Thom Browne, J. Crew among Michelle Obama's inaugural fashion picks

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:56pm EST
 
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By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It was one of the biggest questions of Monday's inaugural ceremonies: not what would President Barack Obama say, but what would his wife, Michelle Obama, wear?

The first lady wore a navy coat and dress by designer Thom Browne, inspired by the fabric of a man's silk tie.

The belt and gloves were from J.Crew, a mid-priced chain that is a fixture in U.S. shopping malls; the necklace and earrings were designed by Cathy Waterman. The boots were by Reed Krakoff, as was the short blue cardigan she wore to the celebratory lunch in the Capitol hosted by congressional leaders.

"At the end of the inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives," the first lady's office said.

Dressing any first lady, especially Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer known for her style, can be a huge boost for a fashion designer or retail chain.

The White House did not divulge who crafted the gown she will wear to Monday night's inaugural balls, but the designer could see a lot of new attention. Her choice of a white chiffon Jason Wu gown for the inaugural balls in 2009 helped make the young designer a household name.

Thom Browne boasts a string of design awards, most recently, a prestigious National Design Award for fashion from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution.

"She likes well-tailored clothes, so the inspiration was doing something that looked tailored and structured and fitted through the body and somewhat A-line for the skirt and the dress," Browne told the Los Angeles Times, adding that he picked blue because he had guessed that President Obama would wear that color.   Continued...

 
First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and her daughters Malia (C) and Sasha cheer as Beyonce returns to her seat after singing the Star Spangled Banner after the swearing-in of U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque