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Time and again we have been wowed by Michelle Obama’s sense of style. Over the past eight years, the US first lady has impressed us with her sartorial choices, but for her it’s not always about dressing up and looking pretty. She has, in fact, used fashion as a strategic tool to convey cross-border diplomatic messages. For instance, at the White House’s last state dinner, held in October, in honour of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama wore Italian haute couture Versace while Renzi chose Armani.
What’s unusual about it? Maybe, it’s just a coincidence but get this, on December 4, the day of the Italian referendum that resulted in the announced resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, she wore another Italian brand, Gucci to Washington’s cultural event of the year, the Kennedy Center Honors. Now, the first lady has largely broken out of the ‘Made in America’ box, but in the eight years of attending the cultural event, it is the first time she wore a non-American designer.
Also, it’s the second time she has worn Gucci, the first being in September on The Ellen DeGeneres Show when she chose a vintage map print dress. The custom-made green and pink off-shoulder metallic silk crepe Gucci gown has been interpreted as a show of solidarity towards Renzi, especially on an evening where the broadcast will be watched by millions of people.
Previously, Obama has been known to help put lesser-known designers by wearing their creations and putting them on the map. Prabal Gurung is one such designer. Even during a visit to India, Obama had worn a piece by Indian-origin fashion designer Rachel Roy, while a Japan tour saw her give a diplomatic nod to Kenzo.