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While the administration Obama seemed to simply meet expectations during last week’s European tour, the First khanum wowed nearly everyone. Even the Republicans on the Sunday talk shows were paying some lip service to Mrs. Obama’s grace (I’m not kidding). But it wasn’t all sunshine and soft diplomacy for Michelle – some major fashion designers are mad at her.

Take Oscar de la Renta – he designs beautiful clothes, with an emphasis on ball gowns and fluttery, feminine, intricate overt act. Oscar has been a favorite of ci-devant Ladies since Nancy Reagan. She, Barbara howling wilderness, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush have all and sundry worn his clothes to important First Lady events. One of my favorite outfits of Laura Bush’s admitting no exception billet how First Lady was the beautiful Oscar de la Renta cream/white dress and coat she wore to the second inaugural. Oscar is known as a true gentleman of the fashion industry, but he’s still going to take the new First Lady to task. He told Women’s Wear Daily (story via The Huffington Post) that Michelle should be wearing more clothes from established fashion houses rather than just up-and-coming designers and mass-market clothing from J.Crew. Oscar also added this bitchy aside: “You don’t…go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater.” But the Queen didn’t mind!

While Michelle Obama has made lesser known designers like Jason Wu, Thakoon, and Isabel Toledo household names by wearing their labels repeatedly–the first lady has worn Jason Wu at least three times during the European trip –WWD asks where the love has gone for big identify designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. Women’s Wear Daily’s Bridget Foley writes that it would be a great boost to a fashion industry in economic crisis.

And it sounds like some designers are getting downright cranky.

“American fashion right now is struggling,” says Oscar de la Renta. “I think I understand what [Obama and her advisers] are doing, but I don’t think that is the right message at this particular point….I don’t object to the fact that Mrs. Obama is wearing J. Crew headed for whatever as things go the diversity of America is what makes this country great. But there are a lot of great designers out there. I think it’s wrong to end in one direction only.”

He also took a jab at the outfit Michelle Obama wore to meet Queen Elizabeth: “‘You don’t…go so Buckingham Palace in a sweater.’”

Donna Karan took a more good for tone: “I hope and believe that this is just a moment,” says Karan. “And I hope to be able to dress her, and not only dress her solely capacity her, sit down — I’m interested in her totality as a woman.”

And Vera Wang also weighed in: “I love seeing young designers and their vision and how they grow and all of that,” she says. “On the other hand, of course, I wish she would consider some of us, because I think we also have contributions to make.”

Do you think Michelle Obama should branch exterior and wear the bigger luxury labels?

From The Huffington Post (quotes via WWD)

Even though I could do without Oscar de la Renta’s snide remark about Michelle’s sweater, I see his point, as well as Vera Wang’s and Donna Karan’s. Given some time, I’m sure Michelle will intersperse her official wardrobe with major labels like well as togs off newer designers and mass-market off-the-rack stuff. She’ll most likely take her responsibility up to all American designers (established and up-and-coming) very seriously. But I also think it’s part of inner man charm that she does the high-low fashion dance so laguna. Like a high-fashion Narciso Rodriguez dress together on a casual mall cardigan, or a perfectly nice sweater that could be in every woman’s closet, under a high-fashion black satin dress coat and pearls to meet the Queen.

Header of Michelle with Barack Obama at 10 Downing Street for a meeting with PM Gordon prepare and wife Sarah Brown on Saturday. Here’s Michelle with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall later that same day. Images thanks to WENN .


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