April 7, 2009

News flash: Michelle, notre belle

If you thought Michelle Obama's sartorial choices were being microscopically scrutinized since her husband took office, that coverage doesn't even begin to compare to the breathless adoration that followed her jaunt through Europe. Each time she changed clothes (sometimes en route), all the blogs lit up with the latest designer names: Alaïa! Etro! Junya! Spurned designers morphed into pundits, with a cranky Oscar de la Renta declaring that, with the economy being what it is, the first lady could have made more helpful choices in designers (hmm... himself, perhaps?), and, anyways, who wears a sweater to Buckingham Palace?

Clearly, though, Michelle doesn't need Oscar's advice. The woman has become a fashion phenomenon, generating excitement about designers that -- unlike the manufactured hype of Project Runway -- just might translate into sales, and already has for her favorites Jason Wu and Thakoon. And that, Mr. de la Renta, is what the industry needs more than anything right now. 

Photo via NY Times

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