The dress and diamonds heard ’round the world are now an official part of our nation’s fashion history.
In a sentimental send-off, Michelle Obama donated to The Smithsonian the famous white Jason Wu off-the-shoulder gown and the Loree Rodkin jewelry she wore on inauguration night last year. The First Lady surprised the Taiwan-born, Wu, with her selection last year – who subsequently shot to fame along with Los Angeles jewelry designer, Rodkin. “To say that she has changed my life is really an understatement,” said Wu, who was present for the induction ceremony. The Loree Rodkin jewelry on display includes 61-carat triple rose cut diamond earrings; the “Michelle signet ring” in white gold and black rhodium with rose cut diamonds (13 carats); and 13 white gold and diamond bangle bracelets. Speaking in front of family, friends and a smattering of fashion students, Obama admitted she was embarrassed so many people made such a fuss about one dress, but acknowledged the historical significance of the ensemble. “When we look at the gown that Jackie Kennedy wore 50 years ago, or the one that Mary Todd Lincoln wore more than 100 years before that, it really takes us beyond the history books and the photographs, and it helps us understand that history is really made by real live people.” After posing with the exhibit, Mrs. Obama bid farewell to her coveted baubles, “Oh look the jewelry!” she said with a laugh and a wave, “This is what I’ll miss the most. Bye jewelry!”