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Commander-in-Fashion: First Lady Michelle Obama turns heads with fashion choices

By Kristen Goldstein
On January 27, 2013

All eyes were on the Obamas during Monday's Presidential Inauguration ceremonies, but while the nation was listening to President Obama recite his oath, everyone was watching to see what the first family would be wearing.

With the world still abuzz about the First Lady's new bangs, only her choice of Inauguration attire could compete for the same excitement, and Mrs. O did not disappoint when she showed up to church in a Thom Browne dress and silk, navy coat paired with accessories by a favorite of hers - J. Crew. Daughters Sasha and Malia did not let their mother take all of the fashion glory. The two girls both wore monochromatic ensembles in different shades of purple; Sasha wore a lavender, Kate Spade dress and pea coat, while Malia opted for a similar look created by J.Crew in a shade of plum that will take its place in history being "Malia's purple", as the color will be discontinued by the brand.

Fashion statements were not just saved for the Obamas during the Inaugural Ceremony, two singing superstars also made an impact that day. Kelly Clarkson must have talked with the Obama girls before the ceremony as she showed up in a very similar look wearing a burgundy Robert Rodriguez pleated coat with a lavender scarf. However, Clarkson's formal attire could not compete with Beyoncé's. The singer performed in a black Emilio Pucci gown, with Lorraine Schwartz emerald earrings and bright orange nails completing her look. Yet the truth is, it does not matter how spectacular anyone else could have looked on Inauguration Day, because when it comes to clothing, it was all about Michelle Obama.

Once the morning's ceremony was complete, the time finally arrived when the entire fashion world held its breath: Who would Michelle Obama wear to the Inaugural Ball? Four years ago the FLOTUS picked an up-and-coming American designer by the name of Jason Wu. Since the historic moment, Wu's career took off and now the young, NYC-based designer is a major force in the fashion industry. Therefore, the question on everyone's mind was, would she do it again? Is Michelle going to give another unknown a permanent place in fashion history? The answer, disappointingly to some, was no. The First Lady went with what worked, and chose to mark the special occasion by wearing another Jason Wu creation, this time a custom-made red velvet and chiffon, sleeveless halter neck gown.

The choice of dress for the evening's festivities would be unknown to the public until the big reveal when Michelle Obama would make her entrance onto the stage to dance with the president. Jason Wu himself did not even know that he would again be the lucky designer with the privilege of having the First Lady wear his design, although this time it would be impossible for Wu to experience the immediate career boost as he did the first time around. Not that he needs it as a CFDA award winner and Target collaborator, but Thom Browne, worn by Mrs. Obama earlier in the day, will be sure to see an increase in sales and status.

Browne, celebrated for his menswear, has not been as recognized for his work in the world of women's fashion, but now with the endorsement of the First Lady, we can all expect the designer's aesthetic to be influencing retailers across the country in no time.


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