Shocking! Michelle Obama has worn the same designer at two major events in a row. At the inaugural ball she wore a Jason Wu gown as she did the first time round, which is shocking enough – the last first lady to wear the same designer to two inaugural balls was Nancy Reagan. Mrs O then wore Jason Wu again at the State of the Union last night.
The dress, with a black sleeveless top and sparkly bordeaux sequinned skirt, looks like a customised variation of a frock from Mr Wu’s pre-fall collection, which had a leather spaghetti strap top and the same body. That dress, of course, was shown last December, and will not be in stores until May/June, so Mrs O is getting it celebrity-early, an indication of just how unlike normal shopping her shopping is. I think sometimes we get carried away with the J Crew side of things, and forget that there’s a very not-like-everyone-else flip side to her wardrobe – good or bad, depending on your point of view. Bridget Foley of WWD wrote a terrific piece about her take on the matter. Anyway, it’s not exactly a “I feel your pain middle class” approach (sic her husband’s speech), which is interesting.
Still, this Jason Wu double-header, combined with the clear inside relationship, makes me wonder if after spreading her favours among designers quite consciously, Flotus has picked an effective in-house designer with whom she is going to stick.
If so, the decision would have the drawback of less publicity for American fashion in general (Thom Browne, for example, is having a major fashion week moment in the sun post his making of the inagural coat), but the upside of us getting bored writing about the same designer event in, event out, is that it might make us start to consider the first lady in a different way, aside from her fashion choices.
What’s your bet on the matter?