MICHELLE O.-AMERICA’S 1st BLACK FIRST LADY
Barack Obama has been getting his recognition this week as “President-Elect” and so has Michelle Obama. On election night she looked radiant in her Narciso Rodriguez dress from his Spring 2009 collection. A lot of Political Analysts are discussing what kind of First Lady she will be. Will she be a no-nonsense, opinionated and well spoken First Lady like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or a more reserved and matriarchal First Lady like Laura Bush? I think since she first hit the campaign trail with her husband, Michelle Obama has definitely painted a picture for Americans that it is possible to be both. Often for educated mothers, there is the misconception that working, educated and mother can’t go together. The Ivy League educated Michelle has always stated that her first job is a mother, yet she has always been vocal on the campaign about issues that are just as important to her as they are to her husband; going city to city talking to citizens about the issues. That is one thing I don’t think I can say about our current First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain. As history has shown us, there has always been two types of First Ladies- the quiet and the meek and the bold and brazen. I think Michelle will merge the two types. I see her being a mix of Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie-O and a dash of Hillary. Hillary had Bill’s back 100%, she was the Presidential form of a “ride or die” chick, haha, I have no doubt Michelle has a little bit of that in her too, lol.
From a style standpoint, I think she will bring style and elegance back to the White House, gone since the days of Camelot with Jacquelyn Kennedy-Onassis, or “Jackie-O.” Jackie-O is forever considered a fashion icon and had impeccable style, atleast to me anyway. Women flocked to the department stores to get the pillbox hats, gloves and her signature “Jackie-O” circle framed sunglasses. We have already seen the influence of Michelle’s style on the masses. When she appeared on The View several months ago, wearing the $148 black and white Donna Ricco dress, it flew off the shelves at the White House/Black Market stores and sold out immediately on their website.
I look forward to seeing what she’ll be wearing to her husband’s inauguration and the inauguration ball. According to theybf.com, it is rumored that Michelle O. will be donning a gown by black designer Cassandra Bromfield– whose known for her Afrocentric wedding and formal gowns. I checked out her site and there wasn’t a lot of gowns to look at, but I’m sure if she is really designing the First Lady’s gown, she’ll be adding a little bit more to her site because she will be getting more hits in the upcoming months and I’m 100% positive about that one.
***A little history tidbit***: both Abraham Lincoln’s and John F. Kennedy’s wives had black seamstresses who designed many dresses for the famous first ladies. Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley, was her closest confidant and went on to write a book about Mary Lincoln’s troubled life. Ann Lowe designed Jacquelyn Kennedy’s wedding dress as well as other elites of the time and went on to have her own boutique on Madison Ave. Back then it was the norm for black women to be seamstresses, but today they would be considered designers and would have been more respected for their craft. I hope Michelle O. hires a black designer to design many of her looks for important events. If it is true, I hope Cassandra Bromfield will make a beautiful gown that will combine class, culture and sophistication together and will go down in the history books as well. It would be a good look for black designers and future ones (ahem*) and this time their work will be recognized and better appreciated. If not, she can never go wrong with Valentino ;-).