I’ll leave the political speculation and social commentary to other bloggers, but let me take this moment to say that I loved the tone-on-tone coat, scarf, and ribbon-tie belts sported by the Obama girls this morning, and Michelle was smashing in her amped-up lemon yellow + neon green-meets-pea soup brocade ensemble. Very retro (though not quite as yesteryear as Aretha’s hat!)—but not, as had been speculated, a Maria Pinto design.

The textured, graceful look was by Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo, pictured here with her husband at a Narciso Rodriguez runway show. Before branching off on her own, Toledo designed for Anne Klein, which is about as close to an everywoman American label as you can get.

It’s predicted that Mrs. Obama will wear Pinto, her favored hometown (Chicago) designer, to this evening’s events. I love that she’s spreading the American-designer love a bit. (I have no word yet on whether Pinto’s or Toledo’s designs are also fabricated here at home.) I’m no economist, but every day the domestic fashion issue feels more and more like a movement that will matter. The Theatre de la Mode exhibit at MOHAI almost two years ago still reminds me of fashion’s validity in a greater society. If French couture pumped life into Europe’s sagging post-WWII economy, then maybe we can stimulate Seattle’s wallets, and the nation’s, too, just by being really mindful of who, and where, we’re wearing. Yes we can!

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