For Michelle Obama, yet another dress by little-known designer

The Baltimore Sun

Michelle Obama, who dazzled the fashion world by choosing Inauguration Day outfits from two almost-unknown designers, made another obscure artist's day yesterday with the dress she wore to a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.

The first lady wore a Tracy Feith retro-inspired dress to the church service. The dress, which Feith calls "Yoka Yoka Garden," looks like a vintage frock pulled from the costume department of TV's Mad Men, with its slim bodice, full skirt and three-quarter sleeves. The floral print on a black cotton fabric features a pattern of greens, lavenders and white cranes with a bit of gold.

"We were so, so, so surprised," Katarine Carminatti, who manages the Feith boutique in Manhattan, said yesterday.

The dress, from Feith's fall 2008 collection, is still available in his New York boutiques. It costs $720.

Feith, whom blogs describe as a "surfer-turned-designer," has a number of boutiques in New York City. For those who don't have a few hundred dollars to spare to buy one of his dresses, he's creating a line for Target expected to debut this spring.

For Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony, Obama wore a yellow sheath dress and matching coat from the equally unknown Isabel Toledo. For the inaugural balls later that night, she chose a custom-made ivory gown in silk chiffon from Jason Wu, a Taipei-born designer who is in his 20s.

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