News / USA

    Michelle Obama Stuns in Jason Wu Gown

    Michelle Obama Stuns in Jason Wu Gowni
    X
    January 22, 2013 12:30 PM
    All eyes are on the president on inauguration day, but it's the first lady who captivates the public's attention on inauguration night. VOA's Suzanne Presto in Washington has more about First Lady Michelle Obama's inaugural ball gown and takes a look back at first ladies' fashion.
    Michelle Obama Stuns in Jason Wu Gown
    Suzanne Presto
    All eyes are on the president on inauguration day, but it's the first lady who captivates the public's attention on inauguration night. 

    Michelle Obama dazzled in a ruby red gown at the inaugural balls Monday night.

    The softly pleated dress was created by Jason Wu, the young Taiwanese-born designer behind the one-shouldered white silk chiffon gown that she wore to the inaugural balls in 2009.

    That white gown is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington.

    "People have always looked at what the first lady wears," notes exhibit curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy.  "She's a very public figure.  She belongs to us.  She represents us, and so we're interested in how she presents herself."

    Laura Bush wore a silvery gown to celebrate George W. Bush's second inaugural in 2005.  

    The Smithsonian exhibit also features Hillary Clinton's beaded lace gown, worn in 1993.  Also on display: the  Hollywood glamour of Nancy Reagan's one-shouldered gown in 1981, so different from Rosalynn Carter in 1977, who wore a chiffon dress she had worn several years earlier.

    But the fashion favorite is Jackie Kennedy's 1961 gown.

    Public interest in the first lady's attire - and the designers who create those looks - dates back to the 1700s, says Graddy.  

    "Really, since Martha Washington [in the late 1700s] people have always been interested in what the first lady is wearing," the curator admits. "Newspaper accounts, accounts of social activity in Washington, would say what the first lady was wearing."

    Inaugural ball gowns epitomize the celebrations that captivate the capital every four years.

    "The inauguration is a combination of things.  It's a very solemn civic ceremony, and it's also an amazing party," Graddy says.

    This year, the partying was scaled back.  There were two official balls, far fewer than the 10 for President Obama's first inauguration.  

    According to historian Richard Norton Smith, such festivities are driven by the need to recognize and reward campaign contributors and not presidential ego.

    "And then, of course, the poor president has to do something he almost never otherwise does, and that is dance in public," Norton Smith says.

    Luckily for President Obama, most of the attention is focused on his wife.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    January 22, 2013 10:10 AM
    He should have cancelled the event and put the money toward our national debt, or given it to some homeless disabled veterans or another charitable cause.

    by: C Stewart from: Canada
    January 22, 2013 9:37 AM
    Seriously? THIS is the top story on google news? The Presidents' wife's dress?

    Something is very wrong.
    In Response

    by: ju from: China
    January 23, 2013 4:56 AM
    AGREE
    In Response

    by: overdog from: thailand
    January 22, 2013 10:02 AM
    Welcome to America.

    by: R_Larson from: Land of Enchantent
    January 22, 2013 9:22 AM
    I love the gown and it's metaphoric symbolism. The last several congresses have spent us nearly into the red and Michelle's elegant gown is a poignant reminder. If anyone wishes to place blame, place it where it belongs: Pres. Obama does not create a budget; he either approves or denies the budget that congress places before him.

    by: David Simons from: NY
    January 22, 2013 9:11 AM
    Really sad that what dress Michelle Obama wore is actually news. Pathetic really. Why do we care? Why should we care? Personally I think she looked horrible. But regardless, this is news? How many people were shot and killed yesterday? Several. So why do we need to hear about a dress? Pathetic!!!

    by: B Smith from: PA
    January 22, 2013 8:56 AM
    What is wrong here? Get dressed up in a very expensive dress and the media goes nuts. Obama hasn't produced a budget since he first took office and the media is mute.
    In Response

    by: Chris from: USA
    January 22, 2013 10:11 AM
    The President doesn't produce a budget. In fact, Congress doesn't either. Never has. Congress authorizes spending (and then for some reason idiot Republicans think it's okay to then not authorize payment of the debt after the money has been borrowed). This is basic, basic civics. I wouldn't make any more comments about the President and the government if I were you until you've spent some time to learn something about it.
    In Response

    by: BC. Guest from: Canada
    January 22, 2013 9:47 AM
    America's First Lady is beautiful and graceful, yet she's remains a humble person. Relish her while you still can!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora