First Lady Michelle Obama has always had a soft spot for American designers, particularly newcomers to the scene. And, in opting over the years for the creations of rising designers, the First Lady has helped raise the profile of many visionaries during her time at the White House.
Tuesday’s White House state dinner was no exception.
At the state dinner in honor of Singapore’s prime minister and his wife, Ho Ching, the First Lady wore an ivory gown in sponge crepe designed by Brandon Maxwell. The floor-length design had a minimalist, clean aesthetic, which recalled the sleek lines of the blue dress by Christian Siriano that Obama wore at the Democratic National Convention. Her hair, which has recently been styled with soft, tousled waves, was pinned back into a chignon. She finished the look with statement earrings.
“Brandon Maxwell” might not be a household name at the moment, but he is known among fashion insiders, particularly for his work and styling with Lady Gaga (he’s responsible for designing the white jumpsuit she wore to this year’s Oscars). Yet, his first runway collection debuted only last September.
At the show, Maxwell enjoyed Gaga’s help and she could be seen wiping tears from her eyes at the finale. His debut collection in the fall was by all accounts, “very Brandon,” according to Nicola Formichetti, Gaga’s onetime stylist. She told the Cut that it was “very minimal, sophisticated, and glamorous.”
That sophistication and glamour undoubtedly caught the attention of the First Lady.
While his collection may be new, Maxwell has already received some accolades in the industry. He won the the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at the 2016 CFDA Awards and was among the finalists for the 2016 LVMH Prize.