Michelle Obama Wears Thrift Store Dress

Michelle Obama wore a thrift-store dress to the “Christmas in Washington” concert. The “couture” black-lace overlay frock, featuring a high, square neckline and a full skirt was plucked from New York Vintage in Chelsea. Michelle Obama Elle’s Best Dressed “Political Chic”

The secondhand 1950s piece — believed to be the first vintage dress worn by a first lady to a public event — was made by American designer Norman Norelli, who died in 1972 and was among the most influential designers of his time.

In 1943 Norell won a Coty Fashion Award and became a critic at Pratt Institute fashion department, where he was previously a student. Shortly afterwards Anthony Traina invited him to form the fashion company Traina-Norrell, with Traina looking after the business side and Norell the fashion side. By 1944, Norell had launched chemise dresses, evening dresses, fur coats, sequined evening sheaths, fur slacks and empire-line dresses.

Today, he is considered by many in the world of fashion to be one of the foremost fashion designers in US history. The store’s owners would not say how much the first lady paid for the dress, but prices for vintage clothing have risen dramatically as quality pieces have become wildly popular among celebrities and on the red carpet. One estimate for this hand-me-down was $2,500. Michelle’s fashion choices frequently make headlines.

In the past, her outfits have immediately become hot sellers at department stores and specialty retailers — even leading to long lines and waiting lists for specific pieces. Michelle Obama’s Fashion An owner of New York Vintage said Michelle Obama is expected to wear more vintage clothing in the future.

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