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Monday
May182009

O-Mazing! 

Photo by Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

This is too much for us! Mrs. O made an appearance this evening at the American Ballet Opening Night Spring Gala, wearing a metallic black sleeveless dress. The corseted top and full, sculptural hip (what we can make out of it), appear to have an Elizabethan influence. We are dying to know who made this dress.

Update: The Associated Press reports that Mrs. O's dress is Azzedine Alaia.

An anonymous tipster reveals Mrs. O has owned this Alaia dress for two years, and decided to pull it out of her closet for last night's event. The First Lady accessorized with Loree Rodkin earrings and diamond bangle bracelets, the same worn on election night. We must say, Jill Biden looks equally O-mazing, in a Spring 2009 Reem Acra dress. These are seriously chic Americans.

Photo used with kind permission from our anonymous friend

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Reader Comments (203)

I love this look! Though only seeing part of it. So Star Trek, she looks like Lt Uhura (ie very hot and retro-futuristic). A fun look she pulls off with her height, fitness and beautiful skin!

Caroline loooks lovely as well with the cinnamon silk dress setting off her pretty hair & fair coloring & lithe figure.

Now, I have to say I didn't care for the Mizrahi coat & dress ensempble earlier. The color was beautiful but the cut was strictly mother of the bride, just too matronly for Michelle. The top bagged on her and the skirt as too tight. I just don't care for the cocktail-dress type ensembles she tends t favor for these events.

But tonight -- score! Edgy, very New York art scene!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commenternonpasserat

LOVE Michelle OBama. Stalk this site. Love almost everything she wears...so as one of the supporters of her please no one say I'm being negative or whatever...

But...maybe she's straying away from certain things that made us love her? I know she's coming into her own as a first lady and her fashion reflects that but what does the price tag say? These last couple weeks its been just...thousands and thousands of dollars. Where is the J Crew? Just Isaac, Kors, Lanvin, Alaia...high high high. Its a bloody recession!

And maybe...the media focuses TOO MUCH on her clothes and less on what she does. For those reasons I don't think she should wear Lanvin to food banks and third grade classes...I fear she will only be remembered for her fashion in a few years.

I repeat...those comments are just concerns. I love her! she looks amazing and is an amazing first lady!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterNichols

Sorry,

It looks like Star Trek! Love the purple on her but this evening's outfit doesn't do a thing for her.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterChar

sorry! i meant for those reasons she SHOULDN'T wear Lanvin to food banks etc. I recognize that this is not a foodbank lol...however...my point still stands.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterNichols

I have to see a full length picture of this dress. I would of never guessed Azzedine Alaia. The full sculptural hip reminds me of Thiery Mugler. I love how Mrs. O gets jazzy with her wardrobe choices. She shows us how you can have fun with fashion and still be classy and timeless.Does anyone have a pic of what Desiree wore?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLady W

I usually like Azzedine Alaia's designs and Mrs. Obama usually excels with her evening looks, but I'm not feeling this homage-to-the-Pilgrims-meets-Star-Trek metallic number. Or at least, what we can see so far of this dress. Her makeup, usually on point, also looks harsher tonight. A softer look would've been better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMara

Thanks for the clip Joane!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAri

Stunning!
Mrs O looks absolutely amazing!

And if she loves false eyelashes (which look great on her by the way and really do glam her up), I say lashes all the way then!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterC.

omg, omg, omg, i am so hyperventilating right now!!!

THIS IS BY FAR NOW MY FAVORITE MRS. O OUTFIT!!! (it used to be the outfit she wore to the govornor's ball)

but this is SOOOO MEEE!! I would totally wear this, yet it still fits in Mrs. O's pallete!! LOVE IT!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

The designer was recently snubbed, so great coup that Michelle wore his design today!

http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2009/05/azzedine_alaa_blames_anna_wint.html
Azzedine Alaïa Blames Anna Wintour (Again) for Excluding His Work From the New Costume Institute Exhibit
5/8/09

http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2009/05/naomi_campbell_didnt_show_at_a.html
Naomi Campbell Didn’t Attend Anna Wintour’s Big Ball Because Azzedine Alaïa Got Snubbed
5/5/09

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMDA

@Joane, thanks for the clip at the Met Museum! I'm a night owl tonight, and now that I've heard her speak, I can go to bed. I like to hear her words as well as see the fashion, or "fashion crack" as someone on this blog has said before. P.S. I love the false eyelashes. It actually softens her look versus the darker makeup worn tonight. But I say keep the lashes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

You know those dumb red carpets? Of course it would be tacky if Mrs. O had to "run the red carpet", but... if would be nice for us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterdesertwind

Hi Mrs T,

There's this article in reuters that quotes you (and you are the only sweet and positive thing about that article by the way.)

It suggests that Mrs Obama has not helped J.Crew sales and the J.Crew executive interviewed comes across as rather condescending and ungrateful.

It's hard to believe that J.Crew thinks their share doubled all by itself! (To hear them tell it!)

Even though I shopped J. Crew long before it became associated with Mrs Obama, I know tons of people who only just discovered and started patronizing them BECAUSE of the publicity surrounding Mrs Obama wearing J.Crew.

To downplay this is so dishonest on J. Crew's part and frankly I'm shocked.

Even worse, there's this suggestion that it is actually Mrs Obama that benefits from wearing this lower end, mass market brand because it makes her so much more "relatable" -

I say what a load of crock!

http://www.reuters.com/article/bigMoney/idUS245057567220090518

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterLota

Hi Mrs T,

There’s this article in reuters that quotes you (and you are the only sweet and positive thing about that article by the way.)

It suggests that Mrs Obama has not helped J.Crew sales and the J.Crew executive interviewed comes across as rather condescending and ungrateful.

It’s hard to believe that J.Crew thinks their share doubled all by itself! (To hear them tell it!)

Even though I shopped J. Crew long before it became associated with Mrs Obama, I know tons of people who only just discovered and started patronizing them BECAUSE of the publicity surrounding Mrs Obama wearing J.Crew.

To downplay this is so dishonest on J. Crew’s part and frankly I’m shocked.

Even worse, there’s this suggestion that it is actually Mrs Obama that benefits from wearing this lower end, mass market brand because it makes her so much more “relatable” -

I say what a load of crock!

Search for the Reuters article: "There is no Michelle Effect" May 18, 2009.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 2:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterLota

"Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation."

Michelle Obama, First Lady

There is power in those words. A nation can not survive without creativity and innovation. She is intent of changing the way we think of art in all its various forms. I applaud her proclamation that all of our children should have open avenues in the world of art. Art is not the bastion of the elite only. Art, by nature, should be open to all.

The world of art has lucked up on a good thing. Our First Lady is like a soaking rain on earth seared by drought. I can't wait to see what blooms.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 3:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMcKinley

OMG OMG OMG.......WOW .........STUNNING, would love to see a full length photo.....Mrs.O you ROCK!!!! Would love to know who the designer is.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 3:32 AM | Unregistered Commentertsetse

Mrs. O. looks absolutely fantabulous (yes, I know it's not a real word, but it fits!)from the top of her head to the bottom of what I can see of that great dress. Brava!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 3:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristen

She looks incredibly hot - My first lady rocks!

This woman is too cool for words & Mckinley, you are so right my friend, art is indeed life and must be opened up to be savored by all...

Lota, I searched for and read the article you write about and I am confounded beyond words...But I suspect it's just the next wave of anti Michelle propaganda; There's been a few of those types of articles in the past few days insisting that just Jason Wu has seen any benefit from Mrs Obama wearing his clothes-

They try to strong arm her into wearing designers they favor and when that fails, they begin to downplay her effect on sales of those she's chosen to wear - Can anyone say sour grapes-

I'm surprised at the J. Crew folks though; they've got to be seriously deluded if they think their stocks doubled just because...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 4:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

Here's a link to a full-length photo of Michelle Obama's dress at the ABT Gala last night:
http://newyorksocialdiary.com/node/378179

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 6:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterGloria

P.S. Dr. Jill Biden is also in that photo, with a gorgeous dress (though how does she sit in it?).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterGloria

P.P.S. Fourth photo from top (NOT counting the reproduced ticket and the playbill cover).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 6:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterGloria

@Lota. So, according to reuters “there is no Michelle Effect”. Well, many would beg to differ. Here are just a couple of quotes taken from yesterday’s thelondonpaper(.com). The opening paragraph reads:

“The world sits up and takes note of what Michelle Obama wears. And there’s a buzz surrounding her latest fashion find [Boden].” The article concludes: “The Obama effect seriously spikes sales and creates unparalleled publicity.” The operative word here is “publicity”, and Mrs. O is definitely hot news.

Speaking of hot… the FL delivers another polished look.. wow, black metallic. She’s having so much fun! Thanks, Mrs.T.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterjayj

This dress is not a full length gown like I thought. It stops just above the knee. I really like it on her, and I love (and want) those diamond bangle bracelets!

There's a great full length picture on newyorksocialdiary(dot)com with Mrs. O and Dr. Jill. If you scroll farther down there's even one of Desiree

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterbmb

The fact that "The world sits up and takes note" of what Mrs. O wears does not mean that it necessarily translates into sales for the diverse industries involved (media, retail, fasdhion ad, etc.). From a fashion point of view, it's great becauser people want to wear what she wears; but we cannot all afford most of the stuff she wears, which is fine because she has more disposable income than we do. I think the Reuters article was talking more in terms of "effect" about the ability to sell print media and magazines when she is on the cover. It has been shown that there is no noticeable difference than if a popular celebrity or model was on the cover. Influence and effect are two totally diferent things. "Influence" is felt and observed, whereas "effect" has to have solid sales numbers and facts in addition to a clear and direct cause and effect link to be valid.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterLilly O

bmb I can't find the pic at newyorksocialdiary(dot)com do you have the exact link?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterthe other jenna

The full lengh dress on http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/378179 scroll down.....

I love it, love it and how about Jill Biden looking so hot!!!!

Mrs T, please link this picture

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterMimi

I don't see either of those articles as "anti-Michelle". They are simply objective analyses of the effect of her choices on the designers' sales figures.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterHyde Parker

Here it is
newyorksocialdiary(dot)com/node/378179
scroll down

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermimi

Now that I've seen the entire dress, I like it but not Love it. I thought it was a little bit longer, at least below the knee (and no, it is not a nun or prude thing, it is a style thing lol); it sort of cuts her off at the knee. I am not feeling The ruffle at the hem either, but i LOVE that she is wearing heels as wella s her accessories. I love Jill Biden's dress; great color on her and she sparkles although I think it is a little 80s). My absolute favorite is Carolyn Kennedy's dress (great color cut, and style), but she does not carry her outfits with as much panache as Mrs. O.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterLilly

This video link shows the dress Mrs. Obama work to the Opera that evening. It's beautiful for her height and figure.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/19/michelle-obama-stresses-a_n_205003.html

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterBea

Here is a MSNBC video that also shows full length of the dress
huffingtonpost(dot)com/2009/05/19/michelle-obama-stresses-a_n_205003(dot)html

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMimi

At the same link you can see a brief picture of Dr. Jill Biden's dress as well. It is absolutely beautiful on her and she looks so radiant. We have classic and beautiful First and Second Ladies of the United States.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterBea

Lilly, I think the dress looks great and she looks like she's 20 years younger than everybody on the picture. The dress is very youthful and the ruffle at the hem made the dress softer, less starTreky.
The style is different but she pulled it off. I like caroline kennedy dress, a little too conservative though. I thought Jill Biden was sexy. At her age, she looks great.
I guess this is just one those outfit that you either love or hate. But it is definitely something I would wear...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Now that I've seen the full dress (thanks for the link bmb!), I will say that I love this dress with the crinoline fringe on the bottom! I was expecting it to overpronounce her hips, but it doesn't to me. A testament to the great fabric, construction, and fit. Once again she stood out in the sea of floor-length gowns and still looked glamorous. Oh, and Dr. Jill Biden looked stunning! I loved the fact that they both wore cocktail-length and still glammed it up in NY. Mrs. O is so unpredictable, and if she wasn't, there would be no site such as this.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

@Bea: I could not agree more. How fortunate we are to have First and Second Ladies who are so accomplished and beautiful.
I love the short look on both ladies. And, if anyone has noticed, Dr. Biden has pretty wonderful arms, too!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterCissy

