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Jenice Armstrong: Michelle, rhymes with belle

Published: January 22, 2013 | 9:03 am
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From swearing-in to inaugural ball, dazzling is the FLOTUS operandi

“IF BEYONCE’S weave thinks she can upstage me, she is sorely mistaken”
- @FirstLadysBangs
That’s right, folks. First lady Michelle Obama’s new hairstyle has its own Twitter account. It makes sense, since the hairdo, unveiled on FLOTUS’ 49th birthday last week, was one of the most talked-about things on Inauguration Day. Even President Obama affixed his presidential seal of approval.

Way to mix it up, Michelle.

She did us proud.

I was hoping FLOTUS would turn it out for the inauguration. And she did just that, first, with that hairstyle and then by stepping out for morning services in a fierce, navy, menswear-inspired coat by designer Thom Browne, pumps by J. Crew and a necklace by Cathy Waterman. Same thing with the first daughters, who stood out against Washington’s dreary skies in bright pops of color – Malia in a fuchsia J. Crew coat and Sasha in a purple Kate Spade overcoat. Even Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson, was making a fashion statement in a luxurious-looking camel coat. Their outfits all worked individually but also as a group, making the first family look like something out of central casting.

And Michelle was just getting started.

Throughout the entire day, the first lady tweaked her looks – adding custom-made, leather-suede, knee-high boots by Reed Krakoff. For the inauguration lunch, she slipped out of her coat to reveal a matching, reverse print dress and a shrunken cardigan. By the time she alighted from the limo for a ceremonial walk in the parade, she’d added a jeweled J. Crew belt atop her coat.

It’s been a long while since D.C. has seen a first lady who gave off so much fashion drama.

Just when folks thought they’d seen it all, FLOTUS wowed again in a bright red halter gown with a deep V in the back by none other than Jason Wu, who designed the one-shoulder inaugural ball gown she wore in 2009. On her feet – what else? Shoes by Jimmy Choo. There wasn’t a sequin in sight on that dress of hers – not that she needed it. Michelle looked festive without appearing overdone, which was appropriate, given the still sluggish economic climate.

And that much talked-about hairdo was curled at the ends, flattering her face in a way that even her worst critics will have a hard time picking apart.
People always find fault, though.

But let them talk.

To me, the fact that the first African-American president was reelected for another four years in the White House and that instead of fixating on race, so many people are chattering about their clothes, shows just how far we’ve come as a nation. We’re inching closer to the dream that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked about, about people not being judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. We’ve made progress.

All I can say is hurray for us.

And hurray for America.

philly

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