Michelle Obama took a page from Lady Gaga’s playbook on Tuesday night, wearing an ivory-colored strapless gown from the pop star’s fashion director, designer Brandon Maxwell, for a state dinner in honor of Singapore’s prime minister. Maxwell, a Texas native, launched his collection in New York last year after working as a fashion assistant and stylist for several years. Working for Lady Gaga, Maxwell created red carpet gowns and dresses as part of the singer’s image-shift from pop provocateur into that of an elegant, multitalented entertainer.
Writing for The Washington Post, fashion critic Robin Givhan said that Obama, who has in her time as first lady promoted fashion designs of immigrants, minorities, women, and students, is known to use fashion as a means of making statements. In this case, she wrote, wearing Maxwell’s design made “perhaps the simplest note of all: What a pretty dress.”
Singapore is known for its love of fashion, with major brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton boasting multiple stores in the country. For the outdoor arrival ceremony in the afternoon, Obama wore a sleeveless sunflower yellow lace dress by designer Naeem Khan — a designer whose work she has worn at state dinners since 2009. The White House’s preview of the dinner table settings for the evening noted that the color yellow is known to symbolize friendship.
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