On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama delivered a moving farewell address before 20,000 people in his hometown of Chicago. Throughout the evening, the First Family (albeit missing Sasha Obama) made a concerted effort to bring the President's service full circle in more ways than their geographic homecoming. He arrived to the tune of U2's "City of Blinding Lights," the same song he took the stage to in 2007 in Springfield, Ill. to announce his presidential campaign, and closed his speech with the refrain: "Yes we can. Yes we did."
And the nostalgia, of course, extended to First Lady Michelle Obama. In a subtle nod to the campaign's early days, the First Lady opted for a lace, long-sleeved dress custom made by Jason Wu, a designer whom she began wearing as early as the fall of 2008. Her relationship with Wu will go down in industry lore, having first been introduced to the Canadian-born designer through André Leon Talley. She then wore one of his dresses for an interview with Barbara Walters shortly before the 2008 election, and asked him to design a custom white chiffon gown for the President's first inaugural ball that January.
It is without question that the First Lady helped to push Wu's now-thriving career to the next level, as she's done with other young designers like Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung and Tanya Taylor, as well as Brandon Maxwell and Christian Siriano more recently. Her commitment to the American fashion industry was cemented by her appearance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Met Museum's Anna Wintour Costume Center. It looks like Malia Obama could be following in her mother's footsteps; she chose a dress by up-and-coming brand Cinq à Sept for the occasion.
One of the address's most poignant moments came when the President addressed the First Lady directly, tearing up while saying: "Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side. For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role that you didn't ask for, and you made it your own. With grace and with grit and with style and with good humor."
Thank you, FLOTUS, for all that grace and grit and style and good humor. You'll be sorely missed.