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


Entries in Maria Pinto (29)


Maria Pinto's Rococo Influence

Dress fom Maria Pinto's Fall 2009 Collection; Photo used with kind permission from Glamour.com

In New York this past week to present her Fall 2009 collection, Chicago-based designer (and Mrs. O fave) Maria Pinto revealed her inspiration to the New York Daily News: "Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730 - 2008", the exhibit on display last year at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. The exhibit celebrated the rococo style movement, an aesthetic that "infused design objects with a sinuous, organic and sensuous impulse". 

Such an influence was evident in Pinto's Fall collection, which includes clothes that as the designer described, "fit in one area of the body, releasing to certain volume in another area." Our favorite example is the dress above: a fitted, contour hugging sheath from the front, with an unexpected bustle dramatically draped at the back. While many designers turn to a black-centric palette in hard economic times (for its versatility and buy-ability), not Ms. Pinto.

Her latest collection brings a healthy dose of the rich, bold hues she's become know for - and that our First Lady seems to love so much. When Glamour magazine editor Tracey Lomrantz asked the designer if she had any hesitation about "using such beautifully saturated colors, given the economy and people's tendency to want to tone things down?", the designer replied, "No, exactly the opposite! We all have enough black clothes in our closets. If you're going to buy something now, buy something you really love that makes a statement."

There has, of course, been bit of noise regarding the absence of Ms. Pinto's designs in the Inaugural wardrobe. But we should make no mistake, Ms. Pinto is still a prominent design force in the First Lady's closet. By our count, Mrs. O has worn at least two Maria Pinto dresses in her first weeks at the White House. In fact, the red Vonda dress that Mrs. O wore at Howard University last week was from this very collection. On the subject of the First Lady, Ms. Pinto shared these kind words with Glamour:  "It's wonderful to dress a woman with integrity and intellect, who stands for so much."

WWD has a slideshow of 10 looks from Maria Pinto's Fall 2009 collection, here. Glamour has several additional images, including more of the fabulous dress above, here.


Shaping Young Minds (and Style)

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

First Lady Mrs. O made an appearance at Howard University today, speaking to a sold out auditorium of 250 students. As part of an event billed "Home, Work, Community: The Role of the African American Women As Change Agents," the First Lady touched on one of the issues she has professed to care most about - work and family balance.

"...and the one thing -- the one message that I have is for all of you struggling with this issue, is just remember there is no right answer. It took me a long time to figure that out. There is no one right way to do any of this. And the choices and the decisions will change, given your circumstances...."

For the event, First Lady Mrs. O was elegantly dressed in a scarlet red sheath dress. We've confirmed this is the Vonda dress from Chicago designer Maria Pinto's Fall 09 collection. To read Mrs. O's full remarks, click here.


Mrs. O Dines in Style 

Mrs. O lunched with Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, his wife Michelle, and Jill Biden this afternoon at Georgia Brown's, a D.C. restaurant known for its traditional Southern classics. Our ever stylish First Lady was dressed in a medley of blues, including a stunning portrait collar overcoat in light blue herringbone tweed. Underneath she wore a cornflower blue dress with an asymmetrical draped neckline, paired with a blue green cardigan and royal blue patent leather belt to cinch her waist. The Huffington Post has a great slideshow of photos here. As "doreen" has observed in the comments, this look is another stand-out example of Mrs. O's masterful wardrobe remixing. We saw the same belt and cardigan as part of a more dressed down look as Mrs. O volunteered for the National Day of Service. Her shoes, we believe, are the same Jimmy Choo "Glacier" pumps she wore on Inauguration Day. Jimmy Choo pumps aside, this remains quite the mystery look. An afternoon of research did not reveal the designer. Any tips (anonymous or otherwise) would be most appreciated. UPDATE: A source reveals that this ensemble was the work of Mrs. O's hometown designer, Maria Pinto. In fact, we've confirmed that the coat is J. Crew! Further, we've now confirmed that Mrs. O wore Maria Pinto's Ella Dress, hand-made from Prussian cashmere. The dress is part of Maria Pinto's Fall 2009 collection.


Sneaking a Peek

Michelle Obama Gives an Autograph

Photo used with kind permission from Nevada for Health Care

We think Mrs. O looks lovely in this ribbon-embroidered organza overtop she wore last year in Nevada. Combined with the shiny pewter tank underneath, the top gives her face an extra glow. The tiger eye stone earrings, circled in gold, complete the burnished look.  These kinds of luxurious metallic neutrals could provide a regal look for Mrs. O's inaugural gown. But we won't know until the evening of January 20th what she will be wearing to the ten official Inauguration Balls.

