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First Lady Fashion

  Many Americans anxious to see Michelle's choice of inaugural gown this year were pleased to discover she chose an outfit from the American designer Thom Browne.  

The president’s second inauguration is obviously an event on the minds of many Americans as the New Year begins, however, the special event is more than just another public appearance for the first family when it comes to fashion. In the case of the first lady Michelle Obama, the inauguration represents an important opportunity to present her own sense of style and fashion as most of the women in this country have been extremely interested to see exactly what she wears on this historic occasion. The choice of fashion the first lady chooses is also a hugely important moment for the first lady's dress designer, and is considered a potential “make or break” event in the life of a successful designer. The first lady will make multiple public appearances on inauguration day beginning with the swearing-in ceremony and continuing throughout the day into the night when she will be attending several gala balls as well.

The dress Mrs. Obama chose to wear on her husband’s first inauguration day four years ago is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum where it has become one of the most popular exhibits. It is a long-standing tradition that the dress worn by the first lady on inauguration day is exhibited in the nation’s most famous museum, and today, all the other first lady's first inauguration gowns dating back to 1829 are all on display at the Smithsonian.

This year, the women of the first family are relying on home-grown American designers for their inauguration day apparel. According to official White House reports, the First Lady chose a navy blue Thom Browne designed coat and dress made of a type of fabric that is loosely based on the design of a men's silk tie. The First Lady’s cardigan sweater came from designer Reed Krakoff, her belt and shoes are from J. Crew, and her necklace is a piece designed by Cathy Waterman. The famous first children, Malia and Sasha, also wore fashions from American designers this year with Malia sporting a J. Crew outfit and overcoat, and Sasha wore a deep blue coat and dress from American designer Kate Spade.

The moment when America finally gets to see Mrs. Obama’s choice of attire for the second inauguration is also the moment when the designer of one of the most highly visible gowns in the world receives instant and international recognition. Michelle’s stylish American-designed Thom Browne dress and coat will now become a permanent part of American history with a permanent home in the National Archives at the Smithsonian Museum.

Image courtesy of Glyn Lowe Photoworks


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