In 2009, Jason Wu was just baby-stepping into the fashion world when Michelle Obama put his designs on global display, wearing his ivory one-shoulder gown with appliqué to President Obama’s first inaugural ball. In January, when Mrs. Obama opted once again for a Wu inaugural dress, this time a red velvet and chiffon number, it was clear the Taiwanese-born, New York-based fashion designer was one of the First Lady’s favorites—and now a bona fide star in the industry. (FLOTUS also wore a red and black Wu dress to February’s State of the Union address.) Wu will be in Chevy Chase on April 11 for a trunk show and appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as to host his fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection on the runway at the third annual Great Ladies’ Luncheon, which will take place in a New York Fashion Week-inspired tent being constructed in the parking area adjacent to the store. Prior to his visit, we had the opportunity to chat with Wu about inspiration for his new collection and why no one ever tells the First Lady what to wear.
Sporting bangs and baring her signature toned arms, Michelle Obama graces the April cover of Vogue magazine in a deep blue, V-neck Reed Krakoff dress from her personal collection. Perched on a piece of furniture, against a vibrant green backdrop, Mrs. Obama looks poised, modern, and comfortable—and seasonally on trend; the dress even has a punch of eggplant, one of spring’s hottest hues. Her personal hair and makeup team of Johnny Wright and Carl Ray, respectively, handled her beauty looks—a testament to Mrs. Obama’s loyalty to her own camp. Wright and Ray have both worked with the First Lady for several years, and both are locally based—Wright at Immortal Beloved, and Ray at George at the Four Seasons Salon.
In the accompanying profile, Mrs. Obama, who was last on Vogue’s cover in 2009, and her husband talk parenting, fashion, and marital strength with writer Jonathan Van Meter, who played off the couple’s affection for one another, something that didn’t go unnoticed by other members of the Vogue team during the two-day shoot, which took place at the White House in January (as we first reported). “There’s a lot of huggin’ going on,” noted famed photographer Annie Leibovitz at one point during the session with the Obamas, wherein Mrs. Obama drapes herself across the side of an arm chair for an embrace with her husband, as he casually rests his arm on her lap.
As for her sartorial advice, Mrs. Obama tells Van Meter: “I always say that women should wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. That’s what I always try to do.” The First Lady obviously feels good about Krakoff, an American designer frequently on her wardrobe rotation, most recently at her husband’s swearing-in ceremony in January, for which she selected another of the designer’s blue dresses. For the other photographs in the Vogue story, Mrs. Obama reportedly wore a Michael Kors sweater and ballgown ensemble. The April issue of Vogue hits newsstands on March 26.
By Natalie Grasso
1) "Naeem Khan's floral masterpiece! Spring is in the air, and Khan's floral one-shoulder gown is one of the season's knockouts. It speaks to Mrs. Obama's classic-with-a-twist style, combining her love of color and prints in one glamorous gown. I'd love to see her wear her hair up and work an exquisite pair of shoulder-skimming earrings that move when she speaks."