Brandon Maxwell is quickly becoming America's chief provider of subtle elegance and sophistication.
The designer is having a landmark year, dressing megawatt clients for some of the biggest events of 2016 to many a great review. He provided Lady Gaga with a series of ensembles throughout this past awards season (she received numerous nominations for her song, “Til it Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground), leading up to a pretty amazing trouser/bustle combination at the Oscars. Gaga then swapped out the top for a more lightweight bustier for the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
The transformative aspect of his outfits was seen again on Karlie Kloss at the Met Gala. The model arrived in a chic coat and capelet, before shedding them to reveal a sexy gown. That (somehow) became even sexier when the bottom was lobbed off into a mini skirt for the after party. Oh, and did you see Naomi Campbell in her plunging Maxwell gown when she accompanied him to the CFDA Awards? And who can forget that the up-and-comer, who was a 2016 LVMH Prize finalist, and the winner of this year's Swarovski Award for Womenswear, just debuted his very first ad campaign, which he shot and directed himself?
But all that is just the tip of the iceberg. Maxwell has now made a splash in the political world, dressing FLOTUS Michelle Obama for the White House’s state dinner honoring the prime minister of Singapore.
Obama's look was somewhat similar to Gaga’s and Kloss’s, in that it was a white gown with no embellishments with an emphasized waist and a curved, structured bodice (this last detail is becoming somewhat a signature).
As the Obamas are the closets thing the United States has to a royal family, this is a pretty major opportunity for any designer. But coupled up with Maxwell’s other sartorial wins in the past few months, he might very well be on a path to becoming the most exciting American eveningwear designer since Charles James. And honestly, we can't help but dream about Hillary Clinton in a tailored Maxwell evening tux. Can we nominate Maxwell for the role of Designer-in-Chief?