Michelle Obama's wave of fashion firsts continues on strong.
The latest coup comes for the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which today announced that the lemongrass ensemble designed by Isabel Toledo, which the First Lady donned on Inauguration Day, will be on display come June 17, when the school unveils a three-month-long mid-career retrospective to the Cuban-born designer entitled "Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out."
This historic White House loan marks the first time that the sheath dress and matching coat will be on public view.
The exhibit, which runs through September 26, will include approximately 70 iconic looks by Toledo from the mid-1980s to the present, along with mannequins and drawings by her husband, artist Ruben Toledo, with whom she closely collaborates.
First Lady Michelle Obama said, "I absolutely adored my Inauguration Day ensemble designed by Isabel Toledo, and I am happy it will be part of the exhibit so that others can appreciate the creativity and craftsmanship of one of America's great female designers."
"Isabel Toledo has long been admired by fashion insiders but unknown to the public at large," said Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at FIT. "When Michelle Obama wore Isabel Toledo's beautiful golden ensemble for the Inauguration, suddenly everyone in the world saw what this great designer can do. We are absolutely delighted that Mrs. Obama has agreed to lend this now-historic ensemble to the museum's forthcoming exhibition, 'Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out.'"
Much buzz has surrounded Toledo since that fateful January day. The much-lauded "designer's designer" and industry favorite knew that the dress and coat she designed for the First Lady was a possible candidate, but did not know Mrs. Obama had selected the outfit until she emerged on the morning of Inauguration Day.
Toledo is the recipient of numerous honors, including FIT's Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion in 2008. What's more, on May 16, Toledo will receive the Savannah College of Art & Design's André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award.
Toledo and Steele have also coauthored an accompanying exhibition book, to be published by Yale University Press. Support for the exhibition has been provided by the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT, with additional support from Nordstrom.