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Obama Style: Michelle’s First Looks as First Lady

Whether she wants it or not, every First Lady comes under style scrutiny that lasts not just an evening or the length of her time in the White House, but for all posterity. The inaugural ball gowns worn by each, for example, have ended up in the Smithsonian since Helen Taft started the tradition in 1909, when she donated to the museum the white silk chiffon number she wore on her husband’s first night as president.

Last night, First Lady Michelle Obama donned a white, single-strap gown by the relatively-unknown, 26-year-old designer Jason Wu. The asymmetry of the gown’s top, gathered bodice and airy appliques on the floor-length skirt strike a youthful departure from the structured, traditional and – let’s be honest – more matronly looks worn by her recent predecessors.

Earlier in the day, the First Lady chose a butter-hued, wool and lace ensemble by Isabel Toledo that has garnered much praise for its classic silhouette and celebratory sparkle.

If you’d like to don something similar to an upcoming fete, we hear a version of Toledo’s creation for Michelle Obama will hit Barney’s in March and retail for $1,500.

Curious what other fashion sources are saying about Michelle Obama’s first fashion picks as First Lady? Coverage abounds: