Stop the presses, or whatever the online equivalent of that is: Michelle Obama is wearing a custom, rose-hued, chainmail Versace gown to her final State Dinner as first lady. That’s right, Versace. Consider the mic dropped.
“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to dress the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama,” said Donatella Versace. “Thank you, Michelle, for all of the things you have done for America and for the rest of the world, for the women in the United States and the rest of the world."
Considering the dinner is being held in honor of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, Obama couldn’t possibly have picked a more appropriate brand. But more importantly, this stunning dress speaks to her trailblazing time in the Whitehouse.
She is the first FLOTUS in recent memory—perhaps in history—to don a knockout Versace number to an official event. Was it as epic as her recent speech denouncing violence against women and the rotting jack-o-lantern that is Donald Trump? Not quite. But it was epic nonetheless.
Obviously, Obama’s tenure as the first African American First Lady is about so much more than her fashion choices—it was about proving that the American Dream is still alive at a time when its light was burning low; it was about children, women, and families; it was about education and health; it was about female empowerment—but, as author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whose essay “We Should All Be Feminists” was the inspiration for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s much-publicized Spring 2017 Dior t-shirt) said in T Magazine’s tribute to Obama, “She had become an American style icon. Her dresses and workouts. Her carriage and curves. Toned arms and long slender fingers. Even her favored kitten heels, for women who cannot fathom wearing shoes in the halfway house between flats and high heels, have earned a certain respect because of her. No public figure better embodies that mantra of full female selfhood: Wear what you like.”
Tonight, Obama did just that. She wore what she damn well pleased, and she looked incredible. Also, to all those haters who made snide comments about her occasional J.Crew ensembles, or actually, any of her ensembles over the last eight years, consider yourselves served.