Throughout Barack Hussein Obama’s sham of a presidency, his wife Michelle Obama has taken great pleasure in shamelessly using millions of our tax dollars to fund her own extravagant lifestyle. She did this once again over the weekend, when she showed up to her husband’s final Kennedy Center Honors gala on Sunday night wearing an extremely expensive designer gown.
Vanity Fair reported that Michelle showed up to the gala wearing a Gucci gown, marking the first time she wore a gown designed by a non-American to the Kennedy Center Honors event. Some believe Michelle’s choice to wear a gown designed by an Italian had an underlying message to it, as the decision coincided with Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announcement that he would be resigning after voters decided against his plans for constitutional reform.
“We always take into account where we are going and that country’s cultural norms. The goal is to pay tribute to each place we visit [while] never losing the spirit of the United States,” Michelle’s stylist Meredith Koop told Harper’s Bazaar last month after the first lady wore a Versace gown to her husband’s final state dinner.
The New York Times firmly believed that Michelle was trying to send a message of support to Italy with her choice to wear the gown:
On Sunday, the day of the Italian referendum that resulted in the announced resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Michelle Obama wore an Italian dress to the Kennedy Center Honors, a.k.a. “Washington’s cultural event of the year.” Specifically, she wore a Gucci dress. Coincidence? It’s possible.
But consider this: It was the first time she had worn a non-American designer to the event in the eight years she had attended.
Such a choice is not casual, especially on an evening watched by millions, not just because of the paparazzi photos that come out of appearances by such names as the honorees Al Pacino, the Eagles and James Taylor, but because it is broadcast on television later in the year. (The 2015 awards were viewed by 7.5 million people; the 2014 ones, 9.25 million.) And because her choices throughout the two terms of her husband’s administration have been watched with increasing intensity (“Michelle Obama stuns in XX” is the typical headline post-Honors ceremony), and this is her last ceremony as first lady. And because this is only the second time she has worn Gucci, the first being in September on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” when she wore a vintage map-print dress.
And though the first lady has largely broken out of the Made in America box, she has done so primarily by using clothes to convey cross-border diplomatic messages. For example, at the administration’s last state dinner, held in October for — yes — Mr. Renzi, she wore Versace. He wore Armani.
The Times later added:
Maybe Mrs. Obama wasn’t thinking about any of this when she chose the custom-made green and pink off-the-shoulder metallic silk crepe Gucci gown she wore Sunday night. Maybe she just thought, “Oh, that’s pretty.” Because it was.
But more likely, given her history with dress and the way she has used it as a strategic tool, she was also doing what she could to stress the importance of Italian fashion at a delicate time; making a discrete gesture of solidarity with a country and an administration and an industry. What was it? To paraphrase Mr. Taylor — they’ve got a friend.