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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Erickson Beamon for Tar-Jay

Image used with kind permission from Target

Today marks the arrival of yet another Target collection from one of Mrs.O's signature designers: first Thakoon, now Erickson Beamon and soon Tracy Feith. (Plus Proenza Schouler, if we're being technical.) The design duo of Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon, both natives of Detroit, have have delivered a twelve look jewelry collection for Target that features bold pendant necklaces, jewel encrusted cuffs, oversize cocktails rings and dazzling earrings.

Jewelry for a shrinking violet, this is not. Bright colors combine with charms and chains, often all mixed in a single piece. The only dissapointment is that the collection doesn't include any brooches, Mrs. O's signature accessory. Still, there are evident traces of Erickson Beamon designs for Mrs. O in this collection. We've featured the Long Flower Charm Necklace and Rose Drop Earrings, above, for their similarity to the Erickson Beamon brooches that Mrs. O wore at the Democratic National Convention in August. Mrs. O famously paired the trio of brooches, seen below, with her floral Thakoon dress. Image used with kind permission from Erickson Beamon / Showroom Seven

Yet, our favorite piece from the collection (in our mind, the most wearable) is the Jeweled White Cluster Pendant Necklace and Earrings, seen after the jump. We can imagine Mrs. O wearing the fancy gold and pearl drop earrings for a state dinner or formal event. Jewelry is one place we haven't yet seen the First Lady mix high and low designs. Perhaps this will be the start?

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Reader Comments (45)

Ohhh...I like these pieces a lot.

Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterIVA

I am an earring person more than anything. I love the red rosette earrings but without the fringing.
Mrs O does like her florals- the brooches, and the lemongrass Isabel Toledo outfit had the gorgeous silver flowers threaded all through it

Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRuby

Full picture of the Mrs. O's Valentine's day outfit:


it looks like she is wearing her beloved jacket she wore on the train ride to DC, and the boots she wore to the staff inauguration ball

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

i really would be interested in seeing what you guys think about this article, it seems some fashion "big-timers" are upset with Mrs. O (but don't have the balls to say it on record) because she is ignoring the "big-names" and giving up and coming designers a chance, and because she does not oggle and succumb to the fashion industry insiders by wearing a brand new $10,000 outfit every time she steps out...God-forbid she relates to REGULAR PEOPLE, and looks good while doing it (this is my take on the article by the way), but I really want to know what you guys think:


and more, I find it more than a little insulting that after years of the industry all but ignoring Black people, they are "angry" that Michelle Obama is not falling all over these fashion "big-timers." Excuse the hell out of me!

I hope Michelle stays just the way she is (and I do not doubt she won't), and what makes her sartorial choices great is that it is so out of the cliche big fashion names, and she does her own thing, which happen to look great!

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

I wasn't thrilled at most of the collection. The two pendant necklaces were the only pieces that I liked and thats probably because I figured they could be taken off the chain and worn as brooches.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. H.S.

@ Layo G: The Telegraph article seems like offspring from the NYT piece re: Mrs. O's "Shadow Stylist" to me - a compliation of various "controversies" surrounding Mrs. O's style.

Robin Givhan wrote a piece for the Washington Post this week that I found very insightful. She observes that the country has put Mrs. O on a unrealistic do-no-wrong pedestal (we're probably guilty of this too) - but as Mrs. O so deliberately did for her husband during the campaign, we have to remember that she, too, is a real person who has faults and shortcomings.

There is a lot of truth to the observations made in the Washington Post article. It also made me wonder if this notion - unchallenged celebration / borderline worship of Mrs. O - is in some way the implicit motivation behind these recent stories that seem to be stirring up trouble about, well, next to nothing!

Anyway, this blog will continue to be a positive forum to celebrate the First Lady's style (fashion and otherwise), but as always, respectful criticism is welcome.

Here's the Washington Post article:

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

Layo G, thanks for that article. I agree, it angers me. So much so that I couldn't get all the way through this one!

Like some other articles, I think they're trying to create scandal where one need not exist. In this case, race. In others, access to the First Lady.

For the life of me, I don't see what's wrong with letting her choose her own clothing! My friend Jo and I got into a heated debate about this last week; she was over to watch Top Chef and we started talking about an article I read on this blog. She thinks the First Lady should be carefully dressed, but not by Ikram Goldman -- by whom, I have no idea! And I think Mrs. O has done just fine on her own and needs to continue to choose whatever she likes.

That goes for jewelry that's unusual, for designers who are known OR unknown, designers who are American, immigrants, or foreigners, designers who are of any skin color, religion or gender. Why on earth would anyone hold it against her to make her own choices?

