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Mrs-O.com is a blog dedicated to chronicling the fashion and style of First Lady Michelle Obama. Founded September 2008. 

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Thursday
Dec102009

Belle of the Ball

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Image by Lise Aserud / AP Photos

Image by Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Dear Monsieur Alaia,

Please give us a sign if the beautiful gown and jacket the first lady is wearing are your creation. The craftsmanship is exquisite.

Best,

Mrs. T & Friends

Update #1: Please have a peek at this image from the Alaia Spring 2010 collection via Red Carpet Fashion Awards. Though there wasn't much question, this is almost certainly the work of Azzedine Alaia.

The more we admire this ensemble, the more we feel in awe. From the finely articulated ribbons of beadwork to the trademark Alaia ruching through the skirt, it is an absolute inspiration. It is the kind of craftsmanship that seems of another era.

As has been observed in the comments, the choice of silver blue, a new color for the first lady, does seem thoughtfully chosen for the Nordic locale.

A fabulous analysis from reader Mark:

"I'm speechless. She looks incredibly beautiful here! I feel like this dress and the jacket she was wearing with it are so perfect for Norway. I've never been there, but I've always had this sort of fairytale image in my mind of Norway. An ice-crystal and snow flake wonderland. Princesses living in palaces carved of ice. Clear, crisp nights with the smell of snow and ice in the air .... That dress, and the way she looks in it, is the embodiment of that image. What a fabulous look, and what a wonderful gesture to her Norwegian hosts."

Update #2: Our tremendous thanks to Jessica Michault, Online Style Editor for the International Herald Tribune, for confirming that indeed, Azzedine Alaia is the designer behind Mrs. O's dress and jacket.

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Reader Comments (165)

The fabric looks spectacular. I need to see some other angles of this dress.

Mrs T did you see this video of them at the hotel. http://www1.nrk.no/nett-tv/nyheter/spill/verdi/117897

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Registered Commenterdonnanoshock

She looks like a princess. And the glimpse I caught earlier was obviously the elegant coat that goes with this gown.

Mrs. T, if you can get a photo of that it would be great. The detailing in the coat is front page worthy. Boy, the lighting can throw an entire color off. I thought it was off white or gold, but this appears to be a grayish/silver dress.

She looks lovely.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

Beautiful First Lady! Wonderful color ... nice flow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterYOLA

I need to see other pictures of the gown. I suspect that, because the First Lady is holding up the skirt , it does not look as flattering as when it hangs freely. I like the top. I'm reserving my opinion about the dress in general.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnny Camp

I have a feeling this is an Azzedine Alaia. It is just beautiful..

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterHelene

Wow.....how beautiful she looks!!! POTUS is one handsome man....:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarilyne

It's amazing how the light changes the colors. The jacket that goes with the gown is spectacular.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

This is the first thing I've seen Mrs. O in that didn't seem to suit. She's still a beautiful lady.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnn

She looks beautiful. I think she has now grown into herself with a greater understanding of being a First Lady which is totally understandable. Plus I think she is going with more seasoned designers which no slight to the newer designers but the older ones know what will work for her personality, size, shape, occassion etc. Jason Wu was not the answer. Everthing she wore of his (in my opinion) was too young , not flattering to her shape and sometimes not fitting for the occasion. In my opinion it didnt fit her personality either. But lately she has been batting a thousand. Hitting it out of the park. The State dinner, The Kennedy Center, this entire trip, the red corset gown. Absolutely perfect. Absolutely!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered Commentershyril

@ Johnny Camp

Here you go. This is a photo of the gown at full length..

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//091210/ids_photos_wl/r2934837338.jpg/#photoViewer=/091210/481/719b8690183f446d80c35551cb9d70e6

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

I like the color. Don't like the dress. It looks like something from the early 80s and not in a good way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTracy

she looks stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.the dress looks like an azzedine alai.the embellishment at the bottom of the dress looks the same as the LBD she wears on her date in broadway with the president

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Registered Commenterchrystelle

Sorry to keep posting pics. But look at the make-up here! FLAWLESS. And the hair is really Belle of the Ball.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//091210/481/5157a54a7ceb4cc999e3cd8c32f9a62b/#photoViewer=/091210/ids_photos_wl/r1722467352.jpg

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

Oulalaaa ! It's seems like an Azzedine Alaia.. I looove the jachet and the color. Bravo !

