January 20th, 2009
09:07 PM ET

Inaugural ball upset

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/20/inauguration.balls/art.obama.dress.pool.jpg caption="Michelle Obama, wearing a dress by designer Jason Wu, and President Barack Obama at the Neighborhood Ball."]

Brianna Keilar
CNN Washington Correspondent

Joel De La Rosa, the CNN Dallas photojournalist who shot a piece on designer Maria Pinto with me, ran into Pinto within the last hour at the Obama Home State Ball and she told him she still didn't know if Michelle was wearing her dress or not.

Or not, it turns out.

Quite an upset...consensus in fashion circles was that she'd probably go with Pinto. In the past Pinto has insisted she doesn't know when Michelle will wear her clothing until she shows up somewhere wearing it.

Despite the unexpected choice of Jason Wu, it does fit Obama's pattern of supporting younger, up-and-coming American designers.

What did you think of the dress?

Filed under: Inauguration • Michelle Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Marilyn

    I do'nt know who Michelle's stylist is, but everything I' ve seen her in,suits, dresses and gowns is very dowdy for a women of her status. It seems that everything she wears looks like, a Simplicity pattern outfit from the 1950's. The coloring was wrong and style for the Inauguration.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  2. mistical

    I thought our new First Lady looked radiant, it took me a few minutes to get used to the one strap but, it did look absolutely stunning on her and she carried herself so well full of poise and grace.........Congrats we all did a great job of making history.


    January 21, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  3. Susan

    WHO CARES...can we get back to real news please?

    January 21, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  4. Liezl

    The speech was moving and the new first lady looked lovely. What a wonderfully uplifting, positive and promising time for America. The inauguration was shown on every single TV Channel last night (it aired at 6pm local time). I thought the speech was carefully thought out, well written and delivered with poise and charisma. We all really identified with the theme of reconciliation and change!

    Cape Town
    South Africa

    January 21, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  5. Don

    Well, when I first saw it I nearly jumped out of my seat. My first thought was, 'what in the world are you wearing?!!'. But then after adjusting to it concluded that she's simply making a rather strong statement of 'out with the old, in with the new'.

    She's telling the world that this is a new day. The way that we're used to doing business is over, and so I say to her: You go, girl! More power to you!

    January 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  6. Carol B., Virginia

    Meh. Designers need to get over it. She looked fine. She chose what SHE wanted and the others don't have dibs on her. Silly stuff. Hopefully, they'll get over the trauma that the dress will be in The Smithsonian. Woe is everybody.

    January 21, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  7. Megan K.

    As much as liked seeing the inauguration, I was disappointed to see the First Lady's choice of ball gown. I'm sure the designer has some great pieces, but this one looked a little too frilly and didn't at all seem to be in line with the more streamlined, elegant outfits she normally chooses. Then again, I've practically gone blind looking for wedding dresses lately, so I might have a slight bias.

    January 21, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  8. Cynthia

    I loved her dress – classy and elegant. What struck me though was that she didnt seem comfortable dancing in it at the balls.

    January 21, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  9. Diane

    Michele's gown was beautiful, however wasn't anyone wise enough to try dancing in it before the Balls? It has obviously has been very uncomfortable and difficult...took away a lot of her gracefulness. Also had thoughts, as Linda did, that her clothing could reflect pregnancy.

    January 20, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  10. Lamont Bishop

    Today I shed tears, not from pain , not from lost. But from joy, fulfillment in my heart. Americans have come along way, and I am proud to be one. This is a new beginning.

    January 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  11. Lindia Rivarde-Williams

    This isn't just a great day for all of America, it is a great day for all of man kind. The world, a time for growth, love & togetherness. I'm so happy to be here to see this day.

    January 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Lisa from Camden,New Jersey

    I really enjoyed all of the coverage of the inauguration and the balls; but what really got my attention was when the president of the United States referred to his wife as "Good Looking". Mr. President, she is beautiful. She is the first african american First Lady ever to grace the corridors of the white house. The dress Michelle wore to the Neighborhood ball was elegant, but not enough sexy.


    January 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  13. liz

    i love Michelle Obama's style, and I love the Jason Wu ball gown. The fabric just floats as she walks on stage. She looks beautiful. In a sea of black and dark colors her cream dress stands out.

    January 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  14. Natalie

    I will have to say that I pictured Michelle Obama wearing something totally different for this ocassion;but I think that she looks very elegant anyway.
    Mr President Obama looks extremely sharp !!!!

    January 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  15. jakesuey

    Gorgeous! It fits beautifully and represents a youthful elegance that we have not seen in the white house since Jackie Kennedy. I love the color risk, this color is very popular in Europe right now. In my opinion it is a classic style. Some fashionistas said " it will not look good in 50 years" ~what? NONSENSE!

    January 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  16. Michael

    Don't like it. It reminds me of a chenille bedspread. I think she could have chosen something a lot nicer.

    January 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  17. Maria

    Please be considerate – We would love to hear the President give his speech and more importantly, for the women, 🙂 we would love to watch the President and First Lady dance without the interruptions.

    Thank you

    January 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  18. CSmith

    Do you think any future president can/will top Obama's Inaugural Events?

    January 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  19. Pat

    Love the dress, I just wish we could see her dance in it more.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  20. Imran Latif

    why is Michelle Obama not wearing a wedding ring?

    January 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  21. Cherie Muerth

    The inauguration dress was lovely.Remembering that she is a mohter of two beautiful young daughters whom she must inspire, she chose an elegant, modest and beautifully styled dress to celebrate her husband's remarkable day.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  22. Nancy Seymour

    It's pretty. I'm actually much more concerned with what's in her head and her heart/spirit than what's on her back, but it looks lovely. They're a handsome couple with high intelligent. Wow – it IS a New Day.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  23. AlishaOnline

    Classic Michelle. Loved it!

    January 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  24. Elle

    The dress seems sweet and OK, it seems to be a little too big, but the white tie without tails or a vest or white gloves is getting to me.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  25. Mahoganydymond

    I really liked Michelle Obama's dress..

    January 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  26. Topsatwarchild

    She looks amazing, as ever.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  27. Queen V SPOTTV

    I think the dress is beautiful! I love it. First lady Obama looked like an angel.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  28. Suzanne

    I like Michelle's dress. She looks elegant.A+

    January 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  29. Martin Maslag

    Its Time for Washington and everyone else to realize that this is the new time for Our Country... 1st Ladies dress was Diva Hot!... Best wishes..

    Martin ( New Jersey )

    January 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  30. Carrie W.

    The dress is terrific and she looks absolutely fabulous. The fashion critics do not seem to be in touch with mainstream Americans and our sense of fashion. They seem to want a 'surprise' or an 'extreme'. That would not be on message or approapriate. Michelle got it right.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  31. Ann-Virginia

    I thought her dress was quite beautiful,simple,clean lines & she looked beautiful in it,but with all that faces this new president & our country,why are we focusing on some designer who is mad because her dress wasn't the one the first lady wore?

    January 20, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  32. Elizabeth

    Besides the dress, where was her wedding ring. I didn't see it on her ring finger of her left hand when she was dancing at that first ball.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  33. Bridget, Cypress, Tx

    I love the dress and think she made a wonderful choice. Maybe she'll wear Pinto at another event.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  34. Monica

    Michelle's dress looks beautiful and radiant.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  35. Dayne DuVall

    thanks!!! have searched all fashion blogs and only on the SILVER FOX can we find out who designed THE FIRST LADY's gown. THANKS AGAIN.

    January 20, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  36. Linda

    Michelle Obama looks beautiful. There is something about the style and construction of her outfits today, and her carriage that make me wonder if she is expecting. That would be wonderful news to add to everything else!

    January 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  37. Kathryn

    Michelle is wearing a beautiful dress. Elegant. Not over the top, one shouldered, which is all the "thing" this year as seen at the Golden Globes. Has anyone picked up on the fact that they are BOTH clad in black and white? Any implications there? Barack is in a black tux with white tie and shirt. Michelle is wearing a GREAT white dress against her lovely African American skin. I am a white woman from the South. Applauding this Inauguration. Can't we give them BOTH great reviews for their wardrobe?

    January 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm |