Tuesday, February 11, 2014

France State Dinner: First Lady Chooses Custom Ball Gown By Designer Carolina Herrera

The First Couple welcome Pres. Hollande as he arrives
The color of the skirt reflects the theme of the State Visit:  "Liberty Blue"...
The White House - First Lady Michelle Obama chose a dramatic custom-designed ball gown for Tuesday night's State Dinner honoring President François Hollande of France.  Created by Venezuelan born US designer Carolina Herrera, the dress had a sparkling black top with three-quarter-length sleeves over an elaborate skirt with a very long train, in a color called "liberty blue," according to a White House official.
Mrs. Obama has worn Herrera before, but it is the first time she has chosen a gown with sleeves for a State Dinner; typically she shows off her famously toned arms.

Posing on the North Portico
Mrs. Obama wore no jewelry except for huge black gemstone earrings, and wore low-heeled black pumps.  According to a statement from the designer, the black top has hand-sewn beaded embroidery appliqued over a blue silk faille corset.  A wide black velvet belt is atop the silk faille skirt that has inverted pleats. It was made in the designer's New York studio.   

President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama welcomed the French President under the North Portico as he arrived at 8:00 PM.

Hollande's gala is the seventh State Dinner and the first in nearly two years that President  and Mrs. Obama have hosted.  For the last State Dinner, honoring the United Kingdom, Mrs. Obama wore a gown by Marchesa

The Obamas walk onto the North Portico to await Hollande's arrival
Mrs. Obama has also worn gowns designed by Peter Soronen and Doo-Ri Chung, and twice worn gowns designed by Naeem Khan, including for the Administration’s first and second State Dinners, for India and Mexico respectively.

The President helps Mrs. Obama off the stage in the pavilion
The dinner for 352 guests was held in a gigantic pavilion on the South Lawn, built for the occasion. CLICK HERE for the details about the four-course American-themed menu.  

Hollande will return home with the gift of an oak table from President Obama, custom made to commemorate his State Visit. 

CLICK here for links to all posts about Hollande's State Visit.

*Pool photos; last photo by Pete Souza/White House