As you may have heard, Michelle Obama recently wore a red Alexander McQueen evening gown to a state dinner held in honor of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao. This apparently made a lot of people very unhappy.
Oscar de la Renta, who previously opined that Obama's cardigan was the wrong thing to wear while meeting the Queen of England, said it was a shame that a First Lady wasn't supporting American designers — as if Obama had not already given huge boosts to the careers of such U.S. talents as Thakoon Panichgul, Naeem Khan, Jason Wu, Rachel Roy, Maria Cornejo, Narciso Rodriguez, Isabel Toledo, and de la Renta's own son, Moises. Diane Von Furstenberg, in her official role as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, piped up in agreement with the idea that Obama should have worn something "American" to the dinner. Women's Wear Daily editor Bridget Foley joined the chorus, writing: "To wear something other than American at this particular trade-centric mega-fete embarrasses a major U.S. industry that continues to need all the help it can get." Vanity Fair's Bob Colacello criticized Obama on dress-national-origins terms, but also said the McQueen made her look "too big."