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



Anticipation Reaches Fever Pitch (Updated)

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

With the Obamas scheduled to touch down in London this evening, the eyes of the world are clearly on the outcome of the G20. Yet amidst heated political speculation, Europe’s press are nevertheless finding time to ask, alongside just about every fashionista on the planet: What will Mrs. O be wearing? 

Mrs. O has been a huge hit with the European fashion press. Her fashion-forward approach, her willingness to take risks with her style and her eagerness to embrace designers outside the mainstream have all been lauded by the critics. It's an mark of her extraordinary impact that designers like Maria Pinto, Thakoon, Jason Wu and Maria Cornejo who are not widely available in Europe are nevertheless regularly featured in the style press as faces to watch. Yet if coverage of her Inaugural wardrobe is any barometer, her every G20 ensemble will go far beyond the fashion pages to make front page news around the world.

Commentators usually more at home with foreign policy than frocks will be on the hunt for the “message” implicit in Mrs. O’s style choices. The major UK broadsheets have certainly found time, amidst policy analysis, to ponder the implications of the First Lady’s wardrobe. Among the other logistical hurdles posed by a Presidential visit, The Telegraph noted the challenge of packing “for a first lady who is also an international style icon,” while Rupert Cornwell writing in The Independent observes Mrs. O’s emergence as an international megastar:

"Two months into her husband's term, Michelle is a superstar in her own right. Her every appearance is a major news event; her every move is tracked by an army of bloggers. Her fashions, her hairdos, not to mention her choice of presidential pet, command headlines worthy of Jackie in Camelot's heyday."

Anticipation is further heightened by the fact that Mrs. O will not be the only political spouse on the international stage this week. Fashion journalists are feverishly anticipating the first meeting between Michelle Obama and France’s Premiere Dame, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. While Madame Sarkozy will not be attending the G20, the ladies are scheduled to meet at a European summit on Saturday in what will almost certainly be a meeting of fashion minds. Avid First Lady watchers will remember Carla’s first state visit to Britain, in which the former supermodel dazzled in classic Dior.  Ms. Bruni aside, the world’s most influential political spouses will descend en masse on the UK this week but there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Mrs. O’s star is shining brightest. To quote The Independent once more:

“The most important person on Mrs. Brown's guest list will be Michelle Obama, the "First Lady of First Ladies." Mrs. O has already scored a diplomatic triumph by securing a personal meeting with the Queen. On Wednesday afternoon – so long as the anarchists haven't forced the Royal Family into hiding – the world's most powerful couple will meet Prince Charles and Camilla before taking tea with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. Everyone else will have to content themselves with a brief handshake at an official reception.”

So once again, the eyes of the world are on Mrs. O’s wardrobe, yet we have no doubt she will pull off yet another fashion coup. With her sense of occasion, her eye for detail and her abilty to use her clothing to make subtle personal statements Mrs. O has mastered the fine art of fashion diplomacy. When Mrs. O met HRH will undoubtedly be one of the fashion moments of 2009.  Update: Mrs. O wears a Thakoon custom ivory tulle tweed coat with grosgrain piping. For additional photos, click here (thanks Edwina).


An Encore Perhaps?

By request, we thought we'd revisit two popular ensembles that Mrs-O.org readers would like to see the First Lady wear again. The first, a Maria Pinto coral-red silk crepe sheath dress worn by Mrs. O to the White House a few days following the election. The dress features three-quarter sleeves, an empire waist and a high neckline with a burst of sunray pleats emanating from the collar. Photo courtesy of the White House/ Chris Greenberg The second ensemble is a striking black and camel skirt and coat combination designed by Narciso Rodriguez, which Mrs. O wore for the "We Are One" celebration at the Lincoln Memorial during the Inauguration. At the time Booth Moore, Fashion Critic for the L.A. Times, described the look as "strong, elegant, and above all, modern." We Are OneImage via Flickr user Presidential Inaugural Committee / Creative Commons Let's discuss. What other looks or accessories would you like to see make a second appearance? (Personally, we would love to see one of those fanastic feathery pins by Carolyn Rosenberg resurface soon.)


While We Wait for Mrs. O's Return

Me & Michelle Obama - WEBSITE Image via Flickr user Lawyer Mom [Steph] / Creative Commons ...we thought we'd go back in time once more. Above is a photograph taken in August 2008, as Mrs. O hosted a roundtable event with military families in Norfolk, VA. The photo caught our eye, lovely in its own right, but also because of the trio of beaded brooches Mrs. O wears at the collar of her crochet knit cardigan. We've recently learned and wanted to share the origin of said brooches: once again, Moschino! Onto a few "must-reads": Jason Wu was in London this week for a dinner hosted by Net-a-Porter's Natalie Massenet.  Bot Grazia and Vogue U.K. were on the case and have subsequently run short interviews worth a read. In Grazia, Jason Wu speaks of his design ethos:

"I've never been trendy and I don't design trendy things. I design for real women, older women with feminine bodies. And I want my pieces to be relevant in 30 years' time."

And in Vogue U.K., he weighs in on the now infamous Sleeve-gate:

"I was amazed by that - was it really an issue? I mean, we're not living in the past - and it wasn't as if there was a high split in her skirt or she was showing cleavage."

Finally, we'll leave you with a short video of highlights from Charlie Rose's recent interview with Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti and Matt Tyrnauer, Director of the newly released film "Valentino: The Last Emperor". The full interview, well worth viewing, can be seen here.

The Dress Before the Dress

Michelle Obama

Image used with kind permission from warmtofu

Several months ago we came across this photo of Mrs. O, posing with a young supporter at a 2007 campaign fundraiser in California. Initially it was the floral brooch that caught our eye, but the more time we spent with the photo, the more the dress took on a familiar quality - the shape of the neckline and slight volume through the sleeve. And then stirring in the back of our mental Mrs. O fashion library was this passage from the WSJ's (sadly, no longer) Heard on the Runway blog, written in November 2008 about the floral Thakoon dress Mrs. O wore on the final night of the DNC:

"The reverse kimono dress is what the garment industry calls a hot body, meaning it sells so well that a designer makes it for more than one season, often tweaking it by using a new fabric. The silhouette is now the four-year-old Thakoon label’s best-selling style, having sold out in 2007 when it debuted at Bergdorf Goodman."

It made us wonder, could the black crinkled silk cotton dress above, worn a year prior to the DNC, be Thakoon as well?  Once we found this, the final look from Thakoon's Spring 2007 collection, we were almost certain. Besides being a fun Mrs. O fashion fact, it speaks to the First Lady's strong sense of her own style. Clearly Mrs. O was quite fond of the cut, so much so, that she purchased a second dress of the same design in a new, bold print a year later. It also reflects her longstanding patronage of select designers, Thakoon certainly among them. A Thakoon dress similar to that worn by Mrs. O at the DNC is now carried at Kirna Zabete. A back view reveals the crossover v-back detail and tie belt -- the inspiration for the  dress's "reverse kimono" name. Obama/BidenImage used with kind permission from Bill Burke / Page One Photography


Quote of the Day

The New York Times has published a new interview with First Lady Mrs. O  in which she discusses various aspects of her new household, including her enviable wardrobe. Mrs. O has quite the sense of humor!

“[President Mr. O]’s always asking: ‘Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.’ It’s like, Why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.”

She teasingly imitated him: “You didn’t need any more shoes. The shoes you had on yesterday were fine. Why can’t you just wear that for the rest of the presidency?”

Click here to read the full article.