London 2012: Nicole Kidman, Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton Bring High Fashion to the Olympics
Outside of the mens' water polo team and their itsy bitsy suits, the real Olympic fashion was happening off the field and in the drawing rooms.
Outside of the Ralph Lauren-China-beret debacle, what else is there to say about fashion at the Olympics? That gymnasts from all over the world love sequins? That Argentinians love bikinis? That the hot new bathing suit for both sexes is down to the knee? Well, actually, there is more.
Nicole Kidman turned heads when she attended a royal party in a short dress, a rarity for her, since we almost always see her in gowns. Her dress of choice was a navy blue fit n' flare Azzedine Alaia knit dress, a perennial shape for the Australian superstar, but very much of this moment (summer 2012 turning into fall 2012).
It's rare to see Kidman this pared down, but the starkness and strength of the dress suits her, and better yet, suits her figure. There can be no lumps in an Azzedine, as everything shows.
Look for many copies of this style when the fall clothes hit the stores soon, with its very tight bodice and flared skirt that seems to defy gravity. No, designers don't work that fast, we've already seen several fall collections containing dresses this shape. Designers started turning them out after the fall shows in February and March.
Michelle Obama has been receiving big Internet flack for wearing this white brocade J. Mendel jacket (which she paired with a white pleated J. Mendel skirt) to a reception at Buckingham Palace. Why? Not because it isn't stately and gorgeous and really flattering on her, but because the price tag is $6800. Whereas Kate Middleton re-wears some of her dresses, this looks like a big indulgence. But Michelle was dining with the Queen of England, and we are very sure she didn't have to pay for the dress, as Gilles Mendel definitely got $6800 worth of PR out of it.
Next time we see Michelle, she'll likely be in J.Crew again.
Speaking of Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge re-wore a dove gray Roksanda Illincic "Peridot" shift with a draped bodice to an event during Olympics week and got raves. It's a very flattering dress, but not a low priced one, and could cost up to a thousand pounds or more. But Kate knows when to drag out a second-wearer -- just when it's been forgotten in the eyes of the press.