Wearing Narciso Rodriguez on election night

We asked five locals to envision a daytime look for the first lady. Results may vary, but each designer agreed on one thing: it’s nice to sketch for an independent woman, a person who wears the clothes—rather than the other way around.


Former Abercrombie & Fitch designer; now runs Blake Standard, his own line of chic women’s sportswear

LOOK Pima cotton tank dress with lightweight French terry jacket

PHILOSOPHY “She’s really like the presidential soccer mom,” Colorado says. “She’s a terrifically stylish and very sophisticated lady, but she’s also very casual.”


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Young label from creative director Richard Morse and business partner Daryl Sneed; sold exclusively at Macy’s on State Street

LOOK Purple Italian wool crepe dress and wrap coat

PHILOSOPHY  “The color purple honors the emergence of a new Camelot in America,” the duo says. “We see Michelle Obama conveying a new era of femininity that speaks to strength and confidence.”


Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters


Nationally distributed line by Columbia College grads Dieter Kirkwood and Bennett Cousins

LOOK Fuchsia wool dress with black wool flannel jacket

PHILOSOPHY “We were inspired by artist Edward Gorey, whose sketches embody lightness,” the pair says. “Michelle Obama is a strong, independent woman. We wanted the pieces to reflect that, but not overpower her.”


L.A. transplant with long-standing collection; available at fine stores throughout Chicago area

LOOK Marine-blue matte jersey dress with steel-blue silk charmeuse

PHILOSOPHY “Now that she’s in the White House, we need a refined, modern look,” Espinoza says. “It’s exciting when you see the first lady in looks that you’re not accustomed to.”


Art Institute grad with appointment-only showroom on Delaware Place

LOOK Cashmere and angora milk-white jacket with full-rise pants

PHILOSOPHY “You see her in dresses and prints and things a lot,” George says. “I wanted something very simple and outstanding.”



Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters