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


Entries in Narciso Rodriguez (73)


Must Read Mrs. O

It's taken us three days to comb through all of the post-Inauguration Mrs. O press coverage, but we've finally narrowed our "must-reads" to the list below. We have to admit, we're feeling quite charmed by Isabel Toledo's lemongrass coat and dress for Mrs. O (as was the intent), so you may see the coverage lean in her favor. We've probably missed a few good articles, so please feel free to post your recommended reading in the comments section. The Associated Press: "Michelle Obama's Dress: What color was it really?"

"'I called it lemon grass because it's not yellow, it's not green,' designer Isabel Toledo said in an interview Tuesday. The fact that colors on textiles can take on changing tones is an important element when making clothes, she said. 'It gives the wearer and the viewer much more of an individualized experience.'"

WWD: "Pomp, Circumstance and Celebs"

"Isabel Toledo said she was pleased the First Lady was willing to go with lemongrass, 'a hopeful color that is so to the core of the beginning of things.' 'It could have been blue, red and more in keeping with tradition, but I really felt we could do something different,' said Toledo."

New York Magazine: "Picture Windows"

A 2006 feature gives us a look at the magical Manhattan loft and workspace that designer Isabel Toledo shares with her illustrator husband, Ruben.

New York Times: "The First Lady, in Ivory and Vivid Yellow, Tells a Story With Fashion" (and bonus video narrated by Cathy Horyn)

"Invoking another president with a glamorous wife—that would be, maybe, John F. Kennedy? — President Obama told military guests at the Commander in Chief Ball last night, 'I have the special honor of being the guy who accompanied Michelle Obama to the ball.'"

(For background on Cathy Horyn's reference - in a May 1961 trip to Paris, President John F. Kennedy famously said, “I do not think it altogether inappropriate to introduce myself…I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.”)

Washington Post: "All Hail the Leader of the Fashionable World"

"[Mrs. O] has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy, the last first lady to so thoroughly embrace style as a form of communication. Much is made of the fact that they both wore sleek, sleeveless dresses and had an affection for pearls. But the real similarities may be in the way they used clothes to set a tone for their husbands' administrations."

"As her husband's administration promises more jobs and help for small-business owners, and emphasizes creativity as one of this country's greatest assets, Obama's choice of an iconoclastic, immigrant female designer with a modest business sends a profound message of intent."

The Huffington Post: Michelle O: Fashion Provocateur?

Finally, we'll end with a YouTube video via The Huffington Post that chronicles Creative Director Simon Doonan's impromptu reworking of the Barney's New York window displays in honor of designer Isabel Toledo and our new First Lady, Mrs. O.

Update: Adding one more "must read" that provides more background on the fast rising designer Jason Wu. New York Times: "The Spotlight Finds the Designer Jason Wu"


Mrs. O Steps Out in Washingto

We Are One

Photo by Kevin Mazur for the Presidential Inaugural Committee / Creative Commons

We try to refrain from gushing, but on this occasion we find it more difficult. As Mrs. O walked down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for this afternoon's celebration, the reality that she will be our First Lady finally sunk in. In her style today, we saw a subtle shift befitting of her new role - was it possible that she looked even more impossibly elegant and polished than ever before? For today's celebration, Mrs. O wore a thoroughly well-styled ensemble in camel and black. Her black top sparkled with beaded embellishment radiating from the neckline, and was paired with a camel color knee-length wool skirt. A signature black belt added definition at the waist. Mrs. O's look was topped by a long black scarf and camel color wool coat that coordinated with her skirt. Her coat also brought an unexpected detail - a black lining - that drew the eye in and seamlessly blended with her black top and scarf. Black leather gloves, patent leather kitten heels and long sparkling earrings added polished touches to what was overall, an incredibly cohesive and memorable look. A quote in the current issue of Time from designer Thakoon Panichgul was evoked instantly when we saw Mrs. O this afternoon:

"She is someone with authority and style that people can look up to," says Panichgul. "It's a new way of looking at fashion ... this is about confidence, power and intellect. It's about something more real."

And on that note, we will spend the rest of the evening celebrating you, Mrs. O, and your truly remarkable family. Perhaps this goes without saying, but we look forward to the next several days with unbridled excitement. Today confirmed at least one thing for sure - a tastemaker and style icon, you already are. Update: The LA Times reveals that Mrs. O's ensemble yesterday was the work of Narciso Rodriguez, the same designer responsible for her fashion forward, though somewhat controversial red and black election night dress. Mrs. O has a long history with the designer, wearing his clothes throughout the campaign and notably, for her 2007 photoshoot with Vogue. While we assume yesterday's ensemble was a custom creation, the coat, in particular, appears most inspired by this look from the designer's Fall 2007 RTW collection. The contrast of the ivory wool and interior black lining creates a similar graphic effect to yesterday's camel and black combination. Booth Moore of the LA TImes described Mrs. O's look as "strong, elegant and above all modern." The Presidential Inaugural Committee has released photos from Sunday's events on Flickr. The Huffington Post also has a great slideshow of Mrs. O's recent looks, including close-up images that better show the "sparkle" detail of her top. And per the LA Times, Mrs. O was indeed wearing Loree Rodkin earrings for yesterday's celebration (as suggested by our own Mrs. C in the comments section!)


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.


Must Read Mrs. O

A peek inside the January 2009 issue of Vogue

On this frigid weekend in the Northeast, Mrs. O and family have returned to Hawaii for a final retreat before they make their way to Washington. And while the world eagerly awaits the Inauguration, the Mrs. O media frenzy continues.

A few of this week's highlights:

The Washington Post: Gown & Country Robin Givhan, The Washington Post's Fashion Editor, brings us more Inaugural designs from Rachel Roy, Kevan Hall, Doo-Ri Chung, Derek Lam, Tracy Reese, Marchesa, Lyn Devon and Peter Som. While there are a few repeats from the WWD sketches, several of these new additions seem to better embody Mrs. O's signature style. The Rachel Roy asymmetrical gown in ivory silk crepe is perhaps our favorite to date - a sophisticated, modern look for a modern First Lady. The Inaugural design craze doesn't stop here. The Washington Post is taking it a step further, inviting readers to submit their own designs. The grand prize? Robin Givhan's favorite design will appear in the Post's Style section. Layo G., we see you were one of the first to submit a design. Congrats and best of luck!

L.A. Times: A lesson in Thakoon economics From the moment Mrs. O wore Thakoon's floral frock for the final night of the DNC, we've been anticipating the arrival of the designer's lower-priced line for Target. This weekend, the L.A. Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore gave the upcoming Thakoon for Target collection a compelling review. Noting similarities to Thakoon's runway collection, even writing that "Thakoon ripped off Thakoon", fans will have good reason to visit Target on December 28. But the biggest question: Will Mrs. O wear pieces from the line as well? What a coup for high-low fashion that would be.

Vogue, January 2009 The arrival of this glossy paged gem always puts us in a good mood, and January's issue doesn't disappoint. A special feature section in tribute to our new president-elect includes a series of beautiful portraits by Annie Leibovitz. The caption for a striking photograph of Mrs. O reveals it was taken during the June 2007 shoot for Vogue. Mrs. O wears the same Narciso Rodriguez gown seen in the image used for Paris Match, though here it appears in an azure blue and is paired with a sapphire blue wrap. We also took note of the caption's title, "A Lady First", which rang familiar but took a minute to place. It's the title of the excellent memoir by Letitia Baldrige, an accomplished businesswoman who was also Jackie Kennedy's White House social secretary. There is one paragraph from the Vogue feature that we must share here. It offers a succinct, insightful perspective on the frequent comparison to the Kennedys:

"The obvious comparison here is to Camelot. But that would be a mistake. In the matter of iconicity and cultural authority, the Obamas have no need to look backward. On the contrary. Nevertheless, this tribute to the new president and his family echoes a tribute to President Kennedy published in Vogue on January 1, 1961. It's hard to believe that it's been almost 50 years since the country felt so inspired, so happy to look ahead."

Finally we'll end with a new CNN video that covers the Inaugural fashion buzz and takes us inside Maria Pinto's Chicago boutique. (The video also gives this site a brief and much appreciated mention. Thank you CNN!)


Aloha Mrs. O

Obama + MKH + LO + Michelle

Photo used with kind permission from Flickr user mazieforcongress

On a frigid Sunday morning in December, thoughts of a tropical getaway make for a warm and welcome winter escape. Thus, we happily visit a photograph taken last August as the future first couple returned to Mr. O's childhood home state of Hawaii for a short vacation. Attending a campaign fundraiser in Honolulu (it wasn't all vacay it seems), we're told Mrs. O was very appropriately dressed in "aloha attire".

As one would imagine, the style on Oahu and all of Hawaii is decidedly island casual. But while casual, yes, Mrs. O delivered with a dose of her usual effortless chic. We've come not to expect anything less. Wearing a printed sundress from Narciso Rodriguez's Resort 2008 collection, with her hair pulled back from her face and just the right touches of diamond sparkle, Mrs. O looked fresh-faced and youthful. The gray on white print, perhaps ginkgo leaf-inspired, was distinctive without being loud or overwhelming.

And as our friend Cara, a resident of Oahu, so perfectly assessed, "Mrs. O wore her 'aloha style' with confidence and grace." We'll second that. After the election night polarizer, there's nary been a Mrs. O style conversation that didn't mention Narciso Rodriguez's name. Seen in clothes from Rodriguez's Spring 2009, Resort 2008 and Fall 2007 collections (and those are just the ones we've identified), we do love Mrs. O's consistency and loyalty to her favorite designers - a title which Narciso Rodriguez has certainly earned. Here's looking forward to more Mrs. O and Rodriguez pairings, "Aloha style", White House or otherwise.

Date: August 12, 2008

Event: President-elect Barack Obama with Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, Leighton Oshima and Mrs. O, Obama campaign fundraiser, Honolulu, Hawaii