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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid