First Lady Michelle Obama was stunning Tuesday night in a Carolina Herrera ball gown at a lavish state dinner for French President Francois Hollande.
By LISA GUTIERREZ
The Kansas City Star
The dramatic blue and black gown had a voluminous skirt and lace-overlay top, the first with sleeves that Obama has worn to a state dinner, fashion observers noted.
It was the first official state dinner at the White House since 2011.
With an intricately beaded bodice and full skirt in liberty blue, the dress had a definite French vibe, Susan Swimmer, author of "Michelle Obama: First Lady of Fashion and Style, told The Washington Post.
"From the White House to Versailles, it's not that far," Swimmer told the Post. It's much more keeping in a French aesthetic than I've seen her wear before. It's very French in terms of how ornate it is and the use of lace and the velvet sash."
A statement from Herrera said Obamas dress had a hand-sewn beaded embroidery applique scallop-edged top over a liberty blue silk faille corset. A wide black velvet belt separated the top from the silk faille inverted pleat skirt.
Herrera, a Venezuelan native, said the dress was made at her New York atelier. The designer showed her Fall 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week on Monday.
The dress fit a glittery night where celebrities including Bradley Cooper, Mindy Kaling, Stephen Colbert, Julie Louis-Dreyfus and director J.J. Abrams mingled with French and American diplomats and dignitaries.
In a heated tent on the South Lawn, about 300 guests dined on caviar, quail eggs, rib-eye steak and Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache, and listened to a performance by Mary J. Blige, the BBC reported.