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Stripey Shelley O

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Kittens, can you believe (almost) an entire month has gone by without us checking in on Mrs. O?



Michelle Obama attends the unveiling ceremony for the bust of Sojourner Truth in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC wearing a Sophie Theallet dress


Regardless of your party affiliation, you've got to admit it's an awesomely powerful moment when the nation's first African-American first lady unveils a long-overdue tribute to Sojourner Truth.

But enough of that! Let's criticize what she's wearing!




Sophie Theallet Spring 2009 Collection
Model: Samira Bento


Sophie Theallet is a French-born fashion designer living in the U.S. She's worked with Jean-Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaia. Of particular interest is that she used only black models to walk this collection, which makes Shelley's choice of this dress for this event a bit ... subversive. Oh, Shelley. You cheeky girl. We love a woman who can send a secret message through fashion.




As for the dress...we LOVE it. We still maintain that she should stay away from full skirts because they do her no favors, figure-wise, but we can't deny that despite the silhouette, she looks great. It's the brilliantly colored stripes. They tend to take the eyes away from her hips. But honey, please get a gay to teach you Belts 101 soon, mkay? We're not sure if it's the color, the size or the placement (it looks like she's wearing it too high), but something's not working around the waist area.

Would that she only had the nerve to wear the head scarf that the model's wearing. It really completes the look but we suspect over-sensitive pundits would have read too much into it.

[Photos: Getty Images/Style.com]



Post a Comment
75 comments:

Love that dress! The belt seems a bit too wide, but I still think she looks amazing.

I would have loved to see her with the scarf too, but one step at a time!


I agree, she looks good and I can't but believe that the subtle "message through fashion" was entirely intentional.

Maybe not the head scarf, but some splash of color between the shoulders and the top of her head would have improved the look.

Although, better no splash than a splash of the wrong color.


i think she looks great! although i agree, a different style of belt would have looked better- i think it is the buckle thats ruining it for me. while i agree that the headscarf makes the outfit look really cute on the model, the first lady's ethnicity aside, i think the scarf would have looked inappropriate (too casual) on her... too "i am going to the beach" or "i am riding in a convertable" but thats just my opinion...


i'm lovin' that dress as well - kudos to Shelly for the subversiveness of it all ;o)

is part of her issue with the belts perhaps that she is longwaisted and the belts are riding just a mite high?

the one thing Ms. O will never be criticized for is being boring & bland, like her predecessor.


I like the dress A-LOT!

Love the banner at the bottom of the skirt, it completely makes the dress.

And I think she should've worn the scarf around her neck.

But you're right, TLo. The Faux News/Stromfront acolytes would have gone hogwild with the Hattie McDaniel compairsons.


LOVE. THE. DRESS.

She looks great.

Interesting that the designer only used black models. That's awesome!


Mariana (The Unoriginal)

"
Regardless of your party affiliation, you've got to admit it's an awesomely powerful moment when the nation's first African-American first lady unveils a long-overdue tribute to Sojourner Truth."


Yes, it is. This made me choke up a little. Thank you for this post, guys.


Beautiful! She looks amazing.


And thanks for the Shelley O fix. I was beginning to go into withdrawal.


GORGE!


The dress is totally cute.

It seems that she's stuck in the 50's though- we don't see many modern silhouettes on this woman do we.


Is it the lighting or is the model wearing more of a charcoal to the First Lady's full black? I like the shade on the model better but not sure how it would look against MO's skin.

That being said, she looks great.


But enough of that! Let's criticize what she's wearing!Oh, you Boys. Love you.

I like the belted shirtwaist on her. Mostly I wish she'd throw away all her belts, but in this case I think it looks great. I know the stripes on the bottom are what make the dress interesting, yet somehow I don't love them on her. And yet, schizophrenically, I love that she's wearing a more "daring" version of an otherwise conservative look.


I thought you boys would enjoy this comment:

“If more homosexuals were in the Obamas’ lives, there is no way Michelle would have worn a twin set when she met the queen.”

--Max Mutchnick, co-creator of Will and Grace, quoted in The New York Times.


She looks great in these pictures(love that smile). I love the dress on her. Don't mind the belt at all. I think she *is* a bit high waisted, people with very long legs often are.
The head scarf, I think, would have made it too casual.


I disagree about staying away from full skirts.... This is a perfect example oh how flattering they are on someone with hips. As long as they're not dirndle style with the fullness at waist level.
She looks lovely. I love the combo of brilliant blue with black. I saw a picture of this event in this morning's Washington Post, but didn't see the glorious stripes of color.
Bravo!!


I LOVE the dress, period.
I had read on another blog yesterday, that that dress sold out in a matter of hours on Sophie Theallet's website.
It also comes in white.
I have to give it to Shelly O. She has been such a breath of fresh air and style compared to the last 8 years of pantsuits and Ancient Oscar de la Renta! It's like Jackie Kennedy compared to Mamie Eisenhower!!!


I wish she had kept with the runway look's contrasting belt -- she's a column of black until your eye hits the banner of color at the hem. The dress is beautiful, though, I just wish there was some pop of color other than at the hem.


