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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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The dress looked like an explosion at a kleenex factory. And what was with the strap. Looked like she slung a diaper over her shoulder. I know she has kids but they are way past that stage!! On the positive side- She was all set if she got a bit teary - just pluck a tissue off her dress- no need to carry an evening bag.

The ball gown was awful ! To begin with I don't see the natural beauty or grace in her that some see.. She is bow legged, walks heavy, and slouches something awful.
Her teeth certainly need fixing, she looks like a jack o' lantern.
Of course this is just my opinion.

Ball gown looked like a night gown. People would see her in burlap and think it was beautiful. As for the prayer dress.....it needs a prayer. It looked like June Cleaver, only thing missing was an apron. A professional designer needs to help her NOW. Maybe she should go on "What not to Wear" !!!!!!

Pea soup green inaugural dress/coat- ugly color but the gloves were fabulous. It clashed with her husband's look. She needs someone to coach her on how to move- she slouches and schlumps along --hips leading with head left behind and gangly arms. The white gown was too ingenue.The color was quite wrong. She can wear a strong pretty color--why not do it? Her stylist should be fired.

The idea of choosing two unknown,up and coming fashion designers was a good one.

However, now that she is the First Lady it is most important she get a stylist, someone to teach her how to walk more elegantly, stand straigher, shoulders back and fashion that is simple, elegant and classic. NO MORE PRINTS! Busy patterns and flowers are not acceptable for a woman of her position.

Both outfits today were totally inappropriate for the occasions. Even the dress in church this morning was wrong! This type of imagine is not in keeping with the style of a first lady. And please, she is no Jackie Kennedy! It can't be that difficult to find a fashion consultant. I'd love the job!

She was lovley..but why can he not get his pants hemed properly ?

I think thie dress Michelle wore was very typical of an image she was trying to make. A fresh image, trying to be younger than she was for a New Country. The whole effect was utter disaster. Every time you saw Princess Dianne the whole world just gasped with admiration. Sadly this was an opportunity missed, she could have done so much better. Not only do her designers need to leave America for inspiration, but need to travel to Europe. Simplicity is the key issue here with gorgous fabrics.Too many balls in this instance, one would have been enough when you think of the poor Americans who have been living in extremely poor conditions and the sad New Orleans population who were left with nothing. What in the whole wide world were they thinking.You would never have seen Princess Dianna looking like a Kleenex Factory in turmoil!

Someone described the evening gown exactly as I did when I saw it: a chenille bedspread. Michellle - your taste was better when you made your own decisions rather than going to "designers". You know how to dress - please go back to your style and your taste. I never thought I'd say this, but Laura Bush looked so much better than Michelle in her clunky, chunky matronly brocade disaster of indeterminate, vaguely pukish color.

I'm just glad she didn't wear Aretha Franklin's hat! It was hard to notice what she was wearing at the ball because she and Obama looked so deeply happy and in love...

Michelle certainly looks better than that too tight outfit Beyonce is sporting...and has anyone looked at Hiliary Clinton's getup....ugh...she looks like a school marm. Now that's a female who continues to wear outdated fashion and apparently has HORRIBLE FASHION SENSE.

Hideous! Someone tell the empress she has no clothes (with any taste).

THE DESIGNER OF THAT HIDIOUS SHEET NEEDS TO GO BACK TO DESIGN SCHOOL ..PLEASE! COME ON LETS DESIGN A FANTASTIC GOWN FOR OUR FIRST LADY. YES WHITE IS A GOOD CHOICE OF COLOR BUT SOMETHING FORM FITTING, NOT STRAPLESS OR ONE SHOULDER .FLOOR LEGNTH WITH A SMALL TRAIN...HER HAIR SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN AN UPDO WITH A BEAUTIFUL RHINSTONE BROCHE IN PLACE. SIMPLE EARRINGS. ALL I KNOW IS WU WONT!

I didn't like either dress. The yellow one looked like a cross between an Easter Sunday dress out of the '50's, bathrobe, and Queen Elizabeth. The white dress looked like one of those you make out of toilet paper at a bridal shower. She is so classy and looks so spectacular in tailored, rich colored attire. These were a huge miss for me.

