Michelle Obama Wore A Gown By Lady Gaga's Go-To Designer

We already know First Lady Michelle Obama is a champion of emerging American designers. (We saw this most recently with her endorsement of Christian Siriano at the Democratic National Convention). But at Tuesday evening's state dinner for the Prime Minster of Singapore and his wife, Obama showed off another young talent in an elegant white gown that gave us a slight case of déjà-vu. The folded-over strapless neckline and shapely train recalled, quite unexpectedly, Lady Gaga's ivory pantsuit from this year's Academy Awards. That's because both looks were by fashion wunderkind Brandon Maxwell.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
If there were any doubts about whether the Texan designer (and Gaga's fashion director) was going places, consider them very much dispelled: It's the first time Obama wore a Maxwell original, who is himself only two seasons in to his namesake line. For the occasion, the first lady opted for a custom, sponge-crepe gown, with elements from the designer's sophomore collection.

Over the years, Obama has made subtle statements with her fashion choices, The Washington Post writes: She's supported new names (often women, minorities, and designers with immigrant backgrounds), as well as relatable mall brands like J.Crew. For the industry at large, though, it's not only about exposure. (Although, ask Jason Wu: Having the First Lady's vote of confidence doesn't not help.) It's also a statement about American fashion in general, and what names are being promoted on the global stage. In Maxwell's case, it's a homegrown contemporary designer with an earnest passion for the craft and an eye toward the future.

And 2016 is shaping up to be quite a year for Maxwell. First, a CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear; now, a sighting on the First Lady (and a thumbs up from the President himself)? On Instagram, the designer called this a "very proud moment for me and my team." We would concur — and, even add that we may have the makings of one of the next great American labels on our hands.

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