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



A Beacon of Style and Optimism

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mrs. O, our First Lady. You are truly remarkable in every sense. Through that sea of black wool, you shined bright - in a yellow lemongrass suit that made you a beacon of both style and optimism. With more time to take this in, we are loving the subtleties of Mrs. O's ensemble. Her grass green J. Crew leather gloves and coordinating Jimmy Choo "Glacier" pumps offer something unexpected, her signature "twist"; while Mrs. O's diamond pin (or is it a necklace?) brings light to her face. 

For those wondering about Sasha and Malia's coats, the AP reports: "Their daughters were style icons in their own right, with 10-year-old Malia in a double-breasted periwinkle-blue coat with a blue-ribbon bow at the waist, and Sasha, 7, in a pink coat with orange scarf and satin belt, a coral-colored dress peeking out at the hem. Their coats were from Crewcuts by J. Crew." In a new report from WWD, Ruben Toledo (Isabel's husband and an accomplished illustrator) elaborates on the design team's excitement this morning:

"We're levitating - we really are," Ruben Toledo said minutes after watching Michelle Obama on CNN in an ensemble by his wife Isabel. The husband-wife team tuned in surrounded by their staff in their Broadway showroom. The soon-to-be First Lady did not tip her hand in any way. "We had no idea. We hoped she would wear something because she has bought Isabel's clothes before. We never know what's going to happen," he said.

Post from earlier this morning follows: Inauguration Day begins

Image via bobster1985 / Creative Commons

The AP reports that Mrs. O is wearing Isabel Toledo, the Cuban-American designer who famously dressed Mrs. O for the Vogue / Calvin Klein fundraiser in June 2008. In an October interview with the New York Daily News, Toledo revealed that she had designed several more ensembles for Mrs. O. We find it interesting that both last night and this morning Mrs. O has chosen yellow, a color which until now we haven't frequently seen in Mrs. O's wardrobe (save for her appearance in head to toe J.Crew on The Tonight Show).

In December 2008 Pantone named Mimosa the color of 2009, a color that "embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change". Is Mrs. O's favor for the color, perhaps, her way of projecting optimism? Cathy Horyn to the rescue. In a New York Times blog post, the journalist reports that not until this morning did designer Isabel Toledo know Mrs. O would wear the lemongrass-yellow coat and matching dress. "We're all up here watching the T.V.," the designer said in a photo interview from her New York studio. "It's great. We're so happy." Horyn writes that the coat and dress are made of Swiss wool lace, backed with netting for warmth and lined in French silk. "I wanted to pick a very optimistic color, that had sunshine," Toledo said. "I wanted her to feel charmed, and in that way would charm everybody."


In Uplifting (J. Crew) Fashion

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

For tonight's "Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future" concert, Mrs. O again dazzled in true First Lady style. The colors of the night were blue and yellow, a palette that exuded much needed optimism.  Mrs. O's message? In keeping with the theme of National Service Day she told her youthful audience: "You kids are the future of this great nation. We need every American to serve their community, including our young people."

Wearing a silver blue metallic lace shell paired with a sky blue pencil skirt, Mrs. O kept her look young and fresh by adding a canary yellow cardigan into the mix. An elastic belt cinched her waist, closed by a distinctive (and familiar) enamel buckle. Again recycling accessories, Mrs. O wore a set of diamond bangle bracelets we recognized from election night; and might her drop earrings have been the work of Loree Rodkin for a second night running? For a full view of Mrs. O's outfit, click here and here. T

onight's ensemble was feminine, while full of unexpected pairings - and for both of these things, thoroughly modern. By our account, this is already an inauguration for the ages, style and otherwise. Needless to say, we look forward to tomorrow immensely.

Update: For Monday night's "Kids Inaugural" concert, Mrs. O turned to chic and affordable retailer J. Crew for her wardrobe. Mrs. O wore a classic olive cashmere cardigan over a French metallic lace shell with a deep blue wool serve pencil skirt (the shirt and shell were lined in silk charmeuse). The ensemble was specially designed for Mrs. O, but highlights will appear in the Fall 2009 J. Crew collection.

A sketch of the J. Crew design: 


Serving in Style

RFK Service Event RFK Service Event

Photos via the Presidential Inaugural Committee / Creative Commons

Supporting military families has long been a cause close to Mrs. O's heart. As part of National Service Day and the Renew America Together initiative, our soon-to-be First Lady volunteered at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial stadium today to assemble packages for U.S. military personnel serving overseas. Voice of America reports that more than 75,000 kits containing food and personal items for soldiers were assembled.

For the occasion, Mrs. O was tastefully dressed in a medley of complementary shades of blue. A teal cardigan was worn atop a powder blue shell, while a royal blue patent leather belted cinched the waist.  Mrs. O paired her layered tops with gray pinstripe trousers, lending the ensemble an easy going polish. Diamond stud earrings added just a touch of sparkle. Bravo Mrs. O, for an effort that was truly stylish through and through.


Inaugural Wardrobe Shrouded in Secrecy

It looks like we'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear the answer to the most speculated question of recent months: What will Mrs. O wear? MSNBC article and video here.

The Jewelry of Carolyn Rosenberg

 Image via juli b chicago

As we await more fashion revelations from Mrs. O's inaugural wardrobe, let's take a look back at one of Mrs. O's more spectacular (but under-examined) accessories from the campaign: the lush purple feather and bead brooch. We saw Mrs. O wear it on CNN's The Larry King Show performance, pinned to a sleeveless top. And she also wore it on her Narciso Rodriguez striped jacket at a National Partnership for Women and Families event in Washington, D.C.

It is a playful, ultra-feminine piece of jewelry; it acknowledges vintage style while embodying a decidedly contemporary tone. The designer is Carolyn Rosenberg, a Chicago-based jewelry maker. In an exclusive interview with www.Mrs-O.org, Rosenberg told us that she started by taking classes in metalworking at a Chicago arts center. From there, she branched into expanding her designs.

"I had a collection of vintage feathers from my great aunt, who had been a milliner," she says. "And so I used them when I was commissioned to do a very small collection of pins."  Who commissioned her? None other than boutique owner Ikram Goldman. Rosenberg loved the idea of repurposing the gorgeous feathers, although she frequently dyed them; to anchor the feathers, she used beading in the same tones. Rosenberg knew that Mrs. O had one of her feather pins - "I was asked to make a purple one for her because she had seen some of the other feathered pieces" - but she didn't know when Mrs. O would be wearing it. Then Mrs. O appeared on the Larry King show with the purple feather pin high on her shoulder and Rosenberg's phone starting ringing. "All the relatives recognized it immediately and started calling," she says.

Currently Rosenberg is finishing up her second collection, which is based on vintage beading and embroidery work collected from flappers' dresses. "Sometimes the dress can't be saved because of tearing or deterioration of material," she says, "but the bead work is wonderful." No one has seen this collection yet, but Rosenberg hopes that maybe one day Mrs. O will wear one of those pieces, too. "Regardless of who or what she's wearing, I can't think of a better spokeswoman for today," she says. Naturally, we agree.