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterNolli

I love the color of the gown, but don't like the gown itself. IMHO, it looks like lingerie.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Registered Commentersailorsgirl

Mrs T, I swear this is the last photo I'm gonna post. But once you see it, you will agree, its HIGHLY front page material.

They look absolutely royal!!

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//091210/481/b23bbcefef574869895a7cf5ebd23cc8/#photoViewer=/091210/481/20679afbfb28467589aaf96374dc8af1

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

fantabulous.........beautiful couple, they really compliment each other.....the jacket is offffff the chains.

nice nice flowing gown..........love it

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:45 PM | Registered CommenterTsetse Johnson

I think the gown may be a little too long, which is why she's holding it up when she walks. The details in the close-ups of the gown really show it off well, and the jacket with it is stunning! And I love Mrs. O's hair style. What a wonderful and proud occasion!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterOuapiti

Ms Couture;
The links aren't bring up any pics.
Perhaps you can embed..AP Newswire had wonderful pictures.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAM

@ o'Coutoure

I was going to respond to your reply to my first post with the exact same link you provided in your 2:44 post. While I have reservations concerning the dress as a whole, that close-up picture of the First Lady's top, those earrings, and her hair is truly breathtaking. I especially like the dress' double straps.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnny Camp

On some photos at Yahoo, the ball gown looks like Wedgewood blue with touches of silver thread. Getty Images have some really nice pictures views of our Michelle's dress. Just breath taking, absolutely glamarous. This is a home run. Our POTUS is handsome and dapper as usual. Both of them makes us so proud.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Registered CommenterCharlene in Detroit

LOVE the coat and wonder whose design that is. Any good guesses out there?

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

With the jacket, love it, love it, love it. Very modern. Adore the color. Don't particularly like it without the jacket. The jacket gives her the illusion of a waistline, by nipping in just at the right spot (see, you don't need a belt!) Without the jacket, we see Mrs. O. doesn't really have a waist, although she's certainly toned. The skirt looks like gorgeous construction, some kind of bands of satin ribbon with ruching, and yes it brings to mind the LBD from her June NYC date.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:54 PM | Registered CommenterHattie Carnegie

I love the color of this gown as well as it's very interesting skirt and jacket. Without the jacket, the square neckline doesn't quite work for me, and I think the bodice is too plain and not complimentary. The skirt seems too long. I love Mrs. O's hair style. It's great in profile. She's a very beautiful woman, but I think not served as well by this dress as by many of her other evening gowns.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:55 PM | Registered CommenterWillow

See if this one works (the cut and paste links are being cut off). As soon as my aunt saw it she was just like wow. That's why I said this is the picture of all pictures. They look so royal.

www.gettyimages.com/detail/94255582/AFP

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

My friend in Oslo has sme pix from the torchlight parade to the Grand Hotel, where the crowd serenades the winner.

http://karlastories.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

Getty has a lot of many amazing headshots of the first couple. These are my favorites
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/94255296/Getty-Images-Entertainment
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/94255311
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/94255333

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:01 PM | Registered Commenterzile

@ Johnny Camp: Isn't that detailing around those straps just devine?!!!

Bingo Mrs. T, I see you have the photo on the front page. Now that is the face of royalty!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered Commentero'Coutoure

WOW..wow..I mean wow
I adore this look

so glamorous, so modern, and so fashionable

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Registered CommenterPalGirl2008

Great hairdo. Think the dress would have fit better if the bodice were more cinched (seems a bit loose for Mrs. O's small waist).

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia

I love, love this gown. She has been hitting it out of the park with her formal evening wear. Beautiful color, fit. Unexpected without being over the top.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterlisa

The detail on the jacket...wow. From the chest up she looks amazing. But the waist of the skirt hits her in the wrong spot. Other than that...gorgeous!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

That jacket is beyond FANTABULOUS!! I wish that she kept it on just a little while longer so that we could have more interior shots of it. That jacket really made that outfit. With it on, it's one of my favorite looks on Mrs. O. And those straps on the dress---yessssir, beautiful.

