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Michelle Obama chooses Jason Wu for inaugural balls

Michelle Obama inauguration gown

Another young American designer and up-and-coming talent. Wu is 26 years old, was born in Taiwan and studied at Parsons in New York. The gown is an unusual choice. Obama is wearing white in the winter and white at night. (President Obama's white bow tie and tux combo is even more unusual.) The gown could even be a wedding dress. But Michelle Obama is rewriting the fashion rules and she looks every inch the style icon she is becoming. The one-shouldered style is sexy and the powdery hue reflects the trends we saw on the Golden Globes red carpet. And won't it look nice in the Smithsonian alongside the other first lady gowns?

--Booth Moore

Related:

Michelle Obama's inauguration wardrobe reviewed

Who's Jason Wu? The designer of Michelle Obama's gown

Photos: First ladies' inauguration gowns

Should Michelle Obama borrow clothes and jewels like a celeb? Nancy Reagan couldn't.

Michelle Obama chose Jimmy Choo’s green 'Glacier' pump for Inauguration Day ensemble
 

Photo: Elise Amendola/ Associated Press

 
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I love Michelle but thought her gown tonight was really disappointing.

It reminds me of a prom gown and does not due her justice.

WHITE HOT!!! 10 points and then some...Michelle looked every inch a model and a First Lady. Stunning.

That is a gorgeous dress! How could it not be. However, I always want to say, "Michelle, don't slouch! shoulders BACK!" Her posture is not as good as her taste and style. One classy lady I look forward to watching! She dresses her kids well, too!

She's lovely tonight. A simple, elegant, almost youthful surprise. And I hope she's comfortable! No glam, an appropriate sign of the times.

I didn't particularly like the dress - especially the train as he almost stepped on it while they danced.

Michelle's wardrobe for the inaguration and ball was absolutely horrible. She needs to take tips from Jill Biden on the appropriate way to dress to show style, elegance, class and sophistication. Why does she always have to have such "busy" outfits? Her day ensemble was more for a cocktail hour and not warm enough for the event. Her formal is hideous. It didn't fit her and didn't do a thing for her shape. Beyonce's gown made Michelle's look like something straight off the Goodwill rack. Jill Biden's gown was beautiful on the other hand. President Obama looked ridiculous with the white bow tie.

I agree. Today's Maize dress was beautiful. But, I think I wore tonight's dress at my Prom. Was so looking forward to seeing a WOW. Love Michelle and Obama. Its OK -- there will be more to come -- thank goodness!

This dress is HORRIBLE!! It is soo NOT Chic! Mrs Obama is way too upscale for this BackYard, BarnYard Wedding Dress!! It does nothing for her figure and makes her "Statuesque Body" look flat and shapeless. Love the Color; Hate the Style. Sorry Mrs O., You looked Better on the VIEW!

I would have put her in crimson or cranberry (deep pinkish red) like she wore the DNC night that he accepted the nomination. She looked washed out in this white gown.

Lessons from Jill Biden? hahahaha Brassy blond hair that looks dry and fly away, with a tomatoe red coat ABOVE her old knees, and black leather boots? YUK. Michelle is classy, forward, modern and HIP. MICHELLE is FABULOUS.

Not a great dress--and vaguley reminiscent of Nancy Reagan's white? silver" inaugural gown...

I was uncomfortable about her day dress today; too busy with lace, rhinestones, sequins, and ribbons, though I love the story of the designer and the women who sewed the dress. Perhaps that is why she chose to wear it.
I was pleased that she kept tonight's gown simple and I was hoping it would be white, as she looks beautiful in simple, white, column gowns. She is striking in her features, coloring, hair, stature; she doesn't need a lot of adornment and jewlery because she is already strikingly attractive and so full of animation and life whatever she does. I can understand the gown being reminiscent of someone's prom but I found it infinitely more tasteful than the beaded extravaganzas of both Bush inaugurals that were reminiscent of the old Madam in LaGrange, Texas. Nancy Reagan's off the shoulder was a pretty dress but it hung on her like on a skeleton and she looked awful.

While we may be disappointed in some of Micelle's choices of dress, one thing seems clear. No matter what she wears, her face, her spirit, her essence is clear and it is quite beautiful.

Jill Biden's ball dress looked like a cheap hollywood attraction for golden globes, too revealing and not modest enough, not covered enough, and too bright red for her brassy hair. She needs to be more covered. This is an inagural ball, not a hollywood event.

I loved the dress she wore today but not the ball gown - boring.

