Two months ago, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a select group of artists and public figures. Then, the election happened, and Donald Trump, former reality television star, business mogul, and current president-elect, emerged victorious over Democratic nominee and predicted favorite Hillary Clinton. In the past two weeks since the election, Trump has courted various Republican party leaders, white-nationalist figureheads, and former opponents he once viciously attacked for his nascent White House. And in the aftermath, as the New York Times wrote, President Obama announced a new crop of honorees, many of them his personal heroes, with “the awareness that many of them would probably never receive such an honor from his successor.” On Tuesday evening, President Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, officiated the awards ceremony that honored Bruce Springsteen, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, and 17 others. The First Lady wore a silk Dries Van Noten dress for the occasion — among her political successes, she’ll also go down as the best-dressed First Lady since Jackie O.
When: Tuesday, November 22.
Where: The Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony officiated by President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.
What: A silk Dries Van Noten midi-length dress with a tie waist, ruby-red drop earrings, and a low bun.
Why: The First Lady frequently makes politically minded choices when it comes to her formalwear — she’s promoted up-and-coming Americans like Brandon Maxwell and worn Indian-American designer Naeem Khan when meeting with the first family of India — but lately, she seems to be having a bit more fun. Her last outing, in a stunning gold Versace gown custom-designed by Donatella Versace, proved her red carpet bona fides; here, her choice of a patched silk Dries Van Noten dress proves she has her finger on the pulse of the avant-garde, too. She recycled this wrap look by the Belgian master from a previous appearance last year — yet even though it’s making a repeat appearance, it still serves as evidence that, among all these Medal of Freedom honorees, Michelle Obama is also a national icon.
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