Designs on Mrs O
Published 09/04/2011 | 05:00
When Michelle Obama stood next to Fionnuala Kenny, wife of Enda Kenny, at the White House St Patrick's ceremony last month, the fashion world immediately began talking. Who was Obama wearing? She looked fabulous, they whispered. And those earrings. To die for!
It turned out that Michelle had chosen to wear a green-print dress (left) by American designer Michael Kors that retails for $1,795.00 and vintage Miriam Haskell earrings from the House of Lavande. Within hours the dress, available online, was a hot ticket item.
Since becoming First Lady, Michelle Obama has become one of the most powerful fashion icons in the world -- a one-woman stimulus package with the ability to affect the stock prices and revenue of the fashion companies whose clothes she wears.
That's why Irish designers are holding their breath in the weeks leading up to the Obama's visit to Ireland on May 23. Apart from established favourites such as Paul Costelloe, Louise Kennedy and John Rocha, Ireland now boasts a new crop of exciting young designers including New York-based Kerry native Don O'Neill and award-winning Cork native Joanne Power.
Michelle Obama has stated publicly that she prefers to wear American designer's garments -- to give a boost to the US fashion industry. But she is not adverse to foreign labels, giving hope to Irish designers that perhaps she may step out in Dublin in one of their garments. They "have cute stuff, too," she said