Jason Wu, Designer of Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball Gown
I cried yesterday morning when I listened to President Obama’s inaugural address on the radio. Before you think I’m some uber-Obama nut like Ernie’s neighbor, I’ll tell you that I was crying because I was thinking of my Dad, who passed away in 2006. He was the ultimate political history news buff and would have followed the election intently; as a proud American, I know he would have been indulging in the historic nature of this inauguration, and I am sad that he isn’t here to witness history being made.
My Dad passed away before Barack Obama really came on to the horizon as a Presidential candidate. So I’m not sure if he would have supported Hillary or Obama in the primaries (he was a Democrat, even though we lived in Orange County). But regardless, I’m sure he would have been pleased with the outcome of the election and the thought of history being made with America’s first black President.
Why am I telling you all this?
I’m just setting the stage to reveal that what would have excited my Dad the most, despite his intense political enthusiasm: the fact that the designer of the First Lady’s Inaugural Ball dress was from Taiwan. Even though I imagine my Dad would have cared less about First Lady Fashion or even the Ball itself, he would have been beaming with pride once he heard the news that a Taiwanese-born man designed the dress! The long white gown was made especially for the first lady and made of ivory silk chiffon, embellished with organza and Swarovski crystal rhinestones and silver thread embroidery. This isn’t the first time Michelle Obama has worn Jason Wu; she wore his #17 from his Spring 2009 collection for her interview with Barbara Walters last year.
Whenever it came to anything — and I mean ANYTHING — that reflected back positively towards Taiwan, my Dad would get excited and proud. And so when I heard that the designer of Michelle Obama’s white inaugural ball gown was Taiwan-born Jason Wu, I had to do what my Dad would have done: search the web for anything about this man who has brought “pride and honor” to Taiwan.
Jason Wu, 26, is an up-and-coming (has he made it now?!) designer who was born and raised in Taipei. According to his FashionRoyalty site — a line of “high fashion collectible dolls” — Wu has traveled the world from early on in life. He spent a portion of his life living and studying in Canada, France and different parts of the United States before establishing himself in New York City where he attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design.
Blah, blah, blah. All my Dad would have cared about was “TAIPEI” and “TAIWAN” and he would’ve talked about this for days. Sigh… I miss my Dad. Regardless, thanks Jason Wu for bringing “pride and honor” to Taiwanese-American people everywhere. And if not everywhere, then just in the room I’m sitting in.