Did you need another reason to love the First Family? Because here it is: First Lady Michelle Obama busting out old school dance moves like the running man (and newer ones like the Dougie) in Zero + Maria Cornejo at Alice Deal Middle School in DC. She stopped by last minute to watch students perform the dance from Beyonce's "Let's Move Flash Workout!" video set to the pop star's Move Your Body--and then she joined in herself, because she's that awesome (and ABC caught the whole thing). Beyonce's video is part of the First Lady's "Let's Move!" campaign to combat childhood obesity. And I have to confess, this video is extra special to me because Mrs. O is at my old middle school (nothing that cool ever happened when I was there). Still, go Deal Vikings! And go Mrs. O for somehow looking cool while doing the Dougie in Zero + Maria Cornejo.
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Michelle Obama Responds to McQueen Controversy
It's safe to say the debate over whether Michelle Obama should or should not have worn a foreign designer to the China state dinner has been blown out of proportion. It started when Oscar de la Renta, followed quickly by the CFDA (via a statement by president Diane von Furstenberg) and then WWD condemned the First Lady for wearing McQueen instead of an American designer to the state dinner, which they interpreted as her lack of support for the US fashion industry (which relies heavily on China). Leading fashion writers Cathy Horyn, Robin Givhan and Kate Betts all chimed in with their opinions. And even though Michelle Obama wore that controversial McQueen three weeks ago (on January 19) folks are still talking about it. Just yesterday, in response to the First Lady saying, "Women, wear what you love. That's all you can say. That's my motto. It's nice to have on a nice suit. But it's nicer to change a generation, in terms of their health. It's a better use of my time to focus on rallying this country around our military families. I mean, there's so much that I hope to do in this role, that makes a difference in people's lives," Nanette Lepore, one of New York Garment Center's most ardent advocates wrote this in the Huffington Post: Five years of raising awareness for New York's Garment Center have been rendered irrelevant by one statement. What Michelle Obama chooses to wear can save and create American jobs. Her influence on the American fashion industry does not detract from her agenda in the East Wing. The First Lady can support her causes and simultaneously support a valuable American industry and the thousands of people it employs. I wish she would rethink her statement. Yesterday, at a White House luncheon, Michelle Obama told reporters, "Clothes are just the thing that you wear to do the stuff you need to do.” According to Politico, one reporter then asked about her decision to wear a British label to the China state dinner. Here's what she had to say:
Zero + Maria Cornejo Keeps It Clean
Maria Cornejo's press release for her Spring/Summer 2011 collection seemed complicated and even overwrought. Cornejo said she'd been "exploring the idea of cultural displacement" and the release mentioned the "push-pull of an ocular lense" and "an illusion of structure with plissed angles." I don't know what a "plissed angle" is or how clothes can reflect the "push-pull of the ocular lense," but I do know that when the actual clothes came down the runway, they were anything but complicated and overwrought. They were simple and graceful and classic Cornejo. When I picture the girl who wears Zero + Maria Cornejo, she is someone I envy. She's international, probably in the art world, maybe a gallerist with galleries in Barcelona and London, or a sculptor who spends half the year on an island in Greece and the other half in New York. Her style is effortless but reflects her worldliness and creativity and appreciation for art.
Zero + Maria Cornejo Fall 2011: Silk and Sculpture
Maria Cornejo's fall collection was hands down one of the best I've seen all week. Granted, I've always been a fan of Cornejo and her hallmark asymmetrical printed silk dresses that hang just-so, but this collection stood out. "I realized that the greatest luxury is to have the freedom to express one's own point of view," Cornejo said in her line sheets. Maybe it was that realization--the luxury of being able to express oneself--that led Cornejo to have fun this season--adding hard wool skirts to her classic print silk dresses so they hung a bit heavier and looked more sculpted, or belting them with thick leather obis to wear over lust-worthy leather leggings. She had fun with prints, too, on her signature drapey silks: there was a print to resemble fur, one to look like hair (which went well with horsehair accessories), one that was a bookshelf (inspired by a "brainy friend's house"), and my favorite looked like a vivid sunset. Stiff leather pieces were paired with filmy silks, and shaggy knits were layered over silk dresses. A cropped cocoon silhouette was recurrent throughout the collection (Cornejo calls them pods), and was particularly impacting in bright red and paired with a matching skirt.
The CFDA is "Disappointed" With Michelle Obama's McQueen
Well, this is a little weird. First Oscar de la Renta sounded off about his disappointment with Michelle Obama's red McQueen that she wore to the state dinner hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao. “My understanding is that the visit was to promote American-Chinese trade — American products in China and Chinese products in America," de la Renta told WWD. "Why do you wear European clothes?” Now the CFDA has issued a statement echoing de la Renta's sentiments: “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.” Apparently CFDA pres Diane von Furstenberg sent this statement in to WWD while recuperating from her recent skiing accident. It's sort of like the CFDA are Michelle Obama's parents and they're shaming her.