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


Entries in Alaia (38)


The Best of 2009

Before the clock strikes midnight and this officially becomes the second day of 2010, I wanted to take a look back through 2009 to highlight a few favorite Mrs. O ensembles of the year. With my top five outlined below, I'd also love to hear your favorite picks.

#1 Orange gold Rodarte dress in Copenhagen worn with a trio of vintage brooches / October 1, 2009

While the Olympic bid for Chicago was not a success, the trip to Copenhagen did bring one of Mrs. O's most stunning style moments of the year. The first lady has improved perceptions of American culture abroad, in part, by projecting elegance and sophistication through her style. It is a powerful, smart use of fashion, purely embodied through the Rodarte dress and vintage pins below, worn as Mrs. O represented the United States on a world stage in Copenhagen.

Photos by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

#2 Peter Soronen Twilight Gown paired with a Tom Binns necklace for the National Governors' Association Dinner / February 22, 2009

The National Governors' Association Dinner happened to fall on the same night as the Oscars, and as one flicked from TV to laptop screen, it was hard to remember which was which. Mrs. O looked unlike any first lady had looked before in her sequined Peter Soronen corset gown, accessorized with ropes of crystals and pearls by Tom Binns. It was the perfect union of classic glamour and modern edge, and certainly one of the most exciting looks of the year.

Photo credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

#3 Isabel Toledo lemongrass dress and coat chosen for the inauguration / January 20, 2009

Many Americans were introduced to Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo on January 20, enchanted by her inaugural creation for our new first lady. Amidst a sea of navy and black wool winter coats, the eye was instantly drawn to Mrs. O's bold lemongrass hue, which projected an optimistic mood on the cold winter morning.

The ensemble in its entirety is an example of classic Mrs. O style. With the Isabel Toledo dress and coat, Mrs. O wore a Nina Ricci cardigan, a vintage pin from the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection at the collar, green Jimmy Choo heels and J.Crew leather gloves -- a mix of price points and aesthetics, and a fresh play on color.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

#4 Alaia dress worn for American Ballet Opening Night Spring Gala in New York City / May 18, 2009

Throughout the year, we saw the first lady embrace a wide range of fashion talent -- young, up and comers; established, mainstream labels; and a handful of lesser known, semi-couturiers. Significant among those is Azzedine Alaia, who has been described as the "last true couturier." Mrs. O publicly wore Alaia for the first time during the G-20 and NATO summits overseas in April. Soon following, she chose this frock, said to have been a long-time favorite in her closet, to wear to the American Ballet Opening in New York. The touch of sparkle and structured construction made it one of the best looks of the year.

Image via a kind, anonymous friend

#5 Violet Jason Wu dress with french knot embroidery, worn for a White House kitchen event / February 23, 2009

When seen from afar, one might perceive a simple, printed cocktail dress in this Jason Wu frock. But viewed up close, we discover thousand of hand embroidered knots, clustered in florets to create the pattern on the backdrop of violet fabric. As we whiz through glossy magazine pages, it's often easy to overlook the fine craftsmanship that goes into beautiful dresses. But we see a prime example of it here, offering an entirely new, substantive dimension to following the first lady's style.

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian


Oprah at the White House

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Plans this evening? "Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special," airs on ABC at 10PM EST tonight. If you missed the special, Oprah as posted clips to her YouTube channel, here.

Any ideas about who made Mrs. O's plum velvet dress?

Update: We have confirmation that this dress is another stunning creation by Azzedine Alaia.

What a lovely, incredibly flattering shilouette on the first lady. We do love the cut-out details on the sleeves and through the skirt. To accessorize, Mrs. O paired a double strand of pearls with a diamond floral brooch - the same worn with her Lanvin dress in Oslo last week.


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.


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.


Off to Oslo

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

The president and first lady are off to Oslo, Norway where the president will receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

For her overnight travel, Mrs. O has paired a cropped Alaia jacket (last seen in Prague) with black pants and boots. A red scarf adds a splash of color.

Image by Jewel Samad / Getty Images

Landing in Oslo, Mrs. O has changed ensembles, wearing a custom-made, lavender coat by Narciso Rodriguez with a coordinating lilac scarf and purple leather gloves. This combination is the same that the first lady wore during the inauguration, for a ceremony at Arlington Cemetery.


French Dressing


Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office

We are bending our own policy of not blogging about the little Os just a bit! WWD reports that Malia and Sasha O wore dresses by Dino e Lucia, a Paris-based childrenswear brand, for the first family's official portrait. Perhaps the dresses were picked out on their trip to Paris this summer?

Coupled with Mrs. O's Alaia dress, the first family's portrait certainly has a French sartorial influence! We applaud the first lady for supporting both American and international designers.

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