Michelle Obama has never missed a beat when it comes to dressing for an important occasion.
Who could forget the one-shouldered white silk chiffon gown embellished with organza flowers with Swarovski crystal centers that she wore to the inaugural ball in 2009? The gorgeous dress was the creation of a little-known Chinese-American designer named Jason Wu, who has since become a bonafide star in the fashion world — often referred to as the next Oscar de la Renta.
Ever since that first wow-worthy moment, First Lady Michelle Obama has continued to slay her big fashion moments.
Her final state dinner was no exception.
Draped in a custom-made rose gold chain mail dress by Atelier Versace, Mrs. Obama flexed her fashion muscles once more. But it wasn’t just that the dress was a beautifully cut exercise in sartorial diplomacy — the state dinner was held in honor of Italy, and Versace is one of the country’s greatest entrepreneurial success stories — it also made an important statement about female empowerment.
Mrs. Obama’s speech in New Hampshire last week is still resonating in the minds of women across the country. Her carefully chosen words were masterfully delivered. The message was simple: women deserve to be respected. It’s perfectly fitting, then, that her Atelier Versace dress evoked that all-important message. Mrs. Obama’s decision to don a dress made, quite literally, of chain mail — a type of metal armor — reflects the very female strength and power she has exuded so gracefully throughout her tenure in the White House. In the most elegant of ways, she sent a message of empowerment to women throughout this country.
It’s no coincidence that Mrs. Obama chose Donatella Versace to design the dress for her. Versace’s rise to success is an exemplary story of determination, courage and strength. She took the reigns of the storied Italian fashion house after her brother, Gianni Versace (the founder of the brand), was tragically murdered in Miami in 1997. Donatella grew the brand into the canonical entity it is today. Versace herself described her most recent womenswear collection as “all about a woman’s freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be.”
Nobody embodies that message as perfectly as our first lady.
Here are some more photos of Obama’s flawless look.