At Around $700, Michelle Obama's State Dinner Gown is Her Most Egalitarian - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
At Around $700, Michelle Obama’s State Dinner Gown is Her Most Egalitarian
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Last night, as Baltimore’s riots finally wound down to a bonfire, the White House again celebrated a major, five-star event destined to showcase the Obama Administration’s deep connection to the poor people of this fair land. Last night’s fete was in honor of the Japanese Prime Minister who was in town on an official state visit.

While Michelle Obama is known, generally, for her lavish design choices — remember, for a moment, that $2000 sundress that looked like it had been purchased at Target — last night, possibly in response to criticism of the White House and DC media’s out-of-touch Correspondents’ Dinner performance, the First Lady instead chose a modest gown by Japanese-American designer Tadashi Shoji that would likely retail for around $700, much less than the average monthly rent in most urban areas.

For the Japan state dinner, first lady Michelle Obama wore a floor-length gown in a brilliant shade of purple by designer Tadashi Shoji. The dress was sleeveless and feminine with a delicate V-neckline and a fitted bodice embellished with feathery embroidery. The skirt was full and flowing. It was a party dress — pretty, polite and resolutely traditional.

It was also a beautiful example of fashion diplomacy.

On a night when the White House was celebrating the culture and traditions of Japan, Obama chose a gown by a designer who was born in Japan and came to the United States in the 1970s when he was headed to college. Shoji, 67, built his business in Los Angeles, where he gained a reputation for gowns on the red carpet. But he is very much a part of Seventh Avenue; he presents his collection in New York and is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Even though a version of the gown did walk the runway in Shoji’s Autumn 2015 collection, it was modified to include a more modest lining (the original gown was see-through blue tulle over a bare, flesh-toned undergarment). And while I resist being as effusive as Robin Givhan, whose keyboard will no doubt have to be replaced today after they wipe off all of the drool, the First Lady looked pretty darn good. 

Michelle Obama also addressed another criticism: that she rarely wears American designers. Tadashi Shoji is headquartered in California and his clothes are available nationwide.

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