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‘Family Obligation’ Keeps Rodarte From Personally Basking in Michelle Obama’s Praise

As the winner of this year’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for fashion, Rodarte had the chance to rub elbows with their most famous fan, Michelle Obama. The First Lady held a luncheon yesterday to honor this year’s awards recipients, but Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy did not attend after a “change of plans,” WWD reports:

A spokesman for the Mulleavys, who launched their fashion line in 2005, sent an early-morning e-mail that said the designers “had a change of plans” and could not come to the event. The spokesman later added the sisters “had a family obligation to attend to in Los Angeles” as way of further explanation but did not provide details.

Michelle wore a hot-pink number by Isabel Toledo, which the AP reported consisted of a “V-neck top, drapes of fabric at the waist and loose flowing pants.” Though no good full-length images of the outfit seem to be available, WWD confirms it was two pieces, not a jumpsuit. Michelle also suggested in her speech that she was excited to sit next to Smurfs star Tim Gunn. In her closing remarks she mentioned her good seat real estate and interjected, “how cool.” Maybe Tim Gunn tried to get her to do a Project Runway challenge. And how funny would that be, if designers coming out of nowhere got the chance to design for her while she doesn’t even wear plenty of already hugely famous American names?

Michelle Obama National Design Awards: FLOTUS Starstruck By Tim Gunn (VIDEO) [HuffPo]
White House Honors Absentee Rodarte Designers [WWD]
First lady praises designers who push boundaries [AP]

‘Family Obligation’ Keeps Rodarte From Personally Basking in Michelle Obama’s Praise