Michelle Obama answers her critics after wearing McQueen

31 January 2011

Dear oh dear – the row over Mrs President’s choice of gown for the state dinner for China on January 19th doesn’t seem to be fading away.  Let’s recap shall we? Michelle has championed young fashion designers ever since her husband was inaugurated, starting when she wore a Jason Wu gown to her initial formal ball as first lady. THEN, with her status as a fashion plate assured, someone even devised the MObamadex – a graph to show the percentage sales increase for brands after Mrs O had worn them in public.

However, the breathtaking crimson McQueen gown was not popular with everyone – critics in the USA and in particular Diane Von Furstenberg as president of the CFDA, have taken umbrage that Michelle wore a British designer. They believe she has a responsibility to continue to champion US designers. Oh dear. Joan Rivers even told the Huffington Post that her choice was ‘Wrong. Wrong. Sorry! Sorry, sorry, sorry, but we're pushing America and we're so behind in everything that we're doing. We're trying to push our own industries, the president's coming out and saying we've got to make more American stuff, you know what, darling? Buy American’ !!!

Then, uber critic, Cathy Horyn waded in and stuck up for Michelle, highlighting the flaws in the CFDA arguments, calling the complaints ‘the equivalent of a witch hunt’ and pointing out that ‘many of its members, including its president, Diane Von Furstenberg, manufacture a significant portion of their clothes outside the United States, mainly in Asia.’ Eep! Cathy added that she (remember she earns her living as a top fashion critic) is concerned that MObamaba is in danger of ‘becoming better known for her fashion rather than for her opinions.’ And that Horyn would rather hear more about Mrs Obama’s campaigns and good causes than her shopping habits. Goodness!

Finally, the only person, it seemed who hadn’t had anything to say on the subject was Mrs Obama herself. Today that all changed when Michelle made a statement to try and calm everyone down. She told the Huffington Post ‘Look, women, wear what you love. That's all I can say. That's my motto. I wear what I like because...I gotta be in the dress, so...’

Phew! How wise she is, that Mrs Obama.

- Naomi Attwood


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