First Lady Michelle Obama was no shrinking violet at her final State of the Union appearance Tuesday night. Obama, turning 52, donned a very apolitical color — marigold.
The sleeveless, wool crepe dress was from the fall collection of Narciso Rodriguez, a first lady fave who heralded the news on his Instagram account as the event unfolded. “I felt tremendously honored and proud to see the first lady looking so beautiful and radiant,” he told Women’s Wear Daily.
The Twittersphere went bananas for the sunny shade, heaping high praise on the first lady’s choice. And just as she stood out in a sea of suits, two days earlier at the Golden Globes, Jennifer Lopez and America Ferrera were rare birds on the red carpet in variations of the hue. Lopez wore a straight-off-the-runway mustard Giambattista Valli caped gown, while Ferrera did a canary yellow Jenny Packham number.
“She just glowed,” said Phillip Bloch, the celebrity stylist, of Obama. “It was a major moment, and she wore the simplest dress on the planet, yet it was like there was a spotlight on her.” Bloch says that yellow “is a stylist’s red carpet secret. I learned that trick early on. It has always been magic if you know how to choose the right shade and Mrs. Obama did. There was a little peachy-melon in it, compared to JLo’s mustardy tone.”
It is, however, not the easiest color to wear, says Adam Glassman, O the Oprah Magazine’s creative director and a special red carpet correspondent for Extra. “When JLo came out in that look at the Globes, a lot of stylists told me that they had considered it for their clients, but it didn’t look good because they were too pale. But it’s a very good color on Latinas and women with brown skin.”
And for the record, despite marigold popping up in very interesting places (including any number of spring lines), it bears no resemblance to the shades that color authority, Pantone, says are of the moment. Those would be more in the pale blue and pink category.
Obama, “who has been a consistent fashion icon since the beginning,” says Glassman, is no stranger to sending messages with her clothes. “There are books written on the subject.” So what was her fashion choice saying?
“I think she was very calculated,” says Glassman. She was saying, ‘Let’s go out with a big, cheery smile on our face. Things have changed for the better over the past eight years and I’m very optimistic.’ ” Phillip Bloch reads her marigold message as, “That’s my man and we got this. We’re not paying any attention to the haters.”