MICHELLE OBAMA has become the mistress to American fashion. "The first lady the world's been waiting for," blazes the March cover of Vogue, where Mrs. Obama appears in a fuchsia dress by Jason Wu, the young talent she helped turn into an overnight star. No first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy has had a more instantaneous impact on fashion. Whatever Mrs. Obama wears, people notice and very often buy.
Despite the close study that people have made of Mrs. Obama's style, it is not known that her wardrobe is being managed largely by a boutique owner in Chicago. Ikram Goldman, whose store is called Ikram, has played an unprecedented role since the election, serving as gatekeeper between the fashion industry and the first lady.