Best and worst in fashion in 2009, and the first lady is on both lists

The best fashion moments of 2009:

1. The fall '09 Comme des Garcons collection is a poetic exploration of the beauty that can be found even in sorrow. White House social secretary Desiree Rogers wears a gown from this collection to the Obamas' first state dinner. Sure, it was a political miscalculation, but it was a bold fashion move worth applauding.

FRONT AND CENTER: Rogers arrives at the state dinner; now she has a less coveted invitation to appear before Congress.

Rogers arrives at the state dinner; now she has a less coveted invitation to appear before Congress. (Bill O'leary/the Washington Post)

2. First lady Michelle Obama's strapless, silver-sequined state-dinner evening gown by Naeem Khan is pure razzle-dazzle and politically correct, too. The dinner celebrated India's prime minister; the dress's designer was born there.

Michelle Obama Wears Naeem Khan and Desirée Rogers Wears Comme des Garçons to State Dinner

Photo: Getty Images

3. Designer Isabel Toledo transforms from a fashion insider's secret weapon into a name for the history books, thanks to the lemon-grass yellow Inauguration Day dress and coat she created for the first lady.

4. J. Crew and its creative director, Jenna Lyons, show the world modestly priced fashion that's good enough for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

5. Director R.J. Cutler debuts "The September Issue," the most revealing behind-the-scenes look at Vogue and its editor, Anna Wintour, that has ever been accomplished.

6. All eyes turn to Chicago fashion and retailer Ikram Goldman, the first lady's wardrobe adviser, who keeps one eye on her client's personal style and the other on the history books. In your face, New York!

7. Susan Boyle gets a makeover and a record deal She looks like herself, only better.

8. The Council of Fashion Designers of America gives Michelle Obama a special award for turning the international spotlight on Seventh Avenue.

9. Prada's spring 2010 show makes Lucite heels sexy and classy.

10. Zac Posen's spring 2010 collection is glamorous and restrained, with its candy colors and refined lines. Seventh Avenue's wunderkind finally grows up.

By Robin Givhan, Washington Post

3:20 AM

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