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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Michelle Obama’s documentary Becoming: A fashion trip guided by stylist Meredith Koop

According to a report in The Town & Country, Michelle met Koop when the latter was working at Ikram Goldman's boutique. Much of how Koop worked was a extension of the foundation laid by Goldman.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 7, 2020 8:49:01 pm
Michelle Obama documentary film Becoming Meredith Koop styled Michelle Obama during the book tour. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP)

If you have watched Becoming, the Netflix documentary on Michelle Obama, you must have noticed Meredith Koop. The one-and-a-half hour documentary sheds light on the life of the former First Lady, her book tour to promote Becoming, the constant scrutiny she was subjected to, and the shoes which were always talked about even when she was making an impassioned speech. In this context, her stylist Meredith Koop plays a big role.

Introduced later in the documentary, Koop, who is seen holding a blush-pink jacket embellished with stones, remarks, “She is not a minimalist. When I look at this suit, I do see Elvis,” adding, “and I don’t have a problem with that.” This one throwaway moment is telling us of Michelle’s sartorial choices and also how far back the two go.

According to a report in The Town & Country, Michelle met Koop when the latter was working at Ikram Goldman’s boutique. Goldman played a huge role in shaping the fashion legacy of Michelle Obama and had a hand in her wearing that famous white Jason Wu dress at the January 2009 inauguration.

Much of how Koop worked was an extension of the foundation laid by Goldman. All the dresses worn by Michelle during her book tour were styled by Koop. In an interview with Vogue, she recollected the White House years and said, “I had to learn on a few occasions the hard way to practice restraint and be more risk averse. I couldn’t really approach the styling like, ‘Oh, this is so fabulous, this is beautiful.’ That wasn’t the primary goal.”

But things are starkly different during the book tour as witnessed in the documentary. There are sequins, embellished boots and shirts and multi-hued blazer pants. “The book tour was a completely different energy, and there was more of an opportunity to breathe and experiment and try new things,” she mentioned in the same interview.

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Sunday night in Nashville, I walked off stage for the final time on my #IAmBecoming tour. After 34 stops, from Chicago to Copenhagen and Vancouver to Atlanta, I couldn’t be more humbled—or more hopeful. I started this journey knowing that in order for you all to know who I was, you had to know my whole story—the broken parts, the struggles, and the imperfections. It wasn’t always easy to share those moments, but I know that it’s only because of them that I was able to become something more. So thank you all—all the young people I met along the way, all the folks sitting in the balconies, all the book clubs who generated real discussions—for recognizing that truth in your own lives, and for sharing it not just with me but with the world. If each of us can do more of that, if we can be a little more vulnerable, a little more honest with ourselves and with each other, then maybe we can pay that lesson forward to someone else. Maybe we’ll be able to offer each other a little more grace. And maybe then, we can more fully embrace the ways we are the same. To me, that’s how we can all keep becoming, together.

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❤️

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One particular outfit which really stands out is a yellow wrap dress styled with sparkly boots from Balenciaga. The thigh-high metallic boots did steal the show and is a high point in the documentary, showing people around visibly gasp in admiration. There are lots of whites, such as a sheer off-shoulder shirt paired with matching pants. There is also a custom Stella McCartney jumpsuit she is seen wearing in one instance.

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That's a wrap! When I think about all the people who have come out to our events over these past few weeks, I think about a little working-class kid named Michelle LaVaughn Robinson—an ordinary girl who had some tales to tell, some failures and some successes, too. She had a lot to learn, a lot to experience, a lot to give—more than she ever could have imagined. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my story lately, and what I keep coming back to is that no matter where we came from, we all share so much. People of all backgrounds, skin colors, and political persuasions can relate to feeling uncertain or overwhelmed. We’ve all been a little frustrated by the slow, frustrating growth necessary to get where we want to go. We’ve all struggled with the balancing act that can take over days, years, or decades of our lives. And I want us all to remember that these are the moments and lessons that make us who we are — every little twist and turn, every little bump and bruise, and ultimately every joys and every triumph, no matter how large or small. So I hope all of you believe in your story. I hope you recognize that what you see as a weakness might actually be a strength. I hope you recognize the power of your voice. And I hope you remind yourself that there isn't one right way to be an American. There isn’t one way to make your contribution in this country. So thank you all for your part of our story. Thank you for being who you are. And to everyone who’s read my memoir, or come to one of our events, or posted something online, thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you for helping me continue to become. I hope my story can serve as a boost in your own process of becoming, too. I love you all. #IAmBecoming

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In the same interview with Vogue, Koop also says that she is working on some book ideas and is invested in bringing inclusivity in fashion.

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