StkrShock said...

I LOVE the dress, period.
I had read on another blog yesterday, that that dress sold out in a matter of hours on Sophie Theallet's website.
.


It looks like you can still buy it here.


XO
TLo


Love the shirt dress with the original belt, though. She looks great!


No. I just hate it. Unsophisticated, howdy doody dress. What was she thinking??? And she looks big in it.

Stick with the tailored clothes, Michelle!!!


I can understand not liking it or thinking its not flattering, but "unsophisticated?" What's unsophisticated about it?


The belt she's wearing looks like it's the same size as the model's belt, but it looks like she has it on too tight. Maybe if she let it out a notch it wouldn't look so wonky around the middle. Otherwise, she looks fine.


TLo said:
StkrShock said...

I LOVE the dress, period.
I had read on another blog yesterday, that that dress sold out in a matter of hours on Sophie Theallet's website..


It looks like you can still buy it here.


XO
TLo

-------
Oh, gee, thanks SO much, TLo!! I just happen to have about $2,000 hanging around!!! LOL
Not to mention the only two sizes left are 4 and 6!! That's an even bigger LOL!!
Thanks for pointing out the site, though. You boys always aim to please!!! I do covet that dress, sigh.


Don't worry, you'll be able to get the knockoff for 1/10th the price in less than 6 months.


I think the dress looks great on her - perhaps she could have worn some earrings or a big necklace in the blue to break up the top but the belt was fine considering the event. The original was just too casual.


potty mouth princess

She's very short waisted, especially for someone her height, and she's a bit of a pear shape, so if she's going to do belts, they should be thin, or maybe non-existent.

Love the color of the skirt, but agreed it's a little too 50's sitcom housewife full for me. Just a little less volume and it would have been a grand slam. As it is, it's a home-run.


I disagree about the head scarf. I think that it's a little too "matchy-matchy."


I love the dress! Perfectly First Lady with a little flash o' fashion! I think I want that dress, not that I'm aspiring to First Lady-dom.

It appears to me from looking at whatever pictures we get of her, that Ms. Shelley O has an unusually high waist, which is going to make any shirtwaisted dress fit a little funny and any belt look really funny. For that reason I'm glad she didn't wear a brightly colored belt with this dress, which would have called a ton of attention to it.

I know you didn't ask, but IN IN IN!


She looks like a fashionable first lady should, perfect!


I usually secretly love the Mrs. Cleaver look, but I don't love this. It's the stripes, they look like an after-factory installation to me (yes, I know they are original). Also, I continue to assert that she needs to pledge to a Week Without Belts just to reset her belt-need sensor. Sure, this dress did need one (although the blue looked better), but I grow wear of them in general.


Love it! Almost took me from my recession blues.


IMO it takes extra taleneted gays to dress Shelly O from the waist down.

I am fairly fashionable but I would have no idea what to put her in to balance out her figure flaws.

TampaBay


She should have worn the head scarf around the neck. That would have been sublime.

She looks great though!


I think another reason for no head scarf is that her hair is one of her signatures.

I like the dress. Don't absolutely love it on her, and I think due to what you point out about the full skirt. She rules in pegged skirts.

IN


Tampabay said, "I am fairly fashionable but I would have no idea what to put her in to balance out her figure flaws.


Some of us LOVE that the first lady can give Beyonce's assets a run for her money! Don't hide , accessorize!


Anyway, I would love to have seen Shelley O with her hair up and some appropriate, but stand out earrings.


I wish the skirt was just a tiny bit longer.


Luv Huh, Luv the dress.

As for the belt being too high, it seems that belts seem to naturally ride high on her waist. She's just long-legged & high-waisted. I'm thinking maybe that's why she wore a black belt instead of the blue one shown in the show.

And BTW, Sojourner Truth has been honored before (including on a US postage stamp), but obviously, THIS time was more special.

--GothamTomato


She looks amazing. I love the dress.


" Anonymous said...

And I think she should've worn the scarf around her neck."


Me too.


i disagree that full skirts are not for her, or for women with wider hips. where the fullness happens is important.


I love it! It really contributes to the "celebration" aspect of the event. Of course, the look is helped along by her beautiful smile.

Hillary wore a beautiful color, too. (But, I wish she and Nancy would back away from the matchy-matchy pantsuits... Although Hill has looked great recently, hasn't she - she seems to be enjoying her new job!)


PS - Sophie Theallet seems like a lovely person/designer and deserving of the new attention.

It's wonderful these small designers are getting their due.


Please please please critique this one. It actually looks almost okay from this angle. It's worth seeing from the front though. It hurts my eyes.

(page 31)
http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20253745_20253744_20590420,00.html


I don't think it's the fullness of the skirt that's the problem; it's the length. Imagine it coming to an inch or so below the knee instead of hovering at (or cms above) it, and it's a great look.


too many cats

The Times of London looks at the ten stages of her style (including another frock with wide horizontal stripes)


http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article6187772.ece


The model looks good in the dress, Michelle O just looks hippy. And I don't mean like 70's hippy, I mean wide in the hips and the belting is horrible as usual. Fashion Icon, she is not.


