Style & Beauty

Michelle Obama's Portrait Reminds Us Of Her Strong Patriotism Through Fashion

She was, and still is, a huge supporter of American designers.

Last week, Michelle Obama’s official portrait was revealed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and it made quite a splash.

In the portrait by Amy Sherald, the former first lady is wearing a beautiful custom gown by Milly that features a full skirt with colorful striped accents. Not only were both the portrait and gown gorgeous, but they also sent a powerful message.

Milly designer Michelle Smith told The Washington Post the gown was inspired by her spring 2017 collection, which was all about a “desire for equality, equality in human rights, racial equality, LGBTQ equality.” She also explained that the different knot and tie details in her collection were meant to represent a “feeling of being held back … that we’re not quite there yet.”

That message is one the former FLOTUS would no doubt stand behind. And there she is, looking strong and confident in her portrait, wearing a beautiful design by a fellow American.

After seeing the portrait, we couldn’t help but be reminded of the other times Obama wore American fashions. She was (and still is) a huge supporter of American fashion, regularly bringing attention to the country’s design talent.

See some of her most memorable American-designed gowns and dresses below.

Maria Pinto, 2008
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Michelle Obama supported her Chicago roots when she wore this brightly colored frock by Chicago-based designer Maria Pinto in 2008, when her husband was still a presidential hopeful.
Isabel Toledo, 2009
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She wore this matching dress and coat by Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo for her husband's inauguration parade in 2009.
Jason Wu, 2009
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The former first lady wore this stunning Jason Wu gown for President Barack Obama's first inaugural ball back in 2009. It's now displayed in the National Museum of American History.
Naeem Khan, 2009
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A stunning gown by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan, worn for a state dinner with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, in 2009.
Peter Soronen, 2010
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The former first lady opted for this bold blue gown by New York designer Peter Soronen for a state dinner with Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala, in 2010.
Doo.Ri, 2011
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For a state dinner with the president and first lady of South Korea in 2011, the former FLOTUS chose a striking purple gown by Korean-American designer Doo-Ri Chung.
Tom Ford, 2011
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For a visit to Buckingham Palace in 2011, Obama wore a beautiful white gown designed by Tom Ford.
Rodarte, 2011
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For a Hanukkah reception in 2011, the former first lady rocked this metallic blue frock by Rodarte.
Tracy Reese, 2012
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Obama wore this lovely look by Tracy Reese at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Jason Wu, 2013
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The former FLOTUS chose to wear another Jason Wu design for the inaugural ball that kicked off her husband's second term in 2013. The gown is now also a part of the National Museum of American History.
Tracy Reese, 2013
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The former first lady wore this Tracy Reese dress on Aug. 28, 2013, while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Naeem Khan, 2014
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This beautifully embroidered dress by Naeem Khan was a perfect choice for the Anna Wintour Costume Center grand opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014.
Carolina Herrera, 2014
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This Carolina Herrera gown, worn in 2014, was no doubt one of the former first lady's most striking ensembles.
Zac Posen, 2015
Obama wore this sparkler by Zac Posen to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25, 2015.
Vera Wang, 2015
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This Vera Wang gown, which the former first lady wore to a 2015 state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, screamed old Hollywood glamour.
Brandon Maxwell, 2016
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The former first lady took a page out of Lady Gaga's handbook when she wore this structured cream gown designed by one of Gaga's favorites. (Maxwell designed the pop star's 2016 Oscars gown.)
Jason Wu, 2016
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While visiting Canada in 2016, Obama chose yet another Wu design. By that point, the designer had become an old faithful for her.
Christian Siriano, 2016
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Obama wore this blue frock by Christian Siriano for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, during which she gave her now-famous "When they go low, we go high" speech.
Jason Wu, 2017
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When Michelle and Barack Obama passed White House duties on to Donald and Melania Trump, Michelle Obama wore another Jason Wu dress, bringing her tenure as FLOTUS full circle.
Cushnie et Ochs, 2017
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Last summer, Obama spoke onstage at The 2017 ESPY Awards in California wearing this sleek Cushnie et Ochs little black dress.