The American dream, the great melting pot, made-in-America, the triumph of small business, happiness and hope — can a woman’s dress really say all that? Fashion designer Isabel Toledo, who designed the outfit Michelle Obama wore to her husband’s inauguration, thinks so.
The new U.S. first lady, 45, chose a sparkling sheath dress and matching coat in a yellow-gold hue by Cuban-born American designer Isabel Toledo for the presidential swearing-in ceremony. She matched it with a wide diamante necklace. Toledo, a Cuban American who lives in New York was at work with her seamstresses when her mother-in-law called to tell her America’s new first lady had chosen her dress for the big day.
Toledo’s biggest concern in designing Michelle Obama’s dress was the cold. She incorporated wool lace, a silk net lining and several layers of silk and pashmina.
Isabel Toledo said her garments range in price from $500 to more than $10,000 and her customers include singer Jennifer Lopez. The coat and dress worn by Michelle Obama would cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Michelle Obama has been credited with bringing a chic, youthful style to U.S. politics and for mixing comfortable chain store garments from the likes of Gap and J Crew with edgier new designers like Chicago’s Mario Pinto and Narciso Rodriguez. She wore gloves from J Crew approximately for $ 130 and green patent pumps from Jimmy Choo was made for order only for Michelle Obama. They are avialble in India in different colours for Rs 30, 000.
Initially seen as slightly aloof, she won hearts in June by wearing an affordable $148 black and white off-the-rack dress for an appearance on the popular female TV chat show The View. It sold out nationwide overnight.
But Obama’s choice did not get a universal thumbs up. An online poll on the Us Weekly celebrity magazine site showed 55 per cent of readers hated the outfit and 44 per cent loved it.