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

Mrs. T, I'd like to agree with your post. I've said from the beginning that setting unrealistic expectations for Mrs. O does her a disservice. I really do think we need to see her as human, as fallible; she is going to make mistakes, just as we all do.

There is no way this woman (wonderful as she is) can be all things to all people. The higher the pedestal one is put on, the further they have to fall. For her sake, let's keep it real.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterChicagoan

I find it interesting that AA have a problem with people liking Michelle Obama too much. If she was his baby mama, loud, ghetto, weave in her head, it would still be a problem. AA have a tendacy to want to bring each other down. People have to explain why they think she is beautiful, that does not happen with anyone else that is famous. I just find it interesting that black people have a bone to pick with her in regards to her admiration. Why can't you all just be grateful that she is debunking the stereotype of you all.Why you all sit here for 8 years getting mad at what she wears or wht non-black designer she wears, non-blacks will continue to celebrate her beauty and intelligence. ANd yes, I read the WAPO article I find it kind of interesting to say the least. It goes along with a lot I fave read by AA inregards to Michelle.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterCythia

I guess she is not good enough to be a First Lady in the AA community. This reminds me of when the President first ran, he was not good enough at 1st to be the President for AA. He was "too white."

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterCythia

I want to try to understand what the posters are saying. What's AA??

I LOVE that black coat btw.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterallison

sorry to take the discussion off topic again, but WWD posted Maria Pinto's new collection, and I LOVE IT!!


Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

Layo G. - I'm writing a post on the new collection that will be up later this afternoon.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

I don't know what Cythia and Chicagoan are talking about. The First Lady is more popular in the African-American community than is The President. It is BECAUSE of the First Lady that many in the Black community warmed up to The President. I dare say, it was Michelle Obama that got Black folks to trust Barack Obama. Without her, he wouldn't have made it to the U.S. Senate, let alone The White House. So this erroneous statement that the AA commmunity has a 'problem' with other folks like The First Lady - when she was under attack, who do you think stood on the line and defended her? We were just waiting for the rest of America to figure out what we already knew: Michelle Obama is fabulous.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterrikyrah

Again, I go to the shoe thing. I am loving it that Michelle likes to wear low and flat heels ( vis the boots in the Valentine's date photo). I am sure this does not sit well with the shoe designers who are putting out 4+ inch heels in bondage design, but I don't think there is anything wrong with dressing to meet the needs of yourself, versus being a slave to fashion. I recently read in a fashion magazine that kitten heels are out - I would be willing to bet that Michelle doesn't care! It's great to have a fashion role model who does what is best for herself - it's liberating and confidence building.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBevi
Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

Thanks for the photo edwina!

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

I love almost all the pieces in the collection, but nary a brooch in sight. I'm depressed about that :(

On another note. Why is there always so much negativity in the posts here? It is very disappointing. It makes me want to only read the columns and avoid the comments section.


Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterhiatus

Thank for the photo Edwina. Love the beautiful lilac shawl.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBevi

Thanks for the link to the Pinto collection, Layo G! I'm loving the coat and jacket in pics 6 & 8. I just wish I could afford her clothes!

Rikyrah, I think you are misreading the signatures. Chicagoan said nothing about Mrs. Obama's standing in the African-American community. Both those racist posts were from Cythia.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterHyde Parker

This picture of Sasha arriving back to DC will be a classic:

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

Me too Hyde Parker....those coats are TO DIE FOR!!!!!

This collection is definitely ON POINT!! Im hoping to see the first lady in many of these pieces!

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

Chicagoan, I am with you. I have not been able to finish a single one of these articles about the "controversy" of how Mrs. O chooses her clothing. This whole "debate" is the kind of nonsense that makes me appreciate that Michelle is strong enough to handle the constant scrutiny with grace...and got plenty of practice doing so during the campaign.

As for this new line... I like the pieces. They really are better than similar "quirky" lines of jewelry, for this price point, that you can find at a department store. That said, I buy all my jewelry at etsy.com, (which is a website for people to sell their handmade crafts) and there are countless people making this style of eye-popping jewelry, all by hand and all pretty inexpensive. A few jewelry sellers I like are candysart, sophiehillartist, and jmw2003.

I also think Ebay is GREAT for this kind of jewelry. They have a whole costume jewelry section that is super fun if you are willing to dig through it.

