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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Michelle struck by a Jedward moment in our own windy city

The first lady was her usual elegant self in on-point outfits, writes Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Fionnuala Kenny and Michelle Obama chat at Farmleigh yesterday. Top: Michelle has a bad hair day on her arrival. Far Left: Michelle and Barack Obama at College Green, Dublin, yesterday. GETTY/PA/REUTER

ALL the stylists in the world couldn't save the incredibly chic Michelle Obama from a Jedward moment when the Chicago-born first lady landed in Ireland's windy city of Dublin.

President Barack Obama's wife emerged from the US helicopter wearing a smart black outfit, only to see the the top of her chic chignon unravelled by a Phoenix Park squall.

However, her poise never faltered and she emerged minutes later at Aras an Uachtarain looking elegantly composed.

The super-long, sweeping, false eyelashes she was wearing didn't flicker or offer a clue to fashion discombobulation .

The question on every woman's lips was whether hubbie Barack help her battle a bad-hair day in the back of 'The Beast', his giant armoured Cadillac, helping to tame her flyaway hair with hairspray.

Whatever Michelle's grooming secrets, the president's 47-year-old wife was soon looking as chic and composed as always, wearing a black shift dress with a decorative honeycomb effect of square-shaped, lace cutwork over a patterned white base.

On top, she wore a sharply tailored, crinkle-effect, black jacket -- ideal fabric for anyone on a long-haul flight. But then again, the first lady wasn't travelling in restricted economy class.

Michelle has a penchant for jewel colours and wore a much-photographed emerald gown in February 2009 to the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize ceremony.

But if the pundits were expecting her to follow in Queen Elizabeth's footsteps with some colour-coded fashion symbolism, they were wrong. Michelle limited the 'greening' of her wardrobe to a glittering waist belt featuring emerald and diamante crystals.

Mr Obama's shoemaker ancestor, Falmouth Kearney from Moneygall, Co Offaly, would have been impressed by Michelle's choice of footwear for her trip to Ireland.

Her Prada designer heels weren't too high and the black and white woven leather shoes with a low heel cost $899 (€640) at home.

The dainty bow was a clue to their designer provenance.

Later, the statuesque 5ft 11 first lady changed into flat, black shoes to walk in the gardens at Farmleigh with the Taoiseach's wife, Fionnuala Kenny.

Then she took the comfort route for Moneygall, sporting flat, red, patent ballerina pumps for her walkabout.

A quick change at Farmleigh and Michelle swopped her monochrome look for a simple burgundy, pink and mustard print dress and a beautifully cut, cream, silk raincoat, which was more memorable for its glamorous sheen on a wet day in Moneygall than for its waterproof qualities.

President Mary McAleese wore a slimming, youthful suit in cream and green tweed boucle designed by couturiers Niall Tyrrell and Donald Brennan, whose magenta outfit she chose last week to welcome the queen to the Aras.

The fabric had a faint hint of gold thread, which sparkled in the welcome sunshine at the Aras. The '60s inspired cut was very flattering on the 59-year-old president, whose skirt sat on the knee, while Michelle wore her skirt slightly longer.

The President's suit featured the couturiers' signature looks of inverted skirt pleat and piping detailing and the Jackie Kennedy-esque, crossover bow detail on the jacket was inspired by a genuine '60s suit owned by Elizabeth Tyrrell, Niall's aunt from Kilglass, Ahrascragh, Co Galway.

The gold taffeta silk top beneath had a pleated detail at the neckline, echoing the pleats at the back of the skirt. The President finished off the '60s theme with some cream sling-back heels.

The attractive fabric was reminiscent of the Isabel Toledo lemongrass outfit that Michelle Obama wore to her husband's 2009 inauguration, the colour of which sent the media into a tailspin on the day.

Meanwhile, Mr Obama wore a navy, light-weight, wool-blend suit and a striking cornflower-blue, silk faconne tie over a sharp, white shirt.

Fionnuala Kenny greeted the Obamas in a previously seen black lace coat, which she teamed with wide-legged, black palazzo trousers.

Later, she changed in a magenta coat and wedge shoes for the College Green concert and address.

Irish Independent Supplement

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