While Grazia Daily – and you our dear readers – were squealing at the sight of Kate Catherine Middleton in her foxy fitted Reiss dress (which promptly sold out online, natch), Michelle Obama was patiently standing by, waiting for some fashion kudos of her own. So let’s turn our style spotlight on MObama’s trans-Atlantic wardrobe, shall we?
Now, admittedly, we weren’t bowled over by the Barbara Tfank Resort 2011 prom dress and cropped dusky pink jacket combo that Michelle chose for yesterday’s Royal engagement at Buckingham Palace – the sugary colours were upstaged by K-Middy’s simple taupe chic and, as littlemunchkin noted, the fussy floral print caused an unsightly clash with The Queen’s spring-like Peter Enrione ensemble. Woopsie.
BUT the American First Lady’s quick change for a visit to Downing Street more than made up for it and we, of course, put this down to Britfash. Because, once again, Mrs Obama turned to London Fashion Week hotspot Roksanda Ilincic for a purple wool-crepe dress, worn under a cobalt coat by New York designer Narciso Rodriguez. A very on-trend colour blocking effect, not to mention a careful balance between US and UK labels, right? In fact, in this First Lady fash-off, both MObama and SamCam excelled most excellently, with Mrs Cameron taking a tip from Grazia’s Paula Reed by wearing the same ladylike Peter Pilotto number that our style director wore for the BBC’s Royal Wedding coverage. LOVE.
Rewind to earlier in the day when the Obamas landed on our shores and Michelle was already backing British. This vibrant ensemble, consisting of a cropped jacket and matching pencil skirt with a printed blouse, is by Thornton Bregazzi, the Isle of Man couple who have become a New York Fashion Week fixture via Preen’s catwalk shows. Yet again, the choice is a perfect tribute to the 'special relationship' between our two countries, and one that is likely to explode interest in the brand considering Michelle is nothing less than a global icon.
Onto the evening celebrations and ‘Glam-bama’ nails yet another triumph for the State Dinner at Buckingham Palace. Without The Duchess of Cambridge to steal the limelight, she positively shines in an ivory ruched georgette gown by Tom Ford, with a matching pair of gloves to draw attention to her most famous assets: those perfectly toned upper arms >swoon< And rather than clashing with The Queen, she perfectly complements HRH’s crystal-studded white ballgown. Hmm, we wonder if our Liz was reminded of that other Mrs O from the White House...?
You'll remember it wasn’t long ago that the President’s missus caused a storm when she wore that breathtaking Alexander McQueen gown for a similar grand event, the state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao. Critics in the US, including Oscar de la Renta and CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg, took umbrage that Michelle wore a British designer rather than continuing to champion home-grown talent. So how has she conquered the patriotic pressure this time round? Well, the regal creation ensures Mrs O stays loyal to America while simultaneously giving a nod to her host country because, of course, the Texan Mr Ford spends half his year in London, where his studio is located, and shows at both New York and London Fashion Weeks. Yep, a savvy move that will keep everyone in raptures.
So we want to hear your thoughts on MObama’s UK parade. Are you happy to see her uniting the US and the UK through her style choices, or would you rather see her backing more Brit brands while she’s here? Hash it out in the box below…
- Jessica Vince