RSS
Sizing up Michelle Obama
Why the new First Lady is already being hailed as the new Jackie O
B

arack Obama turned the page on American history, said Booth Moore in the Los Angeles Times, but Michelle Obama turned the page on American fashion. On inauguration day, the First Lady wore a lemongrass wool lace ensemble by up-and-coming Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo and gave the nation a look at a “new generation of talent.”

Pleasing the “eagle-eyed fashion pros” on inauguration day is a near-impossible feat, said Bonnie Fuller in The Huffington Post. But Mrs. Obama “flouted tradition and didn't wear any all-American Barbara Bush-ish colors, nor a somber suit befitting the sober times. Her choice telegraphed both that she's "going to have fun with fashion" and "take the world by surprise in more ways than one.”

I’ll tell you what surprised me, said Amanda Carpenter in Townhall.com. “The utter lack of ooh-ing and ah-ing over Michelle Obama's inauguration wear.” The “split-pea/yellow color” of the Toledo dress is a color most women can’t carry off—Michelle included. And her off-the-shoulder, white ballgown “was simply not flattering.”

That’s not what the fashion world thinks, said Nia-Malika Henderson in Politico. “To fashionistsas, she's Michelle O, the new Jackie—and they hope she'll send women to the mall in droves, looking to match her style." But that's not all -- she's also a Harvard-educated, "mom-in-chief" who will serve as a post-feminist role model because she has substance to match her style.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week