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2012 Democratic Convention: Michelle Obama's Tracy Reese Dress Steals Spotlight

The First Lady showed off her bold style, and famously toned arms, during Tuesday's speech in Charlotte.

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When Michelle Obama stepped out onstage at the Democratic National Convention, delivering an impassioned speech in support of her husband, Twitter exploded with kudos from the First Lady's fans, many of whom directed the discussion on what she was wearing.

Indeed, if the DNC was a Hollywood red carpet, then the First Lady might win "Best Dressed." Or at least an honorable mention from Joan Rivers on E!'s Fashion Police.

Obama, whose designer preferences range from J.Crew (affordable chic) to Jason Wu (upscale attire for ladies who lunch and shop at Bergdorf's afterward), picked Tracy Reese for her convention address. Besides her well-received words, the Reese dress -- a custom-made confection in pink and gold with icy blue trim -- elicited countless tweets of approval.

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And the designer herself weighed in, telling the Wall Street Journal: "I was moved to tears by Mrs. Obama’s amazing speech. I knew she was speaking from her heart and she touched mine. As always I couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to dress her.”

Reese, an African-American designer, has outfitted Obama for occasions such as her recent Ebony magazine cover, on which she wore a bright blue dress by the Detroit-raised designer.

Reese's clothing is sold in a range of stores, from her New York flagship boutique to the department store Lord & Taylor to the boho-minded retail chain Anthropologie, which carries her Plenty line and, most recently, sold a version of Obama's DNC frock in a blue-and-green color palette.

Prices for Reese dresses hover in the ballpark of $300-$400, a range of which the First Lady no doubt took notice when preparing to take the stage Tuesday. While the cut and material of her full-skirted frock are glamorous, the look is accessible, sending a clear message of solidarity with voters who can't afford the candy apple red Oscar de La Renta that Ann Romney wore at the Republican National Convention last week.

(Another example of a high-profile woman-of-the-people dresser is Kate Middleton, who frequently eschews high fashion for trendy, mid-priced duds from retail stores like Reiss.)

Obama accented her ensemble with $245 J. Crew pumps in a shade of "rhubarb" and a lavender manicure, looking like a modern-day Jackie O with Lady Gaga's taste in nail colors.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com

 

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