Meanwhile "Cythia"'s comments are like when someone wanders into a dinner party, has no idea what the conversation at hand is about, and starts spouting the first thing that comes into their head. Seriously, Cythia, WHAT are you talking about? Whose comments are you responding to? I haven't see anyone say anything like what you are arguing against.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

I checked out the collection at Target today -- "oversize" is not an understatement! Huge, beautiful pieces. Probably too big for me. I did really want to see the Jeweled White Cluster Pendant Necklace and Earrings, but they were not there.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterkaypbee

OK, I was totally stupid. AA is African-American. Not getting that right away is good sign.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterallison

Awww!!! Edwina, thank you for linking to that picture of Sasha. She looks like the happiest kid that ever was.

AND, there she is wearing peace signs again! I remember seeing a comment that someone left some time ago about her really liking to wear peace signs, and ever since then I have been noticing it for myself. It's really cute. I remember when I was seven years old I was all about anything that had a happy face on it, and had two sweatshirts (one pink and one green) with a happy face motif that I wore almost every single day.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Your welcome, Jennaontheshore, I remember you from DailyKos because I also live not to far from the shore in NJ.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered Commenteredwina

As a Black American ( I do not refer to myself as African-American because I am too far removed), I am always pleasantly surprised at Mrs. Obama's bold choices. I am a huge fan and loyal shopper of J. Crew, so I was overjoyed to find that it was a favorite of hers, as well. I don't think it matters at all that she hasn't worn designs by African-Americans or Black designers because SHE is the one who ultimately must feel comfortable in the clothing. This topic was WAY overblown and I am disappointed to think that affirmative action arguments applied to Mrs. Obama's wardrobe.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCassG

I just read a really enjoyable piece in the British Reuters about Michelle's place in the fashion world. And it is exactly what we have been saying for ages, especially regarding the Jackie Kennedy comparison. Here's an excerpt which may SOUND, at first, not complimentary to Mrs. O, but it actually is:
Michelle Obama "is more real than iconic," said David Wolfe, creative director of the Doneger Group, which forecasts trends. "She doesn't have a locked-in fashion look. She experiments, which is what fashion is about these days."


While Obama's style merits praise, she is not in the ranks of such icons as actress Katharine Hepburn, with her tailored menswear, or Jacqueline Kennedy with her pillbox hats and wide-frame sunglasses, said Helen Job, a trend forecaster with WGSN, a fashion research and analysis firm.

"When you think about a fashion icon, it's somebody who has this ability to influence the public to such a degree ... to change the direction (a style) is going in," she said.

Kennedy's sense of style would be out of place among women today, said Wolfe.

"Jackie Kennedy was locked into the Jackie Kennedy look and never stepped out of it. That was great, but it certainly isn't the way modern women dress," he said.

Obama wears clothes by little-known designers and mid-priced chains such as J Crew Group Inc (JCG.N), helping dispose of the idea that first ladies always must look formal.

"She's really set this new guideline, and I feel like the White House will never be the same after this somehow," said Gloria Baume, fashion director for Teen Vogue.

So...she's not Jackie Kennedy, someone who WAS gorgeous and stylish, and the daughter of an incredibly wealthy family with a closet full of French couture. That's not Michelle, at all. She is more of a regular woman who has fun with fashion, but who certainly goes beyond, in terms of her bravery and creativity, what the typical woman wears. So that's why so many look up to her. But it's wrong to put her in the Jackie box, in essence. And that's why people start complaining when she wears a casual outfit for a weekend with her kids!

Here is the link to that piece: http://uk.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUKN1651584920090216?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

(Hey Edwina! I actually DON'T live on the shore. Jenontheshore has always been my screenname because I always wished that I did. haha. I live part-time in Boston and part-time in Brooklyn. So always CLOSE to the shore, but never quite there.... Maybe someday!)

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

this thread is confusing me. so many ot and in the original topic i am confused by who the actual designer is. "one of Mrs.O’s signature designers: first Thakoon, now Erickson Beamon and soon Tracy Feith. (Plus Proenza Schouler, if we’re being technical.)"wut????

in other queries, i really want to know what designer bag mrs. o is carrying this morning coming off the flight from chitown. i love it. wonders if it is coach.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commentertoi22

Hey toi22, this jewelry is designed by Erickson Beamon.

Tracy Feith and Thakoon are two other designers that Mrs. O likes who had collections with Target.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Mrs. O is only three weeks into being First Lady. I think over time whether or not she can be called a 'fashion icon' will be easier to judge. At the moment she is certainly a major influence on fashion.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterstella

just got back from several Targets (been on a failed quest for an Orla Kiely apron) and Im underwhelmed with the Beamon collection...or at least what I saw. Granted the best pieces were probably all sold out, but what was there felt and looked very cheap, even for Target, so I didnt end up picking anything up. The Thankoon collection however was truly amazing...picked up two of the dresses a while ago and Ive never received so many compliments!

