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Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 02/13/2011

Michelle Obama's "Everyday Icon" style and the other woman behind the clothes

By The Reliable Source

Jason Wu and Michelle Obama last year at the presentation of the inaugural gown he designed to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection. (Marvin Joseph /The Washington Post)

The first lady got an early valentine last week with the publication of "Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style" by Kate Betts. The former Harper's Bazaar editor has written a 256-page love letter with lots of pretty pictures and rapturous prose. "She seemed almost inhumanly at ease, natural, relaxed, spontaneous, as if playing a part she was born to play," Betts writes of Obama at the inaugural balls.

The fashion tome replays the first lady's greatest sartorial hits (inauguration, state dinners, foreign trips) and praises her mix of designer and less-expensive off-the-rack pieces -- you know, just like normal women! And, no, Betts doesn't find a single fashion miss.

The person most responsible for Obama's look: Chicago boutique owner Ikram Goldman, the first lady's style "consigliere," who ordered up the Jason Wu inaugural gown and a number of other designer ensembles.

"Having a retailer broker her wardrobe choices also threw a proverbial veil over the unavoidable question of how much all these clothes would cost and who, ultimately, was paying for them," Betts writes. "Presumably, Ikram would pay the designers, and the First Lady would pay Ikram. The arrangement allowed not only for privacy but also meant, potentially, that some of the more expensive pieces could be purchased at cost -- substantially less than the retail price."

Alas, Betts doesn't dish on how much Obama's clothes actually cost -- and we'll probably never find out. The first lady pays for her wardrobe personally, according to the White House.

By The Reliable Source  | February 13, 2011; 11:00 PM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, First Family  
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Comments

I love and respect my First Lady. However, Ikram Goldman the style 'consigliere' I am not too pleased with. Black/white polka dots, fushia belt and yellow shoes...no no no. Sleeveless in the winter months, no, no, no.

P-L-E-A-S-E, She is to beautiful for that.

Posted by: menselle | February 14, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I love and respect my First Lady. However, Ikram Goldman the style 'consigliere' I am not too pleased with. Black/white polka dots, fuchsia belt and yellow shoes...no no no. Sleeveless in the winter months, no, no, no.

P-L-E-A-S-E, She is to beautiful for that.

Posted by: menselle | February 14, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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