First lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to the nation of honor at Tuesday's White House dinner for Japan by wearing a gown by Japanese-born designer Tadashi Shoji.

Sleeveless, with an empire waist and floor-grazing chiffon pleats, the rich purple gown was at once regal and airy. The first lady's hair was pinned back, revealing delicate applique details on the dress bodice.

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Michelle Obama wore a long-sleeved floral frock from the Los Angeles-based designer earlier in the day for a visit to a Virginia elementary school with Akie Abe, wife of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzö Abe. Obama also chose a Shoji dress earlier this month for an appearance on "The Tonight Show."

Shoji's designs have also been worn by such Hollywood stars as Kate Beckinsale and Katy Perry. Both Mo'Nique and Octavia Spencer wore gowns by the designer when they won their Academy Awards.