The Case Of Aretha's Pillbox, And All Other Things Sarto-Inaugural

  • Good morning! Obama is president, did you hear? The hat Aretha Franklin wore to sing "My Country, Tis Of Thee" was hand-molded and embellished with Swarovski crystals by Detroit milliner Luke Song. [WWD]
  • Sasha and Malia's colorful ensembles were all from J. Crew kid's line Crewcuts. When consumers figured this out yesterday, traffic crashed J. Crew's site. [NY Daily News]
  • Michelle Obama's gown of choice for her 10+ inaugural balls last night was by Jason Wu. The 26-year-old designer had thought he was a long shot. Says US magazine of Michelle's one-shouldered cream gown, "She's bringing sexy back." Really. Her husband wore a tux by his favorite suit maker, Hart Schaffner Marx. [US]
  • The New Yorker's Judith Thurman, who profiled Isabel and Ruben Toledo last March, spoke to the designer and her husband about the First Lady's choice to wear one of her designs at her husband's swearing-in. Says Ruben, “To be woven into the thread of this historical moment is a major blessing." Making the outfit was a family affair: "Vitelio Toledo, Ruben’s father and the couple’s pattern cutter, was particularly proud to have worked on it. The seamstresses, almost all immigrant women, also took particular pride in participating in a historic moment. Ruben told me that they added a very fine inter-layer of pashmina to help keep Michelle warm on the dais." How touching. Maybe someone can please hire Isabel Toledo again now? [New Yorker]
  • Regardless of whether or not that happens, Toledo's sales are sure to see a boost. Barney's Simon Doonan reports scrambling to get her wares into his windows yesterday. "It’s going to be an Isabel Toledo homage," he said, before adding, "I’m sort of annoyed that Michelle Obama has spring merchandise before us!" [WWD]
  • Here is a 735-word story about Michelle Obama's eyebrows. [Chicago Tribune]
  • And why not let her hairstylist in on the action? [Allure]
  • Lois Cassanos has been make-up artist to every president since Nixon. Cassanos claims she never uses anything more than foundation, concealer, and powder on her charges, since the leader of the free world has got to look manly, and reveals there was nothing on George H. W. Bush's lips when he said "read my lips." Good to know! [Allure]
  • Can everyone please stop with the tacky Obama tie-ins? It's opportunistic and the thought of wearing something called "Obalma" on my lips makes my toes curl. [BrandFreak]
  • Kim Kardashian is thinking of forswearing fur — because when her sister Khloe agreed to do so, PETA put her in her very own naked ad. Could it be that vain entertainment personalities are more interested by the thought of appearing nude and hot on a billboard somewhere than the actual plight of farmed animals worldwide? [E Online]
  • PETA nonetheless salutes Payless's decision to produce its first-ever totally non-leather shoe line. In fact the animal rights group gave the company some kind of an award they call a "proggy." [PETA]
  • Audrina Patridge vamps it up in her unique Real Girl way in the campaign for her Arden B. jeans line. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and celebspawn Alexandra Richards and Ben Taylor (Carly Simon and James Taylor's son) also scored spots in the deluge of spring denim ads. [NY Mag]
  • New York designer Valdemar Iodice has an approach virtually guaranteed to get editors and buyers to make it to his scaled-back Fall/Winter show, even though a showroom presentation is a little less sexy than seeing designs on the catwalk. Upping the stakes for free gifts henceforth, he's offering attendees free dresses. Funny, that's normally how they make sure the models show up. The worm turns, etc. [WSJ]
  • Goldman Sachs downgraded Polo Ralph Lauren to a "sell"; shares slid 7% in the remainder of the day's trading. [WSJ]
  • Another groan-inducing Kenneth Cole billboard: "In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson). — Kenneth Cole. Thank you to the pilots, crew, and N.Y.ers for all that you did, and all that you do." How is it that Cole is only able to express even totally respectable notions in the voice of your corny old uncle-to-be-avoided at the annual reunion? [WWD]