Changing the World with Jason Wu


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Photo: Getty Images

I think it is pretty apparent that I adore our new first lady. It is so nice to have a fashion forward yet classic woman back in the white house. I thought she looked stunning at the inauguration ceremony yesterday in Isabel Toledo [with Jimmy Choo and J.Crew] and completely divine at the inaugural ball in Jason Wu [he will now live a completely fulfilled life from this point forward].  

In these times especially, the wardrobe decisions she makes are so important. The fact that she continues to embrace young American designers is renewing a hope in the fashion design industry. The way she so easily and elegantly mixes high and low fashion pieces makes it so easy to aspire to dress like her. A lot of people think it is silly that a fashion choice is a beacon of light for a good portion of the population. It is obvious that I feel the exact opposite.

The fashion industry is notorious for reflecting socioeconomic conditions in collections- whether subtly or in a more avant garde fashion [see Viktor and Rolf]. As much as collections reflect the times, they also offer a look at the future. Designers have a 6th sense in this way- they know that they need to reflect the times [clothes are more understated in pre-fall collections but still include luxe details to keep people optimistic about fashion] and at the same time they know they need to create something that will dictate the mood of consumers everywhere. If all of the spring collections shown in September offered a muted palette and dark colors- it may have reflected the current economic crisis we are facing, But it also would dictate the mood of those wearing the clothes. We would feel somber, unmotivated, pessimistic.

If our first lady had dressed in a way that was reflective of how many Americans are feeling about the economy, we too we would have no sense of optimism with the new administration. Michelle Obama wore colors and designs that were bright, lighty, and optimistic. Her fashion choices have the ability to dictate the mood of Americans. If our First Lady can dress in a way that says things are going to be okay, and we see collections with this same message then we are going to feel better about things. It is kind of like fashions self-fulfilling prophecy.

Jackie Kennedy did the same thing in the 1960s, and it is a beautiful thing to see it happening again. Fashion is a powerful tool and I know that Michelle will use it wisely.

Check out these for some good inauguration fashion coverage:

Obama Inauguration \’09: Pomp, Circumstance and Celebs by WWD

Michelle Obama: Vigorously Stylish NY Times by Cathy Horyn

[I apologize for how incredibly boring Cathy Horyn is when she speaks, but it is good content and photography]


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