First Lady Michelle Obama wore a silver silk shift dress by Rachel Roy to the President's State of the Union address last night. Presumably, this will please Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and the CFDA, who criticized the first lady's choice to wear a red gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen for the White House's State Dinner honoring China.
Just as "The Oprah Effect" in fashion that has affected the bottom-line of American designers, there has been a definite "Michelle Obama" effect. Unfortunately, for some of the big name designers, that effect tends to translate to more affordable American labels like J. Crew. So, if the recent past is any indication, wearing Vera Wang or Oscar de la Renta last week would not have created more jobs in the American fashion industry. Also, I think this commenter makes a fine point in response to WWD's article on Oscar de la Renta's comments:
"When American designers begin using only American manufacturers to make their clothes then criticism of Michelle Obama not promoting an American label will have some validity. However, as is stands now American designers have their designs mass-produced overseas (where they can exploit cheap labor, like IN CHINA). Thus, criticizing the First Lady for not helping to "promote" American designers, who themselves do NOT promote job growth in America by choosing American manufacturers, is complete hypocrisy."
Oh yes! The first lady looked lovely at the State of the Union. Nice job Rachel Roy.