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First Lady Obama’s Gown Joins Smithsonian Collection

Dozens of outfits donned by first lady Michelle Obama have been analyzed by fashion critics and the public — her bold color choices, her support of up-and-coming designers and her penchant for mixing bargain pieces into her wardrobe.

Now the American public can see one of her more famous fashion choices in person: the white asymmetrical Jason Wu gown she wore to the 2009 inaugural balls was installed Tuesday at the National Museum of American History in Washington as part of the Smithsonian’s First Ladies Collection.

“I’ll never forget the moment that I slipped on this beautiful gown,” Mrs. Obama said at the ceremony. “I remember how just luscious I felt as the president and I were announced onto the stage for the first of many dances. And I’ll cherish that moment for the rest of my life … this gown is one of the most tangible things I have left to remember that day. And that’s why it will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The gown is part of a new collection called “A First Lady’s Debut.” Watch the Smithsonian curator describe the history of the First Ladies Collection here and click on the image below to view a slide show of the collection.

Click the image above to view a slide show of gowns included in the Smithsonian’s first lady collection.

You can also reminisce about first lady fashion moments by watching Mrs. Obama’s first dance on inauguration night with President Obama or by listening to the fashion guru Tim Gunn of the “Project Runway” television series discuss inaugural fashion with the Online NewsHour.

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