Sunday, January 18, 2009

Presidential Grace

AP Photo

In honor of the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009, Vogue’s devoted editors published an article focused on the next First Family. Vogue ran a similar tribute to President Kennedy, published in January of 1961. Our new, long awaited Presidential change parallels that of 1961; changes represent necessity and unveil refreshing, uplifting excitement: “Change is about making choices, but choosing change for the good is an expression of our humanity.”

Michelle Obama—the next Jackie O?
Effortlessly clean lines and easy solid colors, wide-legged pant suits and fitted blazers, 3-strand pearls and oversized sunglasses: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis changed the dress code for a politician’s wife. Mrs. Kennedy recognized the changing times—in the political and the fashion world alike—and she refused to be stuck in the past.
The First Lady represents iconicity, modernism, and societal authority.

Enter Michelle Obama, always a lady first.
Michelle’s accomplishments in the political and cultural world are more than impressive, it is a wonder style fits into her schedule at all. She has a natural, easy mode of dress and a profound grasp on fashion codes; for example, Michelle Obama will wear a loud, over-sized necklace paired with a simplistic, streamlined dress. Michelle will pull off a ubiquitous, chain-store wardrobe piece by adding a personal touch—a family heirloom brooch or a favorite, one-of-a-kind necklace. Our next First Lady is risky, too—we all remember the famous Narciso Rodriguez black-and-red dress she sported on Election Night, opening the doors for at least four years of White House style scouting.

Michelle Obama’s closet is full of diverse patterns, strong colors, and flattering, feminine shapes that exude all the confidence, sophistication, and fearlessness a First Lady must embody. To incorporate Michelle Obama’s Presidential Style into your own wardrobe, take the following hints:

American Designers are a Class Act:
Buy American-Designed Dresses that include Cultural Zing
Michelle Obama supports forthcoming American designers. On the Obama campaign trail, she was spotted wearing Isabel Toledo, Thakoo, Peter Soronen, Tracy Feith, Jason Wu, and Tom Binns—just to name a few. Her support for these designers is fabulous—many are first-generation Americans, and find inspiration by combining their families past culture and heritage with their new, American lifestyle. “She could’ve worn anybody,” says designer Isabel Toledo, “but she chose to wear a dress made by a Latina, and made in the U.S. So she chose to support the industry here.”
*Michelle’s necklace by Irish-born jewelry artist, Tom Binns is another example of her impeccable style—cross-cultural (yet still home-grown U.S.A.).

Floral Prints:
Choose Feminine, Fierce Floral Prints
Michelle Obama knows that flattering, floral prints are feminine. These prints possess a certain “Winter Garden”/”Midwinter Resort” vibe, and their vivid colors and streamlined shapes flatter strong, muscular—yet lady-like—physiques. Opt for a retro cut, an easy route to sophistication. Colors like red and purple will send out confident vibes, too.
*Michelle’s own popular, floral dress was designed by Thakoon.

Solid, Bold Colors:
Wear a monochromatic color to highlight natural beauty
For those who still need convincing of either Michelle Obama’s sense of style or her choices of designers—she has worn a less-ballsy, ridiculously gorgeous Narciso Rodriguez, solid ice-breaker-blue dress that dissipates all qualms regarding the controversial, red-and-black number. Michelle Obama recognizes the power of a single, fabulous color. Choose your own monochromatic outfit that flatters your skin tone and highlights your natural beauty.
*Another fantastic color-moment from the First Lady—Maria Pinto’s purple dress. Michelle’s shapely, in-shape, hourglass figure stood out in this regal-colored dress.

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