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


Entries in Ikram (9)


Ikram Goldman to Be Honored

WWD reports that Ikram Goldman, one of Mrs. O's key style advisors (though perhaps no longer, see here) and renowned Chicago retailer, will receive the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Legend of Fashion Award, presented by Sally Singer, editor of T: The New York Times Style magazine on May 5. Past recipients include Anna Sui, Nicole Miller and Maria Pinto.

Honoring Ikram [WWD]

Presidential Honor [Vogue UK]


The Influencer: Ikram Goldman

We know that Ikram Goldman, the Chicago-based boutique owner with the creative, discerning eye, is tops on Mrs. O’s list. After all, Ikram has been helping Mrs. O discover her inner chic self for years now. And the ever glamorous Ikram is tops on our favorite people list, too.

Now the current issue of Elle magazine names Mrs. G to its It List. Her moniker in the magazine: The Influencer. Elle rightly acknowledges that Ikram, with her inspired selection of designers and accessories, is helping show all American women how to dress. Let’s see: brooches; statement belts; bold color combinations—our closets couldn’t agree more.


Social Secretaries of Past and Present

Image of Letitia Baldrige courtesy of the J.F.K. Library / Public Domain

A few weeks after the election a Mrs. O regular recommended "A Lady, First," the memoirs of Letitia Baldrige, as a good read. The book chronicles Ms. Baldrige's time working in the American embassies of Paris and Rome as a young Vassar grad, and later, as White House Social Secretary during the Kennedy administration. The book was recommended with the thought that a look back might later reveal nuanced parallels or noteworthy differences as the "O"s set their own social and cultural agenda in the White House.

An excellent read it was, and since finishing, we've been increasingly curious about the role of White House Social Secretary - and now, the accomplished woman who has taken on the position for the Obama administration, Desiree Rogers. During a January 29 segment, NPR journalist Michelle Norris described Ms. Rogers's presence at the Lily Ledbetter White House reception:

"Somewhere in the background, a tall woman in a belted black velvet jacket was making sure everything was just so - from the yellow orchids on the tables to the apricot coffee cake. Her name is Desiree Rogers. She's the new White House social secretary responsible for planning events from state dinners to the annual Easter egg roll. She comes to the White House armed with a Harvard MBA, a long resume in the corporate world and a keen knowledge of the first family's tastes as a longtime member of their inner Chicago circle."

Speaking with NPR later in the segment, Ms. Rogers revealed what she doesn't want to be known as - the White House party planner. Foremost, she's concerned with building an overall strategy for events held at the White House, with the aim to build a greater sense of inclusiveness. On her agenda? A possible American Heroes dinner, a more diversified art collection, and a regular Wednesday night congressional cocktail hour.

In an interview with Vanity Fair this month, Ms. Rogers touched on the oft made comparisons to Camelot. “I don’t believe we are going to recreate Camelot,” she says. “Certainly there are very valuable lessons to learn from Camelot. Our hope is we will have our own administration…. The American people have spoken. They want new ideas.” Ms. Rogers’s goal, she says, is “to create an environment of inclusiveness so that all Americans feel like the White House is their home.” A woman as stylish as she is accomplished (we've read that, like the First Lady, Ms. Rogers is a longtime patron of Ikram) we look forward to tracking Ms. Rogers's broader influence, and of course, every ball, dinner and reception she plans for the White House.


The Inaugural Jewels

_MG_0727 Image via Flickr user dbking / Creative Commons From her beaming smile, to her crystal embellished Jason Wu gown, to her diamond jewelry, Mrs. O sparkled through and through at the Inaugural Ball. But despite a lifetime's worth of photography and video from the evening, the details of Mrs. O's inaugural jewelry have eluded us. We could never quite get a clear view of Mrs. O's diamond earrings, bracelets and cocktail ring. Thanks to the gracious people at Loree Rodkin, we can now take in every last stone. We first saw Mrs. O wear Loree Rodkin earrings on Election Night in November. Subsequently, Mrs. O turned to the designer for most of the jewelry she wore throughout the inauguration, including pieces she wore at the Lincoln Memorial Celebration, the Kids Inaugural Concert and finally the Inaugural Ball. In an interview with Firstwater News, Ms. Rodkin revealed the design instruction for the Inaugural Ball jewelry had been "pieces be all white with no color". She continued, "I wanted sparkle but no too glitzy. I wanted the jewelry to pop but not overwhelm." With that direction, Ms. Rodkin designed an exclusive, one-of-a-kind suite of jewelry for Mrs. O to wear for the Inaugural Ball, including the 61-carat white gold and triple rose cut diamond "Inaugural Earrings", 13-carat "Michelle Signet ring" crafted from white gold and black rhodium, and a set of white-gold bangles featuring 13 carats of diamonds. As Ms. Rodkin told Heard on the Runway, the jewelry was loaned to Mrs. O by the designer, arranged through Ikram Goldman, owner of Ikram in Chicago. Rodkin will donate the jewelry Mrs. O wore to the Inaugural Ball to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history. Along with Mrs. O's inaugural fashions, they will join the museum's "First Ladies" collection. When Rodkin was asked about the cost of creating the jewelry, which the designer herself absorbed, she said, "What greater honor could I have? My jewelry for all eternity is going to be part of history,” she said. “For me, it’s worth it.” She continues in her official press release: "It's a privilege to be a part of history. Today the country has new hope. The First Lady is a symbol of hope, courage and great style. I am honored that she has chosen my jewelry. Words cannot describe the emotions I feel that Michelle Obama has allowed me to be a part of this glorious moment." The Michelle Signet Ring: Image used with kind permission from Loree Rodkin More glorious diamond jewels after the jump: The Inaugural Earrings: The Inaugural Bangle Bracelets: Images used with kind permission from Loree Rodkin

Wearing History on a Historical Day

Image used courtesy of Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection

There was much talk yesterday about the pin at Mrs. O's neckline during the inauguration ceremony. Some thought it was a necklace; others called it a collar on the Isabel Toledo dress. It turns out the piece is a Victorian paste pin, once meant as a sash decoration. It came from Carole Tanenbaum, who offers a premiere collection of vintage costume jewelry. We love that Mrs. O would wear a historical piece on such a historical day!

On her blog, Tanenbaum, who is based in Toronto, writes that she acquired the pin through a Florida dealer who said it came from a Palm Beach estate. Tanenbaum has never seen another piece like it and she believes it was probably made in England. The sash pin was purchased by Ikram Goldman (profiled on this site in "The Mix is the Message") and, one and a half months prior to the inauguration; it was sent back to Tanenbaum so that one stone could be replaced.

We did predict just last week that we might see Mrs. O in some vintage pieces some day, but we had no idea that that thought would materialize so quickly. Mrs. O showed great style, mixing the new (Isabel Toledo) with the vintage. What a grace note of history!