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First Fashion

by habituallychic

01 . 20 . 09

If you watched the coverage of the Inauguration today, you will have noticed the First Lady’s beautiful yellow ensemble that was designed by fashion designer Isabel Toledo. Those of us who follow fashion and live in New York are well aware of Ms. Toledo and her artist husband Ruben, both of whom are of Cuban decent. They are a lovely couple and their artist talents seem to very much complement each other. There was a fascinating look inside their loft which serves as both a work space and home in New York magazine in 2006 by Wendy Goodman with photos by David Allee some of which are seen here.

Ruben works in his studio surrounded by hand-me-down easels and mannequins under a skylight that affords them views of the Empire State Building.

The space is of course decorated with artwork from Ruben and includes a mannequin he designed for Ralph Pucci and later painted. The iron railing is original.

The dining table, chairs and console were a gift from the late illustrator Antonio Lopez. The slipcovers were designed by Isabel.

The window was added to the bedroom and the screens were “originally designed by Ruben for the Toledos’ friend Anneliese Estrada, and retrieved when she moved.” While the streets interestingly enough came from the Watergate Hotel in Washington a funny coincidence.

It’s clear the Isabel Toledo will be just the first of many wonderful designers that will be called into service in the coming years and I look forward to seeing what they create and maybe getting a peek into their homes as well!

Comments Closed

  1. Cathy January 20, 2009 | 7:20 pm

    I remember that story in New York Magazine, I think it’s somewhere in my pile of fashion tear sheets. I LOVED the garment she is working on in the top photo. I can’t wait to see how the new First Lady continues to bring style to the White House in both her clothing and her interiors!

  2. Laura January 20, 2009 | 10:20 pm

    Oh I remember this story! God I was so jealous of all of those windows of theirs…still am, actually. What an amazingly original couple.

  3. CB January 21, 2009 | 4:55 am

    I am so happy for Ms. Toledo, especially after last year’s departure from Anne Klein after only one collection. I know many were not so fond today’s outfit, but I thought it worked and, most importantly, our new First Lady looked like herself (as always). To that end, I think the Toledo home also “looks like them” — fanciful, open and yet somehow also intimate. Love it.

    I also love tonight’s Jason Wu dress, but maybe it is just that I love the First Lady. Happy Inauguration Day — and thanks for the post!!

  4. pve design January 21, 2009 | 12:43 pm

    Truly – they are one of my favorite couples, with style, flair and individuality. I too look forward to seeing more creations from many. It seems that we are all yearning for originality.

  5. design citation January 21, 2009 | 1:10 pm

    I’m so glad that michelle obama chose cuban designer Isabel Toledo. Such a delightfully unexpected choice!
    Isabel certainly deserves every accolade – she is one of the brightest stars working today. such a shame anne klein changed their mind about her directorship, another victim of the dull american fashion conglomerate. but victim is too strong a word to use regarding isabel – she will always rise to the top!

  6. Ivy Lane January 21, 2009 | 1:31 pm

    Thanks for the sneek peek into their apartment. I am glad Michelle Obama picked someone totally unexpected…for the gold out fit and for the ball gown as well. I think it is great to help give people a chance and some deserved recognition! BRAVO!

  7. porter hovey January 21, 2009 | 3:19 pm

    Ohhhh!!! Thanks for the reminder — this is so much fun to see. I love Michelle’s white dress too. It was really beautiful.

  8. MIMILEE January 21, 2009 | 4:21 pm

    The First Lady’s ensemble was fabulous!! At first, I wasn’t really sure about it, but it grew on me!! Ms.Toledo is very talented…..indeed! With this national exposure, she will be doing allright!!

  9. Visual Vamp January 21, 2009 | 4:40 pm

    This is one of your best posts ever!
    Please go to my blog and leave me a message on one of the Obama posts.
    I’m using those posts as my archive and scrapbook, a memory poem to the day, and I would so much love if you would be a part of it.
    xo xo

  10. Susan's Snippets January 21, 2009 | 6:01 pm

    Heather – I have got to say that Chicago really had thought she would wear Maria Pinto, our hometown designer!! Although, I am sure, the First Lady will showcase more of Maria’s designs in the coming years.

    three cheers

  11. Princess Ody January 21, 2009 | 8:43 pm

    i love what mr. and mrs. toledo did with their bedroom! so refreshing and chic!

  12. the future mrs. j January 22, 2009 | 1:24 am

    Ruben’s studio is to die for! Thanks for the peek inside their home. It is lovely!

  13. Janet January 22, 2009 | 3:37 am

    Thanks for the great post…I am looking forward to seeing what else our new first lady has in store!

  14. maison21 January 22, 2009 | 5:00 am

    wow- that studio is pretty amazing.

  15. michelle January 22, 2009 | 3:42 pm

    His studio is the most beautiful work space I have seen…what quality of light!