After the pomp and propriety of President Barack Obama’s official inauguration ceremony, Americans stuck with the broadcasts from DC for one reason: to see what the president’s date would wear to the ball.
First Lady Michelle Obama answered all the questions in dazzling form, appearing in a red halter-neck chiffon and velvet gown designed by Jason Wu. She complemented the gown with Jimmy Choo heels and a Kimberly McDonald ring.
Even the president knew that Mrs Obama was the belle of the balls. After thanking servicemen and women in Afghanistan at the beginning of the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball, the president added, ‘There’s one more thing I’ve got to do: I’ve got a date!’
Obama praised his wife’s ‘extraordinary grace and strength’ before welcoming her to the stage for their first dance: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, my better half, and my dance partner, Michelle Obama.’
The presidential couple slow-danced to Jennifer Hudson’s version of ‘Let’s Stay Together’ before withdrawing from the stage.
News sources reported that as many as 15 fashion designers may have submitted gowns for Mrs Obama’s consideration. But the first lady, who inaugurated her status as a style icon when she appeared in a gown by Wu at the 2009 ball, showed loyalty to one of her favourite designers.
‘Mrs. Obama likes to keep her secrets,’ Wu told WWD moments after the first lady made her entrance. ‘She fooled me again. She's really good at it.
‘I was so nervous. You'd think I wouldn't be since I'd experienced it before but I really was.’