The blue patterned cardigan that First Lady Michelle Obama wore to the Royal Opera House today was avant garde fashion with a capital "A." The sweater, with its one-sided check pattern and asymmetrical button placket, is by Japanese designer Junya Watanabe (is this the first time she's worn a non-American designer?), who started working under Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons before launching his own label in 1993.
Watanabe's runway shows are always among the most artistic of Paris Fashion Week. He's showed sculptural takes on the tailcoat, the military jacket, even the jean skirt. For fall, he focused on the puffer coat, sculpting and molding it into elongated, Victorian-looking dresses and cropped shrugs.
With their odd folds and uneven hems, his clothes are not for the timid. They require work and imagination to wear. Obama paired the sweater with a traditional-looking teal dress by Jason Wu. It was a contrasting color but I think it worked. What do you think?
-- Booth Moore
Photo: Sarah Brown, right, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meets with First Lady Michelle Obama at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.