Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Michelle's Dress: Moxie

Photo from AFP
There's so much goodness to write about today but, hey, let's dish about The Dress. Michelle wore a beaded lemongrass wool-lace dress and matching coat by—drum roll—Isabel Toledo, a designer she has worn before (to a Calvin Klein fund-raiser last year, for one) and a long-time favorite designer of mine to watch.

I first discovered Isabel and Rubén (her artist-illustrator husband) Toledo in an old issue of Taxi magazine dating back to 1986 or 87. The article was essentially about cute couples in New York: artists, models and entrepreneurs who transcended everyday levels of cuteness to land in some paradisiacal saccharine-state of beautiful coupledom. As a teenager, I was smitten. Since then, I've been happy to see both their careers gradually rise from struggling to success stories. (I came this close to buying an outrageously avant-garde Isabel Toledo dress for my book-launch-party-that-never-really-happened.)

But I digress. We'll learn more about Michelle's dress—most of it was covered up by the coat, save a long silk ribbon that whipped in the wind—as the Toledo PR machine whirrs into action, but I think the First Lady made yet another inventive fashion statement. Michelle's got moxie, there's not doubt about that, and her confidence, wit and creativity is evident in the clothes she wears. The sunny choice of color is warm and hopeful, and wearing a Cuban-American designer gives a nod to our country's patchwork heritage that was underscored on this cold-weather, celebratory day. (And those green-gold gloves: fantastic! Who are they?)

Elements of the dress—the color, the beaded collar—remind me of Detroit-born Tracey Reese, a designer I placed on my short list of who she might wear. What do you guys think?

Photo from The New York Times

To read more about first ladies and what they wore, pick up a copy of The Long (and Short) of It: The Madcap History of the Skirt.

1 comment:

Ali Basye said...

My sources tell me the gloves are by J. Crew! Just goes to show...