woman is fabulous. *Update: brooch is by Moschino.

A Cup of Bold for Breakfast

Michelle Obama continues to revolutionize First Lady style. Like this sheath dress she wore to the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday. A traditional cut, but the striking cobalt blue and a black band at the waist make it her own. Always the risk-taker, Lady O rocked dark lips in the AM. Fearless.

2.04.2009

Lady O is on the Go

And nothing's stopping her. The First Lady continues to support President Obama's administration and exude chic while doing so. This time in a grey skirt suit at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But, oh no. This is no ordinary suit. A 3/4 sleeve cropped jacket and a purple silk wrap top for a dash of glamour. How au courant! Of course, she throws on a string of pearls for good measure.

Michelle Makes It Work

Every woman has been there. Getting ready and you want to wear your favorite dress. Again. You hesitate. Did I just wear this? How many times was I photographed in it? Will anyone notice? Hey, you aren’t the only one lacking a Carrie Bradshaw-sized wardrobe so learn a lesson from the First Lady: work with what you’ve got.

Remember her taking it easy style at the Obama Staff Ball two weeks ago? For her visit to Capital City Public Charter School yesterday, Michelle turned those knee-high boots and a similar ruched skirt into a stylish school teacher look by pairing them with her signature belted cardigan. The striped collared shirt and hoop earrings were a perfect fit. And doesn’t that belt look familiar? Lady O loves her oval buckle belt so much that she snagged in it black, too.

So, no need to feel self-conscious about having your favs on heavy rotation. Mix and match like Michelle, and think: it’s just the First Lady in you.

2.02.2009

A Little Goes a Long Way

When the First Lady finds something she likes, there is no holding her back. Michelle Obama is hooked on the belted cardigan, and wouldn't you be if you had a waist like that at 45? Lady O visited the Department of Education today in a long chocolate cardigan cinched by a metallic snake skin belt. Let's note the attention to detail: a crisp white shirt-perfectly cuffed, layered gold necklaces complemented by her waist's decor, slim-fit pants in sync, and glowing brown skin. Excellence.

(My gut says this is a J. Crew production. More info to follow.)