YES WE KHAN: First Lady Michelle Obama in a midnight blue Jason Wu gown and her Canadian counterpart Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau in a purple Lucian Matis dress earned major style points at Thursday night’s state dinner, but First Daughters Malia and Sasha Obama proved to be second-in-command for their Naeem Khan dresses.
Seventeen-year-old Malia went with a strapless nude embellished dress and 14-year-old Sasha opted for a racer-front sheer floral dress with lace and velvet insets. Sasha wore loose French braids and a black choker. On the road for work Friday, Khan could not be reached for comment, and his spokeswoman deferred a request to the First Lady’s press office. Considering the girls’ teenage status, it’s not so surprising that FLOTUS’ media team declined to comment Friday.
Thursday night was the first time the Obama girls had a seat at a state dinner. Perhaps not by chance, their mother also chose a Naeem Khan gown for her first state dinner in honor of India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009. On that occasion, the strapless gold gown with silver appliqué that the designer made solely for the First Lady lit up social media — much like Friday’s reaction to her daughters’ choices. The Indian-born, New York-based Khan also provided the ivory wool-appliqué coat with a jeweled neckline and trim and coordinating dress that FLOTUS wore to the 2013 National Prayer Service during her husband’s second inaugural weekend in January 2013. At that time, Khan described his tie to the First Lady as “an ongoing thing.”
Being blinded by the media glare as an adolescent is something that the guest of honor, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, could relate to. So much so that Trudeau, whose father Pierre served two terms as Canada’s Prime Minister, assured the First Daughters in his remarks that “your remarkable childhood and young adulthood will result in extraordinary strength and wisdom beyond your years for the rest of your life.”
While college-bound Malia will presumably live a little more freedom — albeit with security detail — in the fall, her sister Sasha will no doubt be gaining attention since the First Family plans to stay inside the Beltway post-election. The speed of time wasn’t lost on President Obama, who reminded his dinner guests “They grow up too quick….I’m starting to get choked up.”
The younger Obamas weren’t the only ones in Thursday’s East Room crowd who were within earshot of their parents. Trudeau’s mother Margaret was in the East Room, as were his wife’s parents, Estelle Blais and Jean Gregoire.