Big huge stripe, wow!!! Looks like a beach towel, really really find it tacky and ugly and that is why I find it unsophisticated. Ugh.


Anonymous
4/29/09 6:39 PM
Fashion Icon, she is not.

You mean, not YET.

She'll get there.:0P


This is absolutely beautiful. I am very proud of our First Lady honoring such a great woman.


It looks like a style for a young lady maybe, but definitely not for the First Lady.


I love the brightness at the hem.


I loved the dress too. I agree with you guys, that belt sucks!

Apart from the belt, she looks amazing! :)


Are you going with the Shelley thing for 4 whole years? I thought it was temporary.

Her name is Michelle. If it was supposed to be a takeoff on Jackie O, I think it's run its course. She's her own woman.


Six thumbs up!

The belt is high because she is extremely short-waisted. If her legs were normal length compared to the rest of her body, she'd be six inches shorter. It's the long legs and high butt that throws off these styles.


"Are you going with the Shelley thing for 4 whole years?"

If it continues to annoy the humorless and oversensitive, I sincerely hope they do.


Michelle can wear these skirts if they are designed somewhat differently. This gathered-at-the-waist look is unflattering to her, BUT the flounced dress she wore in Europe actually hugged the waist and the top part of the hip before spreading out -- all the difference in the world!

BTW, that black flounced Azzedine Alaia dress she wore in Europe, which was largely dumped upon here, just won the HuffingtonPost's survey on which of her looks was her best.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/michelle-obamas-first-100_n_191987.html


If Mrs. Obama is purchasing her clothes off the rack, that's why her belts always seem to be high. I'm the same height as she (5'10"+) and the waist on every tailored garment hits me high. She can use a wide belt to hide the discrepancy a bit, but believe me, it can only do so much.

It is so refreshing to see a First Lady who obviously loves clothes and wears them so well. Her wardrobe is optimistic, it's a wonderful perspective on classic American sportswear, and it is realistic. I'm so proud of her.


Armchair Observer

The splash of bright, perfect blue is what is so arresting about this outfit. Otherwise, it's just a shirtdress. But that spash of blue is placed in a beautifully proportioned manner, and it's just a happy, vibrant look.

I agree that her outfits aren't Armani Prive. But Michelle is telling us you don't have to break the bank to look quite nice, and she continues to surprise and delight with her offbeat choices. Also, for those really watching, she sometimes intentionally selects her outfits to match the color theme of the event.

Kudos to her for being independent enough to set the fashion tone rather than being dictated to.


Love the dress and kudos to the designer for hiring black models.


" Armchair Observer said...
Michelle is telling us you don't have to break the bank to look quite nice,"

Oh, come on. It's a TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR dress.


The dress is simple but beautiful. She looks great!


Honesty.not.pc

Oh (sigh of relief)! I am so glad you liked it. I loved the look and you guys can be harsh on her sometimes when I liked what she was wearing. Such a classy gal!


Re the price-tag for this particular dress -- the point is that you can be influenced by the style and then find something in your price-point to match it. There are some cute shirtwaists at Target right now.

Michelle isn't restricted to Target and good for her.

The point is that it doesn't scream out its cost as if the fact it's a relatively expensive designer dress makes it more impressive.

I think.


I agree she needs a bit of color near her face. How about one of her signature brooches?


MouseAnony
BTW, that black flounced Azzedine Alaia dress she wore in Europe, which was largely dumped upon here, just won the HuffingtonPost's survey on which of her looks was her best.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/michelle-obamas-first-100_n_191987.html

Faux News trolls at work.
Let them choke on their tea!


I wish she had worn the blue belt. But the headscarf would have been a skosh too much.


I haven't really seen Shelley O as a 'style icon' or revolutionary (yes she is miles ahead of any recent first lady... no that does not mean much)

but her secret message through fashion is super cute.
To really get me as a fan, though, she'd have to have worn the headscarf and just gagged america. that would have been fierce.


The dress looks great on her and what a wonderful thing to celebrate.


"Sara said...

I wish she had worn the blue belt. But the headscarf would have been a skosh too much."


I guess you're right, but I love the scarf too, perhaps worn around the neck. Too matchy-matchy?


I keep waiting for you boys to catch on but since it's not happening, I'll help.

Michelle Obama is not afraid of her hips nor any of her other curvy parts.

And thank the lord for that!


Yellow belt.

If not the blue, then the other accent color should have been picked up instead.


The problem is that she is extremely shortwaisted - haven't you all noticed that before? So, belting, unless it is right under her breasts for an empire effect, is wrong for her. Look at where her elbows are at in relationship to her waist and compare it next to the model's. Her elbows are way below her waist, I have noticed this in many prior photos.


If she tied that as a scarf around her neck or on her wrist, it would have worked as well


Does it look to you like the dress has been altered? The model looks like she's wearing a simple dress cinched in with a belt. Ms. O looks like her dress has a more 50s shape: a gathered skirt attached to a shirt-waist bodice. Am I imagining it?





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