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We The People Design Mrs. O's Inauguration Gown

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[Images via the Washington Post]

How cute is the Washington Post's "Dress the First Lady" contest? The paper asked aspiring designers across the country to send in sketches of the dress they'd like to see Michelle Obama wear to the inauguration. Entries ranged from crayon drawings by 10-year-old Sharzina to photos of pre-existing gown by the professionals. The whole nation, it seemed, came together to support a first lady who's already become a fashion icon. And then WaPo critic Robin Givhan mercilessly made fun of them.

A significant number of readers who participated in our online design-an-inaugural-gown challenge appeared to be under the impression that the 44-year-old, physically fit lawyer who will soon be first lady would like to look like a 70-something mother-of-the-bride on Jan. 20. They showed little interest in sketching something that might appeal to Michelle Obama's youthful personal aesthetics, characterized by body-skimming silhouettes, bare arms, strong colors and lively prints.
Those, by the way, are her first two sentences. The chiding gets even more harsh after that. Givhan picks a lovely emerald green gown by 23-year-old Katie Ermilio as her winner, but we're less interested in the best dresses than the amazing diversity of the entries (and the many, many ways designers sketched Mrs. O herself, which could be the subject of a totally different post.) Click over to WaPo for a full slideshow.
· A First Lady Gowned in Green Would Be a Go [WP]