A friend of Isabel Toledo, who designed the yellow dress that incoming First Lady Michelle Obama wore on Inauguration Day, tells Life & Style that Michelle's choice is a reflection of her great sense of style.
"I wasn't surprised at all that she [Michelle] chose Isabel Toledo," Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology, tells Life & Style.
"Mrs. Obama is an unusual woman with great fashion instincts and innate style. And she has always supported lesser-known designers like Thakoon, Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo," adds Mears, who has been friends with Toledo for 15 years.
"Isabel was very cognizant of two things when she designed this outfit. She knew all eyes would be on Michelle. And she knew that it would be very cold out. So she designed something that was very sophisticated and very warm. The upper part of the coat and the back of the sleeve are all lined with a pashmina lining for extra warmth around the torso.
"The fabric and color are also very sophisticated. There's an intricate layering of lace laid over wool. And Isabel calls the color lemongrass, which I think is so elegant.
"I saw the original pattern a few weeks ago. At that time even Isabel didn't know if Mrs. Obama would wear this design.
"Unlike other first ladies, Mrs. Obama didn't choose a suit. She chose a sheath, something that skims the body."
"Isabel Toledo is considered the ultimate designer for designers. She calls herself a dressmaker, not a designer. She really looks at the artisanal craftsmanship of every single garment. When Mrs. Obama wore Isabel's jersey tunic and pants to a fundraiser in New York City, she didn't work with Isabel. So Isabel was completely surprised.
"Isabel was really hoping that she'd wear something of hers for the inauguration. But she wanted to make sure it was a day outfit. Isabel is really down to earth, and she wanted this outfit to be something American women could actually wear."
"Isabel's design shows Mrs. Obama truly wants to create a balance of the new and innovative with things that are classic and traditional. And that's the ideal for every first lady. To have someone supporting this unique voice will really give American fashion a boost."
Photo Credit: Reuters/Landov
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!