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Michelle Obama: First lady in red

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet China's President Hu Jintao as they arrive for a state dinner at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. Credit: AP

It was a definitively fashionable first lady in red at the state dinner for president Hu Jintao of China tonight.  Michelle Obama glowed in a rather lush, off-the-shoulder red silk organza number with an abstract black petal print by the late designer Alexander McQueen.  His successor, Sarah Burton designed the gown, originally with sleeves -- (Obama is famously a fan of the sleeveless) -- for the Resort 2011 collection.

Notable, the vibrant color, which was likely a nod to the Chinese leader.  In the culture, red not only connotes good luck but is also is a staple at Chinese weddings, the notion being that using it chases bad luck from the couple getting married.   Perhaps an intentional effort by Obama to foster a good relationship between the two world leaders?

The last big event at which we can recall Obama wearing red was the president’s victory speech the night he was elected.  That dress, by Narcisco Rodriguez, was not particularly well received, though this one seems to be getting raves across the boards.

As for Obama's high fashion move, well, she wasn’t the only fashionista in the house this night.  Among the high-powered guests, Vogue’s editor in chief Anna Wintour, and designer Vera Wang, who has family in China.


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