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Bonnie Fuller

Bonnie Fuller

Posted: January 21, 2009 03:51 PM

Michelle Obama's Gown: Wowiewowwow Or Wedding Cake? Fashion Experts Weigh In

What's Your Reaction?

OK--she didn't put it to the dance test before the big Night--that was obvious. But how else did the gown fare in the eyes of the fashion pros? Here, they sound off!

Stacy London, co-host of TLC's What Not To Wear

"Talk about a stimulus package! Michelle has given a huge boost to the American fashion industry. I'm so thrilled that she wore white because looking at historical photos of First Ladies on inauguration night -- the bright colored looks end up getting dated. White is timeless. I'm also so glad she showed her arms because they are her best feature."

Tommy Hilfiger

"I thought she looked elegant and beautiful. I think white was appropriate for the evening complementing Mr Obama's white tie and formal dress."

Lesley Seymour, editor-in-chief More magazine

"It's not my fave dress. A bit to froo-froo for her body. She's better in structured stuff--and a bit more modern. But what I like is that she's promoting American designers and we really need that."

John Bartlett, designer

"It was perfect-- very elegant but young. I love that she's choosing looks from the young guard of American designers (this gown by 26-year-old Jason Wu). She chose a path less-traveled. While it did remind me of a wedding cake, it also made me think of spring flowers, which is a nice symbolic choice - time for a fresh start."

Tara Kraft, group beauty & fashion director, Star magazine

"Barack must have been reminded of his wife on her wedding day- she really was breathtakingly beautiful. The dress was very on-trend. So many of the actresses at The Golden Globes recently wore flesh-toned or white dresses. I also love that she wore her hair down. So often first ladies wear their hair up in French twists or buns and that would have made her look like someone else."

Lysa Cooper, celebrity stylist (styles Rihanna, Shakira and Beyonce)

"I love it, love it, love it. And she took a great risk wearing white in a room full of black and white, and she still stood out. I loved that she had the courage to show some skin and that she kept her jewelry super-simple and clean."

Philip Bloch, celebrity stylist

"She delivered! She brought the glamour! She wore two of the most beautiful first lady looks ever. It was timeless, iconoclastic. You could have seen this dress on Princess Grace. Would have looked great in any of the last seven decades. And her gown choice was clever. It was designer but not $12,000.

She also went ethnically diverse with her designers. Her day look by a Cuban-American and her evening look by a designer born in Taipei."

Jenna Lyons, creative director for J.Crew

"Michelle looked beautiful, modern, youthful, and most of all--HAPPY. The bare shoulders and asymmetrical neckline were a great choice, and the fabric looked rich and luxurious."

Robert Verdi, style expert and TV personality

"I love that she was showing the cultural diversity of the fashion community--these designers are now a part of fashion history and, interestingly, both Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu both moved to this country after being born elsewhere, and they're now living the American Dream. Eva Longoria was actually the first big celebrity to wear Jason Wu's clothes. I think Michelle Obama probably liked the fact that Jason actually started out as a doll designer. He designed the RuPaul doll.

I thought she might be a little more body-conscious, and that as one of the youngest first ladies that we've had, that she would be a little more risque. I wasn't totally blown away. I thought the width of the strap in the front was a little severe."

John Barrett, celebrity hairstylist

"Here is the most beautiful fashion-forward first lady, and I was looking for something more spectacular. She has a fantastic statuesque body, and yet I felt the wide sash and the rouching distracted from her beauty. To me it was too bridesmaid-like."

Michael Henry Adams, designer

"So far, no black designer has ever created an inaugural ball gown. Does it matter, one might ask, if Michele Obama still hasn't patronized African American designers for her high profile wardrobe?"


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