- WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 02: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Obamas are hosting the prime minister and his wife for an official state dinner.
- Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, August 2, l-r, Mrs. Lee Hsien Loong, First Lady Michelle Obama, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and President Barack Obama, pose for a photo on the North Portico of the White House before dinner, in honor of their State visit to the White House. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
- President Obama Welcomes Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong To The White House
- First lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama await the arrival of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the South Lawn of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. The president and first lady will host a state dinner in Loong’s honor, just the 11th state dinner thrown since Obama became president.
- State Visit for Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
- Mrs. Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, First Lady Michelle Obama, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and US President Barack Obama wave from the White House balcony during official welcoming ceremonies on the South Lawn of the White House on August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC . Lee is on a State Visit to the United States.
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.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.