The lemongrass-colored sheath and coat that first lady Michelle Obama wore to her husband's inauguration in January will be the star attraction when New York's Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology opens its exhibition celebrating the work of designer Isabel Toledo.
For 25 years, Toledo has been widely admired within the fashion industry for her aesthetics and her attention to construction. But few consumers beyond the most devoted fashion aficionados had heard of the Cuban-born entrepreneur before Inauguration Day 2009, when her work entered history and became the subject of analysis and debate within the national peanut gallery. Was the ensemble too fancy for the occasion? Of course not, some replied, it's modern. Was the color too offbeat? No, it was regal. Was the fit right? Yes, it was fine. Everyone had an opinion.