On October 18, 2016, nearly three years ago, I was at my parents’ house sitting on their recliner, working my night shift at HelloBeautiful. My then-boss at the time texted me a pic of our FLOTUS, shining so bright, I couldn’t help but gasp the second I saw the image of her in this $12,000 chain mail dress.
She is truly the baaadest.
“Damn, Michelle,” is all I could say. (I’m sure that was former President Obama‘s exact sentiment when he saw his stunning wife in this for the first time.)
The moment was also bittersweet. It was the last White House State Dinner the Obama’s were hosting as they welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini (of course wearing an Italian designer).
Earlier that day, POTUS acknowledged that it was the end of an era.
“Today is bittersweet for Michelle and I because this marks the final official visit and state dinner of my presidency. But it’s OK. We saved the best for last.”
Indeed they did.
But this night also symbolized something greater than just Michelle’s keen and iconic fashion sense. There was much more buzzing in the air. This particular dinner took place just weeks before the presidential election, you know when that man got elected to occupy the White House and days after she gave that powerful and commanding stump speech for Hilary Clinton in New Hampshire where she claimed the sexual assault allegations were Trump “shook her to her core.”
At the time, Vanessa Friedman for the New York Times wrote that the best-selling author was sending a “strong message” with this gown.
“As much as it was gracefully cut and draped, it also spoke of armor and female strength, of the need to gird yourself to fight for what you believe in,” Friedman explained.
Adding, “And it was designed by Donatella Versace, a woman who was famously thrust into one of the most difficult situations of all: having to take over and preserve the company founded by her brother after his murder in Miami. And who, despite a fair number of doubts, has ultimately triumphed — in part by transforming the aesthetic of her company from one built on the power of sex to one built on the power of self.”
Donatella herself was touched by FLOTUS’ decision to rock her line for such a monumental event in our history.
“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to dress the first lady of the United States Michelle Obama,” the designer wrote in a statement.
“Thank you Michelle for all of the things you have done for America and for the rest of the world, for the women in the United States and the rest of the world.”
While there were so many dresses that she wore throughout her tenure in the White House, thank you Former First Lady for leaving the White House, in the same way, entered it—with style, grace, and beauty.