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


Entries in Carolyn Rosenberg (2)


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.


A Fancy Feather

If you caught Mrs. O's interview on Larry King Live tonight, you likely noticed the fancy purple feather brooch Mrs. O wore at her collar. We've actually seen this brooch before, when Mrs. O spoke at a Washington D.C. luncheon for the National Partnership for Women and Families in June. The jewelry designer is Chicago-based Carolyn Rosenberg. The October issue of Vogue informs us that Rosenberg first started handcrafting brooches and necklaces as a hobby, using 1920s and '30s antique feathers and beads inherited from her great-aunt, a milliner. The designer has clearly turned hobby into booming business, as she's now stocked at the famed Ikram boutique in Chicago and has been worn by Mrs. O in primetime. As for Mrs. O's dress? We're going to say Maria Pinto. The neckline is very reminiscent of the Pinto design worn for the More magazine cover, and we know Mrs. O has been a fan of rich purple hues from Pinto before. Simply put, Mrs. O looked radiant tonight.

Date: October 8, 2008

Venue: Larry King Live interview