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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid