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Did Michelle dress like a mess?

(Credit: Politirazzi)


By Julie Gordon

Michelle Obama’s red-and-black election night frock may have inched her further away from her burgeoning Jackie O. style status — and closer into Mrs. O. No territory.

The future first lady — who has been praised in the past for her sophisticated, figure-flattering (and often affordable) choices — wore a Narciso Rodriguez dress Tuesday night that some called a fashion disaster. The look came straight from the American designer’s spring 2009 runway, though it was shown sans Michelle’s black cardigan.

“Oh, it was terrible. It certainly didn’t equal what the historic moment was,” said Peter Ishkhans, host of the Style Network’s “Peter Perfect.”

James Aguiar, host of ULTRA HD’s “Full Frontal Fashion,” called the dress a “rare misstep.”

The black, satin wrapping at the bodice cut her in two parts, making her look larger than she really is, he said.

“And satin is hard on television because it shows lumps,” he added.

Michelle could have benefited from a simple, form-fitting dress or a wrap style a la designer Diane von Furstenberg, Ishkhans said. He noted that the Rodriguez piece didn’t fit properly, with material bunching.

However, some commentators and members of the blogosphere praised Michelle’s choice.“In the past, she was veering toward more feminine dresses, but she’s a strong woman with great character,” said Jacqui Stafford, executive style director of Shape magazine. “She doesn’t need to be girly.”

Though the Rodriguez number probably cost in the thousands, Michelle has publicly sported lower-priced items from chains. On “The Tonight Show” last month, the J.Crew-clad Michelle said she and her husband, president-elect Barack, have a policy of spending their own money on clothing.

Rodriguez’s short dresses at Saks Fifth Avenue retail between $1,450 and $1,990. Rodriguez’s rep did not respond to a request for comment.

So will the eye-catching piece be making its way to Americans’ closets? Not from brand A.B.S., which often copies red-carpet fashions. A rep said there’s been no mention of a knock-off.

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