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeanalyn

Mrs. T-

Please let's not let an article in the Wash. Post cause us to temper or play down the excitement we feel about the fashion choices the first lady makes-

It would be a shame and actually play into what might be some sort of reverse psychology thing to force us to do as much-
Contrary to what is suggested, there are few outlets that share positive stories about the first lady. Yours is one and thats why I come back often-

And thanks again for doing this...

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterC.

Jackie was Gorgeous and Michelle is a regular woman..what the heck? what is this comparison Jenna? Just ask the President who is gorgeous. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. That's a very prejudiced article from a very predjudiced person, someone perhaps like our own Caroline G. Jackie Kennedy was a photographer for Washington-Times Herald from 1952 to 1953 before her marriage to JFK, while Michelle Obama was a lawyer before her marriage - so who could afford better clothing? Anyhow, IMHO such articles as the one at reuters should not have a place in this site.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered Commentersuji

@Jenna, thank you.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commentertoi22


Wow!!!!!!! You misunderstand! Of course I think Michelle is gorgeus. I have said so countless times. And you may have misunderstood the article as well. Did you read the whole thing? It was actually very complimentary to Mrs. O.

I was trying to explain how Michelle is different from Jackie Kennedy, without putting Jackie down, which I think some commenters do sometimes (when they are differentiating her from Michelle). So my point was that yes, she was lovely and her couture designs were influential, and she was gorgeous, and I loved her as well.

But Michelle's style is much more attainable and that's what makes her different. So, when I say that Michelle is "regular" it is in the sense that her style is one that I or anyone else can aspire to adapt it for ourselves. As the article says, she mixes the high and the low, plays with silhouettes and prints etc., just like the rest of us, even if the rest of us DON'T have her creativity or her statuesque frame.

I meant it as the highest compliment. By contrast, Jackie O had a "Jackie O" costume of couture outfits that the average woman couldn't possibly relate to. So in that sense she was quite removed from "regular".

As I said, in my comment above, my general point was addressing the complaints about Michelle wearing more casual clothes, like she did when her family was going to Camp David. I was trying to articulate that Michelle is not interested in having that air of perfection (that Jackie had).

In any case, I think you misconstrued my comment. There are few women that I admire more than Mrs. O! And yes, I certainly think she's gorgeous.

Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Sorry Chicagoan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 12:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterrikyrah

Jenna, sorry I jumped the gun. You are correct, I did not read the article in full.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered Commentersuji

Ohhhhh, some grumpy designers out there thinking they should have come FIRST on Mrs O's list!!!! Well, she's got four years at least.... I don't think she can wear everyone in three weeks!

As I said the other day on another thread, I think this is just the beginning of a small "ohhh so she's NOT a deity?" backlash that has been hatched from journo boredom and the necessity to make a story out of nothing to earn a living. It doesn't mean anything.

And Mrs T, I hate to contradict you, but I don't think we are guilty, per se, of idolising Michelle Obama without any censure. When I read the posts here, what I get is that most of the people I see posting here see that she is very real, and that there will be days when we look and go "Eeuw" and days when we thank GOD that there's a woman who looks like we do when we are tired. AND we think she looks fabulous anyway, AND we think she's done and continues to do a great job. And I think that's why we're here. You know, aside from you starting a great blog'n all! Does that make sense?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Sorry, it was the "on a pedestal do-no wrong" thing that I was referring to. Not idolising, as I said in my post above. I don't have her on a pedestal, I just think she's inspirational. (I could be rambling!!!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Posh Tater, you make perfect sense and good points. Real is one of my favorite words when discussing Mrs. O. And I'm glad this is a seen as a healthy forum that welcomes different points of view. I think I was just trying to make sense of the "backlash", which I still find utterly confusing and unfounded. As you suggest, perhaps it's just the desire for a new story.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

Thank you ma'am.

I agree completely unfounded. But these people can only sell stories if they "make" stories. That's all this is in my view.

It's like those "SCOOP!" stories about royalty/celebs where the journo takes a photo of two well known people, and makes one person nearly yawning and another person looking at the ground look like a row, an incipient divorce, and a shock affair drama. But it's just a camera angle!

I wish the same journalists would go and investigate child prostitution, fraud, kidnappings, missing persons, thieves and corrupt officials. Do some d&mned good with all that time and energy.... (grump grump)

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

GgWL6J hi! mi site is http://norffg.com
see you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermarvell

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