‘I’m still pinching myself’: Jason Wu reveals ‘incredible surprise’ when Michelle Obama stepped out in his design for Inaugural ball
The First Lady (Michelle Obama) may have surprised everyone by choosing Jason Wu to design her inaugural gown for a second time, but no one was more surprised than the designer himself.
The 30-year-old, who worked closely with Michelle Obama’s team on the dress’ fit and fabric, said he was glued to the television in his design studio last night, where he was watching the ball with his staff. ‘We weren’t sure what time she was going to come on,’ he said on Today.
‘We had no confirmation until the second she came out. It’s something quite incredible. I’m still pinching myself to see that’s all real.’
The dress, a bright red color which a White House pool report described as ‘ruby,’ echoed the ivory one-shouldered gown Mr Wu designed for her in 2009, with its cross-halter straps and loose fit. ‘You have to think about the client, and I felt like red was such a perfect color for her. It’s such a confident color for her and it really was my first instinct,’ he told the New York Times, adding, ‘I’m still floating.’
He expressed his surprise moments after the big reveal in a one-word tweet that read: ‘#Inshock!!!’
‘Mrs. Obama likes to keep her secrets. She surprised me again. She’s really good at it. I was so nervous. You’d think I wouldn’t be since I’d experienced it before but I really was.’
But it was also important to ‘drown out that noise’ when conceptualizing the dress, he said, which included a handmade diamond ring by Kimberly McDonald.
‘At the time of designing, I don’t think about everything else that comes with it. I just go with my instincts, what I thought,’ he explained on the Today show. Unlike the President, who donned the same Brooks Brothers cashmere coat he wore for the 2009 Inaugural, Mrs Obama’s wardrobe gave credit to a large cast of designers.
Beginning with a 2011 pre-spring white Alexander McQueen jacket on Saturday night, before moving to a navy Reed Krakoff dress and a 2009 Michael Kors black sequined dress for Sunday, it was when she stepped out in a navy silk jacquard Thom Browne coat and dress for Monday’s earlier services that she really hit her stride.
‘It is just a humbling, overwhelming experience you can’t put into words, says Wu. She looked as beautiful as I could have ever expected.’
Go Michelle !!!