Michelle seems to miss each time it is a really important event, she always looks like the girl on prom night that tried too hard. The Election night black and red thing and now these two diasters. The yellow number was matronly,evening wear material and too busy w/gree Jimmy Choo's ??? Tthe white gown was just a mess, she fought it all night,so sad because she is so lovely. The outfit she worn at the Lincoln memorial event would have been perfect for the swearing in and parade...Too bad...I also agree STAND UP STRAIGHT, Michelle

Michelle needs to get her hands on two books quickly and study them: (1) Oleg Cassini's memoir of how he and Jackie created her First Lady image, and (2) the Metropolitan Museum's book about the museum's exhibit of Jackie's clothes. Michelle does not have the advantage of Jackie's background, but she has looks and brains and charisma. I agree that the inauguration costume and the ball gown were failures, but I suspect Michelle is only beginning to understand that for the first time in her life, she has a job that is just a bit like being a queen. She will cope splendidly if she seeks out good advice. Diana didn't dress very well before she started consulting with British Vogue.

Yes we ALL agree at the "candlewick bedspread" of ball gown that Michelle wore, but I must admit I was a bit surprised at Barack's evening suit. NIL POINTS! The trousers didn't seem to fit and were too long and baggy at the bottoms, not at all chic. Surely they both need to pay very close attention to their appearance now they are in the limelight.

She was delightful, distinguished without getting out of touch, beautiful without artificial means, lovely like a girl in her prime. She should be a role model for so many Barbies in show business and politic. I think she will keep the idea of change in the forefront even if her husband got influenced by the old political and military goons.

I don't know a soul who can successfully wear a color that is a blend of mustard and lime. Our First Lady has beautiful skin tones but the inaugural dressed killed her natural beauty. The cut of the dress/coat looked sloppy and photographed very badly. She looks best in jewel tones and would have knocked out camera lens with deep purple or turquoise. How well she dresses CAN have a positive effect on the clothing industry economy as well as on how young girls choose to dress on certain occasions. I hope Michelle will reach out to designers who have classic, solid-gold credentials. Anita

The evening gown was too long. Yes, he did step on it quite a few times as they did their abbreviated dance each of the 10 times. It looked like a washed out piece of very old chenille, with those little knobbies all over it. The strap was too wide, making her shoulders look too narrow, and the dress accentuated her short-waisted torso. The daytime dress was a nauseating color of off-chartreuse. It was hard to watch for that long period. The only other time that her dress was this bad was on election night. I realize she is more forward-thinking about her fashion, and that's great. But it doesn't have to look awful, as evidenced by many of the outfits that she has worn this past year that make her a "Wow!"

Catty and Penny are right.

Michelle ain't no Jacki O. and

Michelle needs to get her hands on two books quickly and study them: (1) Oleg Cassini's memoir of how he and Jackie created her First Lady image, and (2) the Metropolitan Museum's book about the museum's exhibit of Jackie's clothes.

Better yet, she should dress like herself. Instead of trying to copy Jackie's style. She should create her own. I think the stylist Dems hired to "soften" her look have gone to far. And today's prayer dress did look like June Cleaver. She's a lawyer, doesn't she own any power suits with penache? give me a break. there are plenty of em at Nordies and Niemans. Ask Sarah Palin.

THIS IS DIRECTED TO THE FIRST LADY, MRS. M. OBAMA......I AM A MEDICAL DOCTOR, WITH A PASSION FOR FLAIR AND STYLE....I ALSO OWN A HOME ACCESSORIES COMPANY, WHERE I'VE ONLY HELPED MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH COLOR AND TEXTURES ETC. I WOULD LIKE YOU TO TAKE ANOTHER CHANCE ON ANOTHER UNKNOWN TO ASSIST YOU. i PROMISE THAT ALL THESE APPROVALS AND DISSAPPROVALS WILL BE CHANGED TO AT LEAST 95 % APPROVALS..IF YOU COULD GIVE ME JUST ONE MONTH AND THEN CHECK THE REVIEWS..........YOUR STYLE WILL SURPASS MRS. KENNEDY, PRINCESS DIANA, BEYONCE. OPAH AND ALL OTHERS....TRUST ME AND WE CAN USE ANY DESIGNER YOU CHOOSE....I'LL JUST MAKE SURE IT'S THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU AND YOUR PUBLIC....AFTER ALL THEY ARE WATCHING ..AND I UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE YOU ARE SENDING.....I PROMISE TO TRANSFORM THAT DRESS ISSUE INTO A THING OF THE PAST AND YOU WILL BE PHENOMENAL.....AS IF YOU WEREN'T ALREADY TO SOME OF US.......

