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Michelle Obama’s Fabulous Fashion Finale at Her 14th White House State Dinner

The first lady cemented her fashion icon status by rocking a gold Versace gown

Michelle Obama at her final state dinner in 2016

Al Drago/The New York Times/Redux

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy and his wife, Agnese Landini to their last state dinner at the White House.

In her final White House state dinner as first lady — honoring Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi — Michelle Obama reminded us why her fashion sense catapulted her on par with Jackie Kennedy Onassis as a style icon. Wearing a gold, shimmering, floor-length, Atelier Versace gown, constructed of rose gold and chain mail, Obama appeared both regal and approachable. The dress accentuated her radiant, honey-mocha skin complexion as well as her sinewy arms.

Michelle Obama at her first state dinner in 2009

Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the first state dinner with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

In some ways, the Versace gown was the ideal choice to conclude her eight years of attending state dinners — 14 in total — because it echoed the Naeem Khan gown she wore in her first state dinner in 2009, honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. That one too offered the perfect complementary color for Obama’s flawless skin; it also brought attention to her toned arms — all of which gave her a glamorous, statuesque allure.

Wearing the Versace gown could also be looked at as a fashionable victory lap after her galvanizing speech in New Hampshire in which she spoke eloquently and fiercely about the virtues and power of womanhood against the backdrop of political-campaign theater.

Donatella Versace gave Obama a mighty shout-out on Instagram by saying: “Thank you, Michelle, for all the things you have done for America and for the world, and especially, for empowering and inspiring women everywhere.”

The attendees for the Obama’s 14th state dinner included such celebrities as Gwen Stefani, Gayle King, Savannah Guthrie, Giorgio Armani, Jerry Seinfield and Roberto Benigni.


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