Until then, though, it is possible to get a sneak peek at what other people will be wearing to the festivities.  The site Dress Registry is a handy way for women to record details about what gown (including designer name, color, length, and neckline) they plan to wear to which inauguration fete. Sometimes a photo of the dress is also posted.    Every Inauguration Ball is listed on this site and, so far, we see dresses ranging from Badgley Mischka, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana to ABS and H&M. We love fashion democracy and what better evening for it to shine than inauguration night.


Mrs. O: 2008 in Review

Mrs. O sits atop many a "Year in Review" list, including ours of course. To close out the year, we thought we'd highlight our top 5 Mrs. O style moments of 2008. And in the spirit of fashion democracy, please be sure to add in your picks too.  

#1: A Thakoon Finale When asked what made us decide to start this site, we always point to the DNC. Mrs. O's wardrobe through the course of the DNC week was a true inspiration. And no moment was greater than on the final night, when Mrs. O dazzled in Thakoon's floral Radzimir silk dress, worn with a trio of Erickson Beamon brooches pinned at the neckline. Thakoon and Erickson Beamon were just two of the new designer names Mrs. O introduced to the American public this fall. Obama/Biden Photo used with kind permission from photographer Bill Burke, Page One Photography

#2: The Belted Sheath Wearing her favorite hometown designer and the color of the year, Mrs. O made a signature style statement in her purple Maria Pinto sheath dress as Mr. O clinched the Democratic Primary in June. While the stylish sheath dress deserved praise in its own right, fashion heads really turned when it was revealed that Mrs. O's waist cinching black belt, a regular accessory in her campaign trail wardrobe, was an Alaia.  If ever it had been doubted, it was now clear that Mrs. O was a woman with an astute appreciation for fashion and style. 07 obama and michelle closeupPhoto used with kind permission from photographer kayakbiker2000

#3: Making History in Narciso Rodriguez Mrs. O's election night dress was quite the polarizing force. Fashion critics revered it, while much of the public expressed a strong distaste. No matter what your opinion, it's a dress and a moment we're bound to remember for the rest of our lives, one which will leave a permanent stamp on our social history. The designer of this red and black frock was Narciso Rodriguez. Mrs. O turned to Rodriguez for several high profile appearances throughout the campaign, and we expect him to a be a regular in her White House wardrobe as well. 20081104_Chicago_IL_ElectionNight1530 Photo credit: Flickr user Barack Obama via Jeffrey Katz for Obama for America / Creative Commons

#4: The Bow Debate The More magazine cover earns a spot on our list in part because of its backstory. While Mrs. O looks lovely in a punchy pink Maria Pinto dress, adorned with a purple satin bow, and complemented by her enviably toned arms, it's what happened behind the scenes that made the greatest style statement. Understandably, More was after a knockout cover shot for their October issue. In the midst of the mounting economic crisis, Mrs. had a slightly less glamorous, but more fiscally responsible H&M dress in mind. Ultimately, the two sides compromised, agreeing that Mrs. O would wear a dress she already owned, direct from her personal closet. On the day of the shoot, however, a new style issue arose: the bow. More wanted to drop it, Mrs. O wanted it to stay. A woman with a strong sense of her own style, Mrs. O prevailed. The bow was kept, adding a distinctly personal and feminine touch to Mrs. O's cover look. 

Photograph by Matthew Rolston

#5: The Face of Fashion Democracy We debated whether Mrs. O's J. Crew ensemble from her Tonight Show appearance or this H&M dress worn on the campaign trail in late September should garner our final pick. One way or another, Mrs. O's championing of high-low fashion certainly deserved a nod in our top 5. At just $34.90, this H&M striped dress, accessorized with a black patent leather belt, won out. If ever there was a moment that Mrs. O proved true style has very little to do with a price tag, it was here. DSC_0659

Photo credit: Flickr User Barack Obama / Creative Commons

And there you have our top 5 Mrs. O style moments for 2008. Though hard to choose, each one says something distinct about Mrs. O's style. We will wait with bated breath to see what sartorial delights Mrs. O will deliver in 2009, perhaps the most exciting to come in January. Here's to a fantastic year and our modern style icon in the making, our future first lady, Mrs.O.