We already know that there is a certain fascination with Michelle Obama’s style ( the Jackie Kennedy references abound). While fashion insiders have dissected her choices (who can forget the extreme reactions to Narciso Rodriguez black and red number on election night), a lot of women have gone out and purchased the very outfits she wears. From that black and white number she wore on The View to the J. Crew ensemble she donned for an appearance on Jay Leno. Today, The New York Times is reporting that our future First Lady may be able to single-handedly save American fashion!
Grasping at straws? Maybe. European designers have eclipsed their American counterparts for too long and they’re longing for some increased credibility on the world stage via our future First Lady. It may happen naturally because the First Lady is expected to promote American goods.
“What the first lady wears has a lot of effect on the industry, absolutely,” said Arnold Scaasi, who began designing clothes for the wives of American presidents during the term of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The first lady, Mr. Scaasi said, “is seen every day in some form of media, and what she looks like is copied by other women.” Apparently, Mamie Eisenhower and Barbara Bush made bangs and grey hair chic. Okay, I think chic is a stretch.
Truthfully, the fashion industry is excited because Michelle is not Mamie or Barbara. She’s a quarter-century younger, more fashion savvy and fitter than most of the First Ladies who’ve lived in The White House. She also appeals to the fashionista, working women and moms alike. And I think it is much about her confidence and approachability as the clothes she wear.
“Actually, her taste is very conservative, kind of jock-preppy, a version of a safe American WASP way of dressing,” said Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “But what is truly compelling about her is her body. She has this athletic, commanding and confident presence that is very American.”
I think Michelle will have an impact on the industry with her very presence. But she can do so without really trying. (Plus, I think she has more important things on her mind). I hate to think that the nation’s first African American First Lady will only be remembered for what she wore on a specific date. She has more to offer than that. Michelle Obama is more than a dress.Read Also