"On the occasion of the Obama administration’s third state dinner...the American first lady wore an Alexander McQueen evening gown that offered rich fodder for examining the complex relationship between the designer fashion industry, the rising prominence of China, and the position that eclectic style can occupy in a world of protocol and tradition.
The red petal print, silk organza gown wasn’t so much an act of diplomacy as a broad statement about the new realities of the fashion industry. In choosing a dress from Alexander McQueen, Mrs. Obama championed the cause of artisan design, the legacy of bespoke tailoring, and the staggering creativity that can be nurtured in the frock trade when it is at its best. The sleeveless dress, with its asymmetrical neckline, was created by a house that represents the designer imagination at its most indulgent and devilish. And in wearing the gown to honor China, a country that many view with disdain for its abundance of cheap labor, counterfeit products, and poor labor practices, Mrs. Obama seemed to be recognizing the country’s inevitable place in the fashion cycle and giving it its due."
- Robin Givhan for The Daily Beast