I was more disappointed in Jill Biden's day outfit. It did not look appropriate for the occasion, sort of thrown together, and I cannot stand to see women's legs bare when wearing boots. She had a mini, cap sleeved dress under that short red coat, long boots and bare knees. Regretful. Looked like she was going to work; but wherever she was going, she should have had either a longer length dress and coat with the boots or black leggins. I haven't seen her ball gown.

I was more disappointed in Jill Biden's day outfit. It did not look appropriate for the occasion, sort of thrown together, and I cannot stand to see women's legs bare when wearing boots. She had a mini, cap sleeved dress under that short red coat, long boots and bare knees. Regretful. Looked like she was going to work; but wherever she was going, she should have had either a longer length dress and coat with the boots or black leggins. I haven't seen her ball gown.

This gown looks like a chenille bedspread. Expected more from someone who is being classified as a "style" icon.

I thought Michelle did okay today. However tonight, she should have went back home and started over. Not elegant, flattering, it was horrible. I hope in the future she will enlist the help of Oprah. She can pull together a more appropriate look.

The dress that Michelle wore for the inauguration looked like my grandmother's curtains in sun room. The gown worn for the ball was ill-fitting and unflattering to her and made her very ashen. I saw Mrs. Biden once and thought she looked very cold in the weather and the hair has to go.

Michelle's lace day outfit was lined with an off-white lining so from afar it seemed to glitter. However, she had some bling too. She is physically fit and she looked good in it. Was it WOW. No! But that's Okay.

She looked beautiful and elegant in her white gown. Two very, very rich women (Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy) wore white years ago, no one said any thing about that. Michelle is helping up and coming designers to be famous, instead of over indulging by wearing Amarni and Valentino. They are practising what they preach about over spending and change.

She looked very lovely.

Jackie Kennedy wore white on inauguration night.

I liked her inAug outift but dont like her dress. The train seems 2 be 2 long as when she is dancing she keeps gathering it so Barack can spin/turn her around.

Excellent Choice! - Not too regal...definately not "off the rack"..a clever balancing act....you go girl!!!!

what an anti-climax....to the hype and expectations....of someone who likes to dress....this dress had too many frills, flowers, not elegant nor sexy, her shoulders were so slouched that she looked unlady like....so not Michelle....Jackie Kennedy still rulez!

Yuck, yuck, and yuck! The gold/green/yellow brocade looking disaster she wore this morning was bad, and the white one-shoulder number was all wrong. I like it when the Obama family is color-coordinated, but today it was a mismatched mistake. Unfortunately Michelle showed all the style savvy of Queen Elizabeth -- not good.

Mrs. Obama, you are no Jackie Kennedy.

I don't know who your stylist is, but they should be fired. Maybe Carla Bruni or Beyonce could hook you up with a good one.

The green gloves and shoes definately did not go with that cocktail dress you wore to brunch time Inauguaral were tragically mismatched. I don't care if they were Jimmy Choos they didn't go with that awful dress.

And the white gown looked my prom gown.

I wish the press would quit comparing the Obamas to the Kennedys. There is absolutely no style comparison. none nada get over it.

Everyone is a critic? The most important part of this whole thing is that they were both smiling and so was I. Plus, I agree that they are helping spread the word on other designers

Yikes! How can you give an opinion on a dress when you don't even know your colors? That gown was not white...

She looked beautiful and comfortable. Historically, I think that is rare.

The dress was elegant and so is Mrs. Obama. It was subtle, feminine, chic, and elegant with a womanly cut and the texture added softness and a warm feel. The one strap shoulder was done in an extraordinarily outstanding manner, the shape of it and it's fit, thickness and all, added warmth and coverage while being revealing in a womanly manner. Thank God she didn't try to be "sexy" like Jill Biden, who instead looked cheap and loud. The hollywood slut look with skin hanging everywhere has to be the most gross, crude thing that ever happened to women. Thank God Michelle Obama stays away from the slut styles entirely and dresses in a manner of womanliness and class, not trash.

I don't care for either dress. They both fitted Mrs. Obama poorly, and lacked any elegance. I know that Mrs. Obama is trying to stay away from expensive couture things by de La Renta, Balenciaga, Herrera, Chanel, etc.

However, the designers that she chose do not seem to know how to cut and drape the fabrics to flatter her tall figure. The inauguration dress with the busy rhinestone neck trim paired with the garish green shoes by Jimmy Choo looked cheap and ill-fitting. The wedding dress that she wore for the Neighborhood Ball was almost a travesty in its sloppy cut, silhouette and lack of movement. Mrs. Obama has good intentions, but she deserves better than these mediocre designers.

Jill looked FANTASTIC. Don't forget she's only 4 years younger than Hillary Clinton and 5 years younger than Laura Bush, yet neither one of them could pull off the young and daring, yet classy and appropriate looks Jill pulled off today. Those boots during the parade?? You go, girl.

