Is this Michelle Obama’s ultimate statement dress?

Posted by
Harriet Hall

Michelle Obama really knows how to go out with a bang.

This week already, she’s covered the New York Times T magazine and inspired a series of essays from prominent feminists including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Gloria Steinem

The outgoing First Lady has always gone above and beyond her role in the White House, speaking out against racism, and in support of LGBTQ rights and feminism. During her tenure, the First Lady has also become known for her - now iconic - fashion sense. 

Gloria Steinem, this week, described her as “a woman who who knows the difference between fashion (what outside forces tell you to wear) and style (the way you express a unique self).” And what an accurate and well-timed statement as, on Tuesday night, the First Lady brought out the big fashion guns.

Arriving to her final state dinner at the White House, the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) wore a bespoke Atelier Versace gown made of rose gold chain mail – and blew our fashion minds. In keeping with her usual championing of designers from the nations of White House guests, the sleeveless, draped design was a real statement – and a nod to the guest of honour.

Agnese Landini, First Lady Michelle Obama, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Barack Obama

Agnese Landini, First Lady Michelle Obama, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Barack Obama

A floorlength down with an off-the shoulder neckline, the gown recalls 1930s bias-cut glamour, and 1970s disco glitz.

The dinner, held on Tuesday night to honour visiting Italian Prime Minister Metteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, was a true Italian affair, including entertainment from Gwen Stefani and food from American-Italian chef, Mario Batali – and, of course, celebrated sartorially with Versace.

In his speech to guests, the outgoing President said: “Today is bittersweet for Michelle and I because this marks the final official visit and state dinner of my presidency,” President Barack Obama said earlier in the day. “But it’s OK. We saved the best for last.”

“This has been a truly successful final state dinner,” said the First Lady to her guests. 

Take a look below at some of Michelle Obama's previous iconic looks.

Wearing Brandon Maxwell, 2016

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in Brandon Maxwell, 2016

Arriving for a black tie event in Singapore in 2016, the First Lady opted for a white, sleeveless gown by Brandon Maxwell - a favourite designer of Lady Gaga. 

Wearing Jason Wu, 2016

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu

To welcome the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his wife to a state dinner in 2016, Michelle Obama turned to New York-based Canadian fashion designer, for her gown.

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Wearing Carolina Herrera, 2014

Michelle Obama in Carolina Herrera, 2014

Michelle Obama in Carolina Herrera, 2014

At a state dinner for French president Francoise Hollande, the First Lady wore this sky blue 1950s-style ballgown with black lace overlay by Carolina Herrera.

Wearing Alexander McQueen, 2011

Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen, 2011

Michelle Obama in Alexander McQueen, 2011

For a 2011 state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao, Michelle Obama wore this fire-red piece by British designer, Alexander McQueen.

Wearing Doo-Ri Chung, 2011

Michelle Obama in Lee Myung-bak, 2011

Michelle Obama in Doo-Ri Chung, 2011

While hosting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his wife Kim Yoon-ok in 2011, the First Lady wore this deep plum bias-cut dress by Korean designer, Doo-Ri Chung.