Michelle charms hosts with Indian-American designer's creation

  • Snigdha Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 26, 2015 08:18 IST

US first lady Michelle Obama brightened up a drab Sunday morning when she stepped off Air Force One in a blue floral dress by India-born designer Bibhu Mohapatra, making a stylish connect with her Indian hosts.

The printed shift dress with geometric black prints was not the first time the 51-year-old style icon has chosen to wear a creation by the US-based Mohapatra. She wore one of his creations to a popular TV show by Jay Leno.

The 43-year-old designer -- who has dressed Hollywood celebs such as Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz -- hails from Odisha’s Rourkela. He shifted to the United States in 1996 and launched his own label at the New York Fashion Week in 2009.

Within minutes of the Obama touchdown in Delhi, Mohapatra tweeted her picture. “The President and the First Lady arrive in #india. @flotus wearing @bibhumohapatra #spring15 poppy print dress and coat,” he wrote on the microblogging site.

The 51-year-old first lady is known to wear a number of Indian-origin designers, including Naeem Khan and Rachel Roy.

Back home, the fashion fraternity was elated. "I am extremely happy for Bibhu. He is down to earth, hard working and passionate. It's a great choice for the first lady, considering Bibhu is the best example of a mix of American and Indian sensibilities," designer Rahul Mishra told HT.

Designer Manish Malhotra also lauded Michelle. "Obama wears different designers and also encourages younger designers. I hope she wears a lot of Indian textile and embroideries."

Fashion design council of India president Sunil Sethi recalled the time Mohapatra's work was shown at the Delhi Fashion Week.

"Ikkat saris by Bibhu were displayed at the fashion week two seasons ago and got a great response. Michelle Obama is going to be here for a few days, and I am sure other Indian designers would love to have a shot at dressing her up," Sethi said.

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