Was really looking forward to seeing the inaug. on TV, but so disappointed in Michelles's dresses. That yellow number would look OK on Queen Elizabeth,but she is over 80, and the "prom" gown was just too disappointing. Oh well, it can only improve!

People are being laid off, companies are cutting back, loosing money and going out of business, homes are being lost, gas prices are rising, no money for the unemployment, wars, wars and rumors of wars........how can there be so much talk and coverage on a persons' gown.

Michelle has her own style and she is her own person, LEAVE THAT LADY ALONE (WHO REALLY CARES AND DID YOU OFFER TO PAY FOR WHAT SHE WORE) GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD....FIND SOMEBODY THAT NEEDS HELP!!!!!!!!!

GOD BLESS YOU .... AND GOD HELP AMERICA!

Michelle Obama is no Jackie Kennedy so stop comparing her to Jackie. She needs to find her owen style and what she wore to the ball, was not it. She is First Lady of the Land now, i just hope she will pick up on it.

People think if half of your body isn't showing you"re not dressed. The First Lady looks wonderful in the dress. She couldn't pleases everybody if she tried. So First Lady if it looks good to you and The President, that is all that matters.

Washington in Virginia

Here is what the REEEEAAAAALLLLLLLLL fashion critics said about Madame First Lady. You know the REAL fashion critics/stylist that get PAID to provide their opinions and advice!!!!

From the sound of things - the rest of the Fashion critics say Madam First Lady didn't miss the mark.

Stacy London, co-host of TLC's What Not To Wear

I think she can pull yellow off, but it's hard for American women to emulate. I think Michelle is separating herself from the pack with this outfit. It is a bold color choice few women can pull off. The wool lace is intricate and much busier than the sea of cashmere coats surrounding her. Instead of the traditional bold primary colors: red or blue, she chose a color specifically for her. The matching coat and dress is reminiscent of Jackie O's classic 60s style. I can't wait to see what she wears to the balls.

I think the matching coat and dress look will be copied. I think the color palette will be a hard sell going forward. Also, the texture of the lace work is very busy for the average American woman.

"Talk about a stimulus package! Michelle has given a huge boost to the American fashion industry. I'm so thrilled that she wore white because looking at historical photos of First Ladies on inauguration night -- the bright colored looks end up getting dated. White is timeless. I'm also so glad she showed her arms because they are her best feature."

Tommy Hilfiger

"I thought she looked elegant and beautiful. I think white was appropriate for the evening complementing Mr Obama's white tie and formal dress."

Lesley Seymour, editor-in-chief More magazine

"It's not my fave dress. A bit to froo-froo for her body. She's better in structured stuff--and a bit more modern. But what I like is that she's promoting American designers and we really need that."

John Bartlett, designer

"It was perfect-- very elegant but young. I love that she's choosing looks from the young guard of American designers (this gown by 26-year-old Jason Wu). She chose a path less-traveled. While it did remind me of a wedding cake, it also made me think of spring flowers, which is a nice symbolic choice - time for a fresh start."

Tara Kraft, group beauty & fashion director, Star magazine

"Barack must have been reminded of his wife on her wedding day- she really was breathtakingly beautiful. The dress was very on-trend. So many of the actresses at The Golden Globes recently wore flesh-toned or white dresses. I also love that she wore her hair down. So often first ladies wear their hair up in French twists or buns and that would have made her look like someone else."

 
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