Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Not since Jackie Kennedy has fashion been so important to the First Lady of the United States of America.

Michelle Obama wore a lemon yellow tweed coat, cardigan, and dress with a diamant√© neckline by Isabel Toledo. Her outfit at first seemed to be a throwback to classic first lady conservatism, but she chose to compliment her yellow dress with a pair of green patent Jimmy Choo 'Glacier' pumps. She accessorized her expensive green pumps with matching affordable green gloves from J. Crew. Pundits had predicted she would steer clear of anything which hinted at ‘bling’ or excess, in view of the worldwide economic crisis.

No one was more shocked to see Mrs. Obama wearing Isabel Toledo than Toledo herself. Toledo’s husband Ruben, a fashion illustrator, described the experience as "...just another shock, but a great shock".

This isn’t the first time the First Lady has worn Isabel Toledo. She previously wore a black tunic and pants for last summer’s New York fundraiser hosted by Anna Wintour and Calvin Klein.

A designer couldn't pay for this type of publicity or support. "She is single-handedly breathing new life into designers like Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo, who have had a rocky past," said red-carpet and editorial stylist Mary Alice Stephenson.

Toledo, a Cuban-American, attended New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. Toledo was at one point the creative director of Anne Klein. She’s been designing for over 20 years. You can find her outfits at Barneys New York.

Now we just have to wait and see if Michelle Obama’s style will stand the test of time like her predecessor Jackie Kennedy.

Writer: Kate Murphy

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