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Posts Tagged ‘inauguration outfits’

I’m probably in the minority on this one, but I didn’t care much for Lady Gaga’s Inauguration … hmm, what should I call it? Outfit? Costume? Skirt and top? Ball gown?

Whatever we call the Schiaparelli brand ensemble, it was inappropriate for the occasion. Or at least half of it was.

Hear me out.

I know that Lady Gaga likes a grand entrance. She likes outrageous costumes and I think that’s fine for one of her concerts but for the Inauguration of the United States President, tailored pieces are more appropriate than oversized skirts.

I thought the navy jacket and large gilded dove brooch were spot on; her lovely voice and updated, heartfelt rendition of The Star Spangle Banner were stunning, and she looked beautiful. However, the skirt, made of layers of red silk faille, was too voluminous, it took up too much room and looked awkward on that crowded platform.

A skirt like that would be just the thing for the opening night of the opera, the Costume Institute Gala, the Inaugural Ball had there been one. Any formal nighttime event with ample space where its fullness can spread and fill and be completely seen and enjoyed.

Ballgowns (that’s what this was) are not for daytime events. I would have preferred a pencil skirt, perhaps in the same navy fabric as the jacket or in red for a more splashy Lady Gaga look. To keep with her quirkiness, some fabulous vintage shoes – 40s slingbacks or Oxfords with a heel – and a pair of gloves with red embroidered tips as a nod to the original Schiaparelli.

Still, as I said Lady Gaga looked lovely (waist up) and I really appreciated hearing her sing our national anthem with such heart.

Agree? Disagree? I welcome any polite comments from ODFL readers.

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El Museo Del Barrio 2016 Pre-Gala Bash

The lovely Isabel Toledo (1961-2019). Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images.

This week fashion designer Isabel Toledo died of breast cancer. What a loss!

I was a fan of Ms. Toledo, who as a teenager immigrated with her family from Cuba to the US. She and her husband, artist Ruben Toledo, moved to New York City in the 1980s hitting the pavement and knocking on department store doors looking for a place to sell their avant-garde fashions.

 

 

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Michelle Obama wears Isabel Toledo for the 2009 presidential inauguration. 

Ms. Toledo made fashion fame in 2009 when she designed Michelle Obama’s inaugural outfit – a shift dress and coat in what she called lemon grass. I recall reading in her memoir (Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, & Fashion) that they knew it was going to be freezing cold in Washington that day so they sewed layers of padding in the wool coat.

Prior to that in the 1990s, she shunned corporate driven fashion shows working instead with museums. Although she remained an independent designer, for a short time she was creative director for Anne Klein and designed a line of shoes for Payless and fashions for Lane Bryant.

What I like about Isabel Toledo’s designs is her use of textured fabrics and off colors. She was a unique creative spirit and how sad for us that she is gone.

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Sophie Gimbel in 1937.

Sophie Gimbel in 1937.

A woman and her waistline should never be separated.

– Sophie Gimbel, American fashion designer (1898-1981)

A celebrated designer for Saks Fifth Avenue since 1929, Ms. Gimbel designed Lady Bird Johnson’s red dress-suit for the 1965 inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

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