The dress is a little too long--not as long as the white Wu inauguration ball gown though. She tripped on this dress while entering the banquet (which there's video of in Norway entitled "Oops Michelle"), but she kept smiling and hardly broke her stride---she was too smooth and I wouldn't have noticed in the live footage if she hadn't said "Oops". The gown looks even better when she's not holding it up, but I guess she wanted to be safe. I hadn't seen a length issue on her gowns since the inauguration so I wondered if she might have changed shoes at the last minute for comfort and didn't wear the heels originally worn when the dress was measured. Oh well, she still looked elegant and gorgeous and her day there is just about done and she is probably very relaxed at the banquet.

P.S. There's a lot of coverage of Mrs. O in Oslo. The people seem just as interested there in her fashion choices as we are here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterJanelle

That design is extremely unflattering to her figure. Love the jacket,though! The photographs show two entirely different colors - I expect that's the lighting; the first color does not look good on her, but in the shots where it's silvery, it's better.

This was definitely not one of her better choices.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:38 PM | Registered CommenterHyde Parker

Here is an extensive and amazing slide show from Oslo of well over 100 photos of every event including behind the scene shots. Beware that Michelle photos are interspersed throughout. http://www.vg.no/bildespesial/spesial.php?id=7268

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterscarlets

I love the color and the top of the dress ... I'm not too keen on the bottom - but she looks so pretty. You guys are so wonderful providing all the links.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Registered CommenterPatient

Another miss on the gown. The earrings are great. The gown and jacket - more disappointment. The ensemble reminds me of a bad choice for a tea girl/junior bridesmaid outfit. Not a choice for a grown woman.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterpt821

Mrs.T, I think it would be great if you posted this video from politico.com of them on the balcony waving and arriving at the dinner, like you did when they visited 10 Downing street that night. It gives you a great view of the jacket as well as the movement of the dress.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Registered CommenterAri

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Registered Commenterboazwife

She looks great.

How on earth does she always match someone else, it's AMAZING.

First noticed it with Carla and her both have bow tie jackets on with their dresses.

Then recently with the Prime Minister of Turkey's wife, they both had on the same shade of light brown.

Now both she and Crown Princess Mette-Merit are wearing the same shade of blue.

So awesome :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMica

beautiful

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavesoko1

Her dress is really pretty...I like it...Go Michelle!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTia

I must say, I absolutely LOVE this look! From the shimmery low-waisted dress that changes color with the lighting, to the pleasted and intricate jacket, downright to the elegant chignon: Perfect from head to toe!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterNora

Thanks for the video, Ari!

It's so obvious that Norway loved our First Couple. What a treat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Registered CommenterBevi

The dress is one thing but what about her hair!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Finally, I loveeeeeee her hair style. PLEASE Mrs O keep styling your hair like this. It looks beautiful....

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM | Registered CommenterNic John

I'm usually a big, big fan of Mrs. O's style and couture. This dress does work well on her. Is it so long that she has to constantly hold it up? Love her make-up, hair and that beautiful smile. More pictures of the couple at Getty.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commenteradore michele

Bevi, you are right. I've been watching video clips all day and there is much love emanating from them from the crowds, as well as from their formal hosts.

Mrs. O is such a dynamic woman. This dress is daring. It's artistic. 3 outfits for 3 events, in one day for your husband's Nobel ceremony, and she doesn't seem the bit stressed or overwhelmed. She is the defniition of strength and beauty.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:06 PM | Registered CommenterIVA

In regards the hair, perhaps this is what she'd been growing her hair in to wear. It's a good 'do for special events and she likely has a ton of holiday parties, already having hosted a few.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterconlakappa

I'm speechless. She looks incredibly beautiful here! I feel like this dress and the jacket she was wearing with it are so perfect for Norway. I've never been there, but I've always had this sort of fairytale image in my mind of Norway. An ice-crystal and snow flake wonderland. Princesses living in palaces carved of ice. Clear, crisp nights with the smell of snow and ice in the air . I'm a terrible writer and I can't bring my vision into words well here, but that dress, and the way she looks in it, is the embodiment of that image. What a fabulous look, and what a wonderful gesture to her Norwegian hosts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark

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