I’m only now starting to catch up on the hundreds of open browser tabs of fascinating articles I meant to read… but one of the articles I had been particularly saving was this incredible story about Michelle Obama’s wardrobe.
I’ve heard a lot of comments about how Melania is so much better dressed, but I think that really misses the point of Mrs. Obama’s deliberate choices. She worked very hard to represent specific messages with her wardrobe – her fashion choices were arguably the most reasoned and deliberate of any celebrity. Regardless of your political leanings, it is quite safe to say that she has been the most ‘democratically’ dressed First Lady ever, or at least since Eleanor Roosevelt. Her wardrobe was comprised of both custom pieces from high-end designers and J. Crew, even Target! And was always ‘on-point’. She purposefully mixed affordable pieces in to her wardrobe (something Melania will never do since that is the antithesis of her brand) and made dressing well and being interested in clothing something that was fun instead of a daily struggle.
If you have heard me speak on fashion, you will know that I talk a lot about the messages we send with our clothing and how it behooves us to control that message and use it to signal deliberately. Michelle Obama did exactly that – from her choice of color and style down to the price point and ethnicity or national ties of the designer (she tended to wear designers with ties to specific countries for state dinners or other functions when she wanted to acknowledge major international events or happenings).
Mrs. Obama gave the fashion industry an unprecedented boost – including launching the careers of young designers – and we in that field have really enjoyed watching it. Salut.
Please click over to the Washington Post for the original article and a slide show!