American voters may have been divided about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this election, but the fashion community has been unequivocal in its support for First Lady Michelle Obama since she appeared on the campaign trail during her husband’s first White House bid. Several designers, such as Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch, contributed items to Runway to Win, a fundraising effort for the President’s successful re-election bid, while designers like Diane von Furstenberg sought to distance themselves from Ann Romney when she appeared in their designs. It’s safe to say, then, that the fashion industry is applauding the fact that it will have another four years to dress the First Lady — and continue to wax poetic about her sartorial sense.
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They can start with her outfit tonight — a burgundy Michael Kors shift and black blazer that she also wore in November 2010 at a Medal of Honor presentation ceremony. It was a bit more toned down than her dress on election night in 2008, when she celebrated her husband’s victory in a bright-red-and-black Narciso Rodriguez dress. (For her part, Romney repeated her Republican National Convention look this evening with a red, three-quarter-length-sleeve shift dress that she accessorized with a chunky necklace and black pumps.) Kors is a frequent choice for the First Lady, and she even posed for her official portrait wearing a sleeveless Kors shift. The fact that it’s a repeat dress is also symbolic: throughout the campaign, she has recycled outfits in an attempt — critics say — to appear frugal and cognizant of an economy that’s been stubborn to recover. Regardless her motives tonight, the dress will surely be remembered and talked about for years, and kicks off what’s likely to be an equally fashionable second term for the First Lady.