The controversy over First Lady Michelle Obama’s McQueen dress just won’t die. Now Diane von Furstenberg, one of the original naysayers to have criticized the First Lady for wearing a foreign designer to the China state dinner, seems to be having second thoughts about her original statement.
Von Furstenberg, speaking as the president of the CFDA, issued a statement after Michelle Obama wore that now-infamous red dress (an altered look from Sarah Burton’s resort collection for McQueen), in which she expressed her “disappointment” over the First Lady’s choice: “CFDA believes in promoting American fashion. Our First Lady Michelle Obama has been wonderful at promoting our designers, so we were surprised and a little disappointed not to be represented for this major state dinner,” the statement read. Of course, she was in good company, as Oscar de la Renta had already expressed his outrage over Mrs. O’s dress choice, and WWD followed suit.
But now the designer and CFDA pres seems to be having second thoughts. While most of the fashion world was sleeping on Friday after the close of New York Fashion Week, or en route to London for London Fashion Week, von Furstenberg sat down with Tina Brown, EIC of Newsweek/The Daily Beast, to talk, “about empowering women, the future of the fashion industry,” and that McQueen dress.
“I said that Mrs. Obama has been extremely supportive of American designers, but clearly we were disappointed that she chose to wear a British designer for the state dinner…From there, I was so embarrassed that I am definitely going to write to her,” von Furstenberg told Brown at The Daily Beast. “She has been super supportive to American designers.”
When Brown pressed von Furstenberg on why Mrs. O chose McQueen, she said, “I don’t know…maybe she liked the color! I’m sure she had options like all of us. Or she asked [President Obama], ‘Which one do you like?’”
That seems more reasonable. And in line with Mrs. Obama’s reason for wearing the McQueen–”a lot of other designers that have cute stuff, too.”