Fashion at the Inaugural Balls and Michelle Obama's Dress
The new President and First Lady had a full dance card on Inauguration Day, with 10 official balls to attend.
Michelle Obama opted for an ivory Jason Wu one-shouldered chiffon gown, which was adorned with organza flowers and sparkling crystals and complimented by Barack Obama's crisp white tie. The new president even joked in one address that he was the lucky "guy who accompanied Michelle Obama to the ball," playfully acknowledging the attention she's been receiving as a celebrated fashion icon. Jason Wu is a Taiwan-born 26 year old emerging designer based in New York, and Michelle has donned one of his designs before:
The New York-based designer, who sells $3,000 to $6,000 evening gowns and day dresses that retail for $1,000 to $4,000, had created a dress for Mrs. Obama in the fall, which she wore in November for a major interview with Barbara Walters. Ikram Goldman, owner of the Chicago boutique, Ikram, where Mrs. Obama shops, had specially ordered that Wu dress for the future First Lady.
People were wildly anticipating what Michelle Obama would wear for the inaugural balls; it was suspected that she would choose one of her favourite labels such as Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon or Maria Pinto, especially after proving her brand loyalty: First Lady Obama wore a Narciso Rodriguez camel suit for the We Are One inauguration concert and a Rodriguez dress on election night, then opted for an Isabel Toledo lemongrass shift dress for the inauguration day events. It comes as little surprise that she chose a label she was familiar with.
Another surprise was her choice of white, as Mrs. O often wears bright and bold colours. The ivory Wu gown will be donated to the Smithsonian museum, as is traditionally done with inauguration ensembles.
The balls were closely watched by fashion mavens and style editors around the world, who were not only eyeing what Michelle Obama wore but the gown choices by other attendees as well.
Jill Biden, wife of Vice-President Joe Biden, wore a red strapless gown which was soundly in tune with the bright red jacket she wore earlier today for the inauguration and parade.
Here is the list of official inaugural balls on January 20, 2009:
— Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
— Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum.
— Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.
— Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.
— Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.
There were also a number of unofficial balls this evening:
— Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.
— Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.
— Recording Industry Association of America's ball for Feeding America.
— BET's Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
— Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
— American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
— Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.
— Human Rights Campaign's Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.
— Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
— Impact Film Fund ball.