It's just been confirmed that Michelle Obama has a new go-to adviser when it comes to style. Meredith Koop is a 29-year-old Vanderbilt alum who is officially listed as a personal assistant; her duties, however, include advising the First Lady on her wardrobe, even arranging the purchase of requisite pieces.
So how did Meredith land the coveted spot? She was initially thrust into the role two years ago when she was sent by Michelle's now former stylist Ikram Goldman to personally work with Michelle regarding her outfit needs. Ikram reportedly ended her White House affiliation in December, and some have speculated that she has really been out of the fray since last summer. The First Lady will probably be in good hands, since Meredith's knowledge of designers and trends is reportedly very impressive.
Michelle has earned a mostly positive fashion reputation since arriving in Washington. She recently received criticism, however, for wearing a red silk organza printed gown from Sarah Burton's Resort 2011 collection for British designer Alexander McQueen to the January state dinner held for Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Oscar de la Renta was perhaps the most vocal critic, chastising her for not favoring an American designer.
When Michelle was interviewed by Matt Lauer on The Today Show the following month, she didn't go American either. Instead, she sported a polka dot dress by Swedish retailer H&M. She scored points for the $34.95 price tag, though.
The First Lady got down and dirty this past October for the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest. Hosting a bunch of 5th graders from Bancroft Elementary, she dressed for the rainy weather, clad in a swingy black anorak, geometric top, and chain-accented black boots. The one-shouldered blue chiffon Peter Soronen gown Michelle wore when Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife Margarita Zavala visited the White House in May of last year, had even more sparkle, thanks to a silver belt.
It was a Narciso Rodriguez patterned white and black skirt suit paired with an orange blouse for her speech at The White House Council on Women and Girls' Forum on Workplace Flexibility in March 2010. That same month, Michelle presented her ivory Jason Wu stunner from the 2009 Inaugural Ball to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The ornate gown even featured Swarovski crystals. She arrived at the ceremony in a sheath by Prabal Gurung who also dressed her for the annual Governors' Dinner in Washington at the end of last month.
Although the White House is staying pretty mum on the details of Meredith's position, the First Lady's wardrobe in the coming months is sure to speak volumes.