Barack and Michelle Obama went to the White House today for the first time since their resignations as president and first lady in 2017, to attend the unveiling ceremony for their official portraits with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. President Biden delivered a speech recognising Obama as “one of the most consequential presidents in history” after presenting the paintings with the American public for the first time—Barack was painted by photorealistic painter Robert McCurdy, while Michelle was the work of artist Sharon Sprung.
Michelle’s attire for the event, though, was just as striking as the Obamas’ portraits. Michelle Obama, widely considered as one of the most glamorous first ladies in history, demonstrated that she hasn’t lost her fashion sense after leaving the White House, wearing a purple and red pleated crepe ombré silk gown fashioned as a custom piece by her long-time tailor Christy Rilling. A pair of exquisite drop earrings and a pair of elegant black shoes completed the look.
Barack Obama visited the White House earlier this year to attend a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, but today’s event marks Michelle Obama’s first visit to the White House since her husband’s administration ended. (Breaking with precedent, Trump declined to invite the Obamas back to the estate or have their pictures unveiled during his presidency.) “This day isn’t about me or Barack,” Michelle addressed the gathering. “It’s not even about these lovely paintings.” It’s about portraying a more complete tale, one that includes every single American in every single corner of the country, so that our children and grandchildren may see more for themselves.