If you can't say something nice . . .

I really liked Michelle Obama’s ‘day look’ for the inauguration. Very chic, a wonderful color, interesting fabric. Applause. However, for the evening festivities, her choice of that white prom dress style was a complete disaster. I think she may have realized it too, only realized it too late in the game. She has a fantastic and muscular physique, so a frilly prom dress (clearly too long and obviously impossible to dance in) was very distracting and not very flattering. Every five seconds she was fussing with or tried to fling the fabric away. It did not suit the occasion or her at all. The bodice of that gown also fit her strangely and the off the shoulder strap was angled in such a way that it made the silhouette seem even more ill-fitting. Two thumbs down on that one!!

if michele and barak obama were happy with their attire
this evening, so am I. Michele looked lovely,carried herself
very stately. They enjoyed the evening and that is all that
matters. We are not critics. We are observers. There
are times those close to us do not like some of our styles.
But, do we care. If we bought it and are happy with it, so
what. Michele,remember,be yorself at all times.

Her gown tonight made her look too heavy and "fluffy." The main problem is that it was not functional. This was supposed to be a ball gown. HELLO -- you are supposed to be able to dance in a ball gown!

I'm an educator in fashion design, and I give it C-. Every single shot of the First Lady on television showed her fiddling with the dress. She shouldn't have to tug on it all night long. Form, function and fashion must work together.

Michelle Obama needs a real dresser, somebody who can put her together right. Her day outfit's color was hideous, and I'd rather not get into much detail about how tacky her white gown looked. She needs clothes that are right for her body - and she rareliy looks well put-together. Wrong cut, color, patterns.

The only outfit of the day I liked was the yellow wool lace ensemble - to appreciate it, you needed to see the fabric in high definition. Jill Biden looked cheap - but could have looked elegant had her dress and coat had a few more inches.

Jill's ball gown also looked cheap - as a bridesmaid's dress. Michelle's gown was very unfortunate. The bodice ruching and strange embellishments made her look bigger everywhere, than she actually is, a silhouette she cannot afford. The designer clearly did not take her body shape into consideration. It's very unfortunate.

Terribly frumpy dress Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy wont wear. I am an Obama fan, but the white gown looked wayyyy too cheap. Was it bought secondhand from Ebay ?! What were those cutout things doing there and that wide strap ?! Seems like the designer has never been to Paris and Italy !

No style, no idea how to dress or how to walk. Walks ungracefully, stands with legs open, none of her husband's natural grace. Terrible taste for clothes makes her lovely figure look dumpy. Best dress was when she visited the Bushes at the White House right after Obama was elected; simple and clean cut flattered her figure and gave her elegance.

she looked gorgeous as always. she is a modern-day jackie o with a little more sexiness and glam, just like the first lady should have! michelle is fabulous!!!

(and the white gown at the concern... well played)

A bit Swan Lake-ish for my taste.

what an anti-climax....to the hype and expectations....of someone who likes to dress....this dress had too many frills, flowers, not elegant nor sexy, her shoulders were so slouched that she looked unlady like....so not Michelle....Jackie Kennedy still rulez!

The white gown was awful! What was she thinking - she needs to fire her stylist ASAP!!!

At least it wasn't as hideous as that horrible ensemble she wore on election night. She really needs to tone it down a bit and act like a true first lady instead of someone who just stepped out of the ghetto and is "new money."

Sad to say, but there will never be another Jackie Kennedy. Now SHE knew how to dress!

It was the wrong color and design for the serious times in which we as a country find ourselves now. Simple, elegant black in a column style would have been the best and flattered her instead of making her look dumpy. Better luck next time.

What does it matter what people think about Michelle's outfits? The important thing is that Michelle liked them and they made her feel good. That's all that counts. I really don't understand the harsh criticism

Actually I had the same feeling, looks to young, promish but After the second dance I began to like the dress. The dress grows on you. On a close up the dress is is very nice. I think her smile made the dress look better.

If you are going to dance you need a shorter skirt.

I guess I'm in la-la land. I loved everything about yesterday, and smiled every time I saw Michele's big smile, during the inauguration, and at the balls. Her husband was so proud of her, and to me, that's what matters. I'm not a critic. I just enjoy any outfit Michele comes up with. I wish my husband would dance with me, and look at me the way Barack looked at Michele. Credos and congrats to both designers.

That gown wore Michelle. And all night she had to concentrate on "train management". Hasn't her designer ever heard of a train attachment for dancing and moving about? She was yanking that thing around all evening...really lacked elegance.

 
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