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


Entries in Ranjana Khan (4)


Mrs. O Goes Abroad

What is it about first ladies and travel abroad that excites us so? My initial interest in Jacqueline Kennedy could be summarized by an image of the first lady dressed in an Oleg Cassini apricot silk dress during a boat ride on Lake Pichola in India during March 1962. A print of said image was taped to my dorm room wall throughout college, always offering a sense of wanderlust for a time, place and style I did not know, but felt deeply inspired by. I've wondered how many moments captured this past week, as our First Lady Mrs. O charmed and enchanted India, might also take on a lasting, iconic effect.

The Obamas' recent trip to India and Indonesia represents the highest peak of traffic to this blog since the president and first lady traveled to Europe in April 2009. Prior to this trip, it seemed that public interest in Mrs. O's style had waned to some extent. "If you're tired of hearing about Michelle Obama's style, you're not alone," began a recent BlackBook Magazine story. Though the community here remains strong, the broader public seemed tired of a story that has been told and retold in the American media, most times superficially, to no end. Yet, this past week, in India, the fervor and excitement suddenly returned.

Mrs. O's wardrobe was undoubtedly a focal point of the trip overseas. Ensembles were thoughtfully chosen to suit occasions and mood, from somber to playful, casual to the utmost formal. Designers and aesthetics honored Indian and Indonesian culture, resulting in shining moments for American designers Rachel Roy and Ranjana Khan, both of Indian heritage. A lace tee from J.Crew offered accessibility, while back to back pieces from Belgian designer Dries Van Noten delivered an element of the unexpected. And, of course, there were pride-inducing moments of high glamour, as Mrs. O once again elevated the notion of American sophistication on a global stage.

Ultimately, though, the clothes played second fiddle this time. The moments that endeared and will endure were those when Mrs. O interacted with the children of India. Ballet flats came off for hopscotch; a dress felt less important as Mrs. O danced to Bollywood music. The first lady came to life in these moments, offering a profound display of her genuine nature and ability to galvanize. The clothes tell their own rich narrative, but the real power is in the woman who wears them. This is something we already knew, but never has it been more palpable. I'll leave you with a few favorite photographs taken by White House photographer Pete Souza.

P.S. The title of this post is inspired by Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad, a truly magical children's book. 

Official White House Photos by Pete Souza


Dressed for Dinner

Images by Jason Reed / Reuters

The president and first lady are attending a state dinner at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia this evening. Consistent with Mrs. O's approach to style throughout this overseas trip, the ikat-like fabric of the first lady's Derek Lam dress appears to be a thoughtful nod to the culture of her host country. Per Indonesia Now, there are at least 6,000 distinctively different designs of ikat (pronounced ee-kaht per a bit of blog research) across the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, ranging from the abstract to the realistic. A gorgeous Bib necklace by Ranjana Khan completed the state dinner look.  

P.S. Seated next to Mrs. O in the bottom photo is Indonesia's former president Megawati Sukarnoputri.


A Most Gorgeous Dinner Jacket 

Image via The Obama Diary

The president and first lady dined at the Prime Minister of India's residence this evening, where Mrs. O wore a richly embroidered jacket paired with black pants and a tassel necklace. 

An exciting tidbit! The first lady wears a necklace by Ranjana Khan, from the designer's Fall 2010 Art Deco collection. The necklace features black silk cord with a gold and silver medallion and silver chain fringe. 

Update: Mrs. O's jacket is Dries Van Noten, from the designer's Fall 2010 collection, seen here.


Honoring Youth Arts

Top image by J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photos; Bottom image by Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

The first lady held a White House event today to honor recipients of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. Robin Givhan of the Washington Post has a write-up of the event, here.

For the occasion, Mrs. O wore a carmine viscose jersey dress from Calvin Klein Collection, Pre-Spring 2010. We last saw this dress when Mrs. O welcomed the president and first lady of Mexico in May, here.

Today the dress received a punch of pink, accesorized with salmon pink heels and another gorgeous necklace. Mrs. O is certainly on a hot streak with the statement necklace!

Update: Thanks to reader 'shellecm' who reports that the first lady's necklace is Ranjana Khan (also wife of designer Naeem Khan!). Indeed, the necklace appears to originate from the jewelry designer's Spring 2010 collection, profiled in W, here.