Janelle, she sure does manage to stand out. When you look at the picture, your are just fixated on her. I have to say that Dr Biden has evolved (style wise) with the obamas. Not that she copies FLOTUS but she definitely started wearing more sexy and youthful clothes after Joe Biden was picked. I think it's great because she has a great and toned body @ 58

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMimi

@Mimi,

I read that Dr. Biden runs everyday several miles, and it shows---she is one sexy looking grandmother. She and Mrs. O are really inspiring and are setting the bar very high for future First and Second Ladies. There's no excuse for me then; I have to say I've been working out more these days. I see pictures from the ballet last night, and I just have to get off my behind, put down the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and work it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

I like the dress. It's the makeup that's harsh. The lipstick was too strong and overwhelmed her face. Her makeup artist should've thought twice.

I love when Mrs. O and Dr. Jill hang together, and with Caroline there too, it's the perfect trio.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterTay

I think it's amazing that we have all of these articles out this week questioning the "Michelle Obama Effect." Talk about trying to create a narrative huh? What a coincidence!

Anyway, I haven't been around for the past few days but I love that starting with the poetry night, the Obamas have turned their attention to promoting the arts. The purple dress was just vintage Mrs. O, belt and all, and I loved it. This dress is my favorite, it's very modern and makes her look so young!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterIVA

I'm so proud of Michelle. Sometimes, I think of just how "first" she is. Seeing her as one of the few African American women in this venue and being the uppermost in prestige reminds me of how strong she is. I think if I were in her shoes, I would feel a lot of pressure and a lot of responsibility and feel my newness and be aware of that to the point where I'd question how I fit in. I'm glad she's not like that. I'm glad she's just able to have fun and enjoy herself without the added pressure on her shoulders that I would definitely have needlessly carried. She's incredibly strong.

She looks beautiful inside and and out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterLea

We-e-ell, I have to say I don't like this outfit at all.

I'm fascinated by the fabric... it reminds me of something Prada was doing a year or so ago - wool coated with rubber and had that same sort of gleam. Nasty to touch though!!!

So I love the fabric. But the collar doesn't flatter Mrs O at all and looks weird to me, floating above the bodice in a really odd place. Kind of cuts off Michelle's neck and her shoulders in a funny way. I also don't like the fact that it's so stiff looking, and although I don't ever expect anyone to adhere to dress codes per se, I would have preferred a full length dress for this occasion.

On the whole, a total no-no from me. But I think apart from one cardigan that's it. So everything is still lovely!!

Jill Biden looks incredible.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

The video of both event! Scroll down to watch video.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/19/michelle-obama-stresses-a_n_205003.html

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

By the way, do we have a confirmation on Alaia yet? I've only managed to find one photo from the 2009 Alaia lookbook on womenmanagement (dot) blogspot that might have an echo of this... it looks like leather and has a big collar, nipped waist, full skirt. But it's not like this.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Mrs O knows exactly what to do to stand out in a sea of gowns. She looks fabulous in that dress. Those arms My Goodness those wonderful arms.

Dr Biden looks fabulous as well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDonna No Shock

Posh Tater, I received an anonymous tip this morning that Mrs. O has owned this Alaia dress for 2 years, and decided to pull it out from her closet last night. It was also reported by the Associated Press as being Alaia.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMrs. T

Cool tip! Thanks Mrs T.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPosh Tater

Mrs. T,

Your anonymous tipster just confirms that Mrs. O has not just started getting involved in fashion--she's always had a fashion sense and an evolving fashion style. Her looks and interest in designers began long before the campaign, and I have always said that her evening looks in particular back in Chicago, were always on point.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJanelle

This is absolutely the best photo I've seen showing Michelle, Caroline, and Dr. Jill -

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/i/partypictures/05_19_09/IMG_0133.jpg

Michelle's dress looks even better full length, and I love the Star Trek look. Dr. Jill is very hot, and Caroline's dress, while demure from the front, is apparently fairly backless. Wish I had found a photo of the back. You can tell it's interesting from the brief glimpse in some of the photos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commentertrudy

I think both DrB and MrsO look smashing! I know a few people have not liked the collar, but I think that gives the dress another bit of oomph. I do wonder about the cocktail versus evening gown look. I do not know which one is more appropriate for this venue. Wonder if the FLOTUS and Dr. B decided they would go cocktail?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrook

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