Today, the White House held its much talked about Fashion Education Workshop, hosted by none other than our stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama. Young fashion students flocked to the White House for a panel and a series of workshops covering topics like fashion tech, garment construction and more. Michelle was appropriately outfitted for the occasion in a dress designed by FIT student Natalya Koval. This afternoon featured a livestreamed panel of fashion bigwigs, including Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg, Lafayette 148‘s designer Edward Wilkerson, Tracy Reese, J.Crew‘s Jenna Lyons and Prabal Gurung. The panel, moderated by Lilliana Vazquez, covered everything from how the designers started out to how to present yourself on social media.
“Our mission is always the same: To inspire you guys to dream bigger, to reach higher and most importantly, to pull someone else up along the way,” the First Lady said before presenting the panel of esteemed fashion designers. And there was plenty to be gleaned from the talk, like when von Furstenberg shared how her iconic wrap dress officially became a thing. She said that it was legendary Vogue editrix Diana Vreeland, who encouraged her to continue making improvements to her frock in 1972. She took her advice. “In 1976, I was in [the White House] having dinner,” the designer recounted. “I was next to President Ford at the time and I was on the cover of Newsweek, and I was only 28.”
Lyons revealed that she learned how to sew in her home economics class and realized she had something when the most popular girl in school asked her where she got a watermelon skirt she’d designed. Popular girls: They don’t always make your life a living hell — sometimes they can put you on the path to fulfilling your destiny!
While all the designers shared quips and anecdotes about their careers, possibly the best moment of the panel was when von Furstenberg discovered that Rihanna is no longer on Instagram. At the end of the discussion, Vazquez hit the designers with some quickfire questions, one being, “Who should you follow on Instagram?” Without missing a beat, von Furstenberg replied, “Rihanna!” Of course, her fellow panel members informed her that the singer had indeed been banned form the social media platform, leaving DVF looking visibly disappointed.
Which begs the question: Does DVF actually follow Rihanna on Instagram, or did she hear that RiRi had an interesting Instagram and just dropped her name? The world may never know.
You can watch the workshop in the video below: