Pret-a-Reporter

Michelle Obama Fades to Black Wearing Dark Lace for President's Farewell Speech

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FLOTUS is ending her time in the White House with the designer who helped define her style when she first started.

All eyes were on President Barack Obama on Tuesday evening as he gave his farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. During his moving address, the president thanked the country for its support for the past eight years and challenged citizens to believe in their ability to bring about change ("Yes, we can. Yes, we did.").

Of course, his speech included a memorable shout-out to his wife, Michelle Obama, who took on the role of FLOTUS "with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor."

Among Michelle's many contributions as First Lady, her role as an influential storyteller through her style will go down in history. In a nod to symmetry, Michelle chose to wear a custom black lace design by Jason Wu, the same designer she wore to the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Ball.

Michelle's decision to wear Wu's custom, single-shoulder white chiffon gown helped the New York-based designer launch his career. In cinematic terms, on Tuesday night, she faded to black, wearing a dark lace Wu dress to bookend the white one from the Inaugural.

"She's touched me and my life in so many ways," Wu told The Hollywood Reporter in September. "I look forward to continuing to have a relationship with her going forward." 

Over the past eight years, the First Lady has worn Wu's creations several times, including for her 2009 Vogue cover, her first official European trip to London with the President in 2009, at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Ball and the 2016 Canada State dinner.

During her farewell speech last week, Michelle also communicated symbolism through her clothing when she wore a fire-engine-red long-sleeve Narciso Rodriguez gown. The first lady's decision to wear the same designer as she had the evening her husband won the U.S. presidency suggested hope and continuity, both messages reflected in her speech.

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