January 21, 2009

Now comes the hard part...

ARE you guys sufficiently rested already? I dunno about you, but I was still at my Mac until way past 6 AM half-sleeping in my bed, and watching the Obama inaugural. So mejo antok pa ako and I can't be held responsible for what I write here. hehe

Anyhoo, I was so happy to see the part where President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama went down from their tank (that was just a huge monstrosity...did you see how thick the doors of that GMC were?!) and walked along Pennsylvania Ave. waving to the people. That was really awesome. How long since a U.S. President and his wife has done that? I'm too sleepy to research the answer to that one, sorry.

(President and First Lady Obama walking down Pennsylvania Ave. after the swearing-in ceremony. Loved the dress and pumps, but with the gloves, I wasn't feeling it. The President, on the other hand, looks handsome and dapper. Kilig! Photo from Reuters)

But the feeling of excitement, renewed hope, restored energy was just palpable as the crowds cheered for the couple while they walked. It sure was a great time to be in DC. Nakakainggit! But now after the inaugural festivities are over (the couple has finally turned in after attending all those balls according to the press reports), comes the hard part...critiquing the First Lady's outfits! Bitch ba? haha. It was just that my cellphone and mailbox were full of comments from my girlfriends and my sister about the First Lady's attire, both at the swearing-in ceremony, and the Inaugural ball.

As we've seen in the past, the First Lady really has her own fashion sense. She usually sticks to the basics (business suits) and the same silhouettes (shift dresses). On some days, she wears high-end brands like Narciso Rodriguez, on other days, she's in a J. Crew (the clothing store has been cutting its prices in a bid to increase its sales so malapit na syang maging low end brand hehe) .

(The olive green gloves up close. Yak color! But look at the detail in her dress ha. Wonderful! Photo by Getty Images)

I personally loved the yellow-gold embroidered dress and coat she wore to the swearing-in ceremony. It was bright and sunny, as was intended to be by the young Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo. But I hated the hideous olive green gloves and green pumps. Why? Because I just hate the color green, yun lang! Kahit na Jimmy Choo pa yung shoes nya. With the shoes alone, the outfit was actually striking, but I thought the gloves just wrecked it.

(This was the Milly houndstooth dress Dr. Jill Biden, the Vice President's wife, was wearing underneath that hot red coat. Loved her boots as well. Biden photo by Reuters)

In a departure from her predecessors, the First Lady stuck to just one ball gown, an ivory white, one shoulder, ruched gown created by a relatively unknown designer Jason Wu. (Departure because usually, a First Lady changes her gown for every inauguration ball she and the President attends.) The Wu frou-frou looked like a "prom dress" griped my sister. I couldn't agree with her more. Perhaps the intention was to soften up the hard features of the First Lady. However, the gown didn't look flirty or feminine at all, it was yun nga prom dress-y. I thought it probably looked better up close, cos maybe those rhinestones and Swarovski crystals would give it the oomph it needed, but sorry, the entire thing reminded me of of a plucked chicken.

(The inaugural ball gown: Looks like a plucked chicken to me. Photo by Getty Images)

On the other hand, I super loved the Vice President's wife Jill Biden, for walking in those sleek black calf-length stilleto boots and red overcoat. She really rocked! She was apparently wearing a Milly houndstooth dress under her fab, fab coat. Apparently some people criticized her for the length of the dress, the hemline grazing above her knees, but hello, if you have it, flaunt it. These were not the knees of a fuddy duddy old woman approaching senior citizenship I tell ya.

At the ball, Dr. Biden was sooo splendid in a red strapless gown by Lebanese-American Reem Acra. (She dresses all these celebrities walking the red carpet.) It was so simple with just a tad amount of ruching, but Dr. Biden looked so vava-voom sexy. The Vice President just looked so positively cuter beside her. I truly am fascinated with this couple as much as I adore the President and his First Lady. Last thing about Dr. Biden's Inaugural Day outfits, if you compare them to what she's been wearing all throughout the campaign, it seemed a radical departure. Parang from conservative, biglang, wow, fabulosa!

(Jill Biden in a Reem Acra red gown. Doesn't she and the VP look awfully good together?)

Too bad the First Lady's hands were tied in the matter of picking a gown color. Tradition has it that First Ladies wear white during inaugural balls. Perhaps she should have chosen a different silhouette or did away with that one-strap look, or chose a different designer altogether. Methinks even that outrageous Christian Siriano who won season 4 of Project Runway would have done a better job of designing her ball dress.

Oh well, at least the First Lady is daring enough to try out different looks and continues to excite the girls into commenting about what she's wearing. Her predecessors were hardly fashion plates, and were largely boring in their attire. So winner pa din ang First Lady kahit pano.
* * * *

OF course ang pinaka-winner sa lahat ay:

(The hat was custom-made by Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit.)

Only a big woman with a big voice like Aretha Franklin can get away with a magnificent hat like that! Love it!


VRG said...

You know how I can't resist a fashion entry! First off - the Isabel Toledo is very Latin inspired. I remember my grandma's lace dresses with satin sashes she used to wear to church. Akshully, if you switch the color to whte, gave her a blue satin sash and have the inauguration on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, then tamang-tamang pang-Lourdes ang kanyang ensemble!

Agree that the inaugural gown is blah but at least youthful. It looks like a French deshabille (read as damit-pambahay). FYI, First Ladies are not confined to the color white. Jackie was the first one to make a point of wearing white and she had all sorts of historical references she was using for wearing white. Michelle's gown is very reminiscent of Nancy Reagan's inaugural gown (1st term) by Galanos. Nancy's was the first inaugural gown to have the one-shoulder.

Pasensya ka na - you know how obsessed I get with fasyon history!

Stella Arnaldo said...

Yes, I was supposed to correct this entry about first ladies wearing white ball gowns. I saw a clip yesterday w/c showed Hillary Clinton in a blue gown. So nag-feeling Jackie O lang siguro ang Lola mo that's why she insisted she wear white too. I thought purple would've suited her better.

And mejo di ko na-gets why the President was wearing a white bowtie. He still looked dapper though. Kahit siguro pasuot mo sya ng pambahay (purontong shorts and camiseta), he will still look good. Crush ko ba? :p

RubyG said...

hahaha! Stella! Been quite awhile since I last visited your site.. curious kasi ako what you wrote about Obama, et.al..

Ok.. I can't resist writing about the First Lady's choices...some were ok; while some were not. I've seen photos of her in various styles (Time, Special Inauguration Issue) and I think she should stick to shift dresses in solid colors and should wear kitten heels. How can I explain it well? She's a big lady with strong features and photos taken from a lower angle do not flatter her. Ayoko man sabihin, parang siyang monster. I wish you could see the photos I am pertaining to so you can get my drift.

I like the yellow dress but hate the white frou-frou number. You're right, parang pang-prom. Sana clean and simple silhouette na lang.. Pero pag dating sa President, he looks good in anything! :D

Stella Arnaldo said...

Cannot agree w/ you more Ruby. Yes, she should stick to shift dresses in solid colors. More flattering to her ahm, hard facial features.

"Para siyang monster" - LOL! Bad ka ha :p

Thanks for dropping by.