B. Michael designs Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural dress
Renee Minus White | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.
Just received word that New York couture designer B. Michael has been chosen to dress Elizabeth Alexander, the poet selected to read at Barack Obama's upcoming presidential inauguration and gala! He's a superb choice and one of the best haute couture designers of the times. "Alexander's poems bristle with the irresistible quality of a world seen fresh," said Rita Dove, former poet laureate of the United States and consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress. Born in Harlem, N.Y., Alexander grew up in Washington, D.C.
She holds three degrees: a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her poetry collection includes "American Sublime" (Graywolf Press, 2005), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; "Antebellum Dream Book"(2001); "Body of Life" (1996); and "The Venus Hottentot" (1990). Further praise for her work comes from poet and novelist Clarence Major, who noted her "instinct for turning her profound cultural vision into one that illuminates universal experience."
B. Michael is known for his magic of elegance. As a designer, he falls into the haute couture designer category of Paris creators such as Madame Gres and Balenciaga. He is a no-nonsense designer. He focuses on the cut, silhouette and fit of his garments. He likes clean lines. "Simplicity is the most challenging look to achieve," he said during an interview after his fall '08 fashion show last April.
His favorite designer is Valentino. "Due to his overall style, Valentino's designs are powerful and they last," he remarked. Coco Chanel is another favorite designer because she was a rebel. "Today, women are feminine. They are practical. They live and work in the world. And they need clothes that fit their lifestyle," he said. "When you are shopping for clothes, pay attention to the fit and proportions."
For winter '09, his color choices are the ever-present red and all of the rich jewel tones, including sapphire. For day, he likes winter white and beige. Can hardly wait to see what he will design for Alexander. Will keep you posted. Happy New Year!