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"Dream Come True" For Michelle's Designer

The first state secret is out: Cuban American Isabel Toledo, an independent known for her creativity and technique, designed this pale gold lace coat, sweater and sheath dress ensemble for Michelle Obama.
AP
Isabel Toledo is considered an up-and-coming fashion designer who's highly respected within the fashion community but now that well-known to the general public.

All that is about to change. You might say she's gone from up-and-coming to "there."

The Cuban-American designer created the outfit first lady Michelle Obama wore to President Obama's swearing-in Tuesday.

On The Early Show Wednesday, Toledo told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez she's "feeling good. I'm feeling the energy."

Toledo says she "absolutely" didn't know Mrs. Obama was going to wear her outfit to the inauguration. "It was a dream come true," when Toledo saw it on Mrs. Obama. "I was really so happy to see how optimistic she looked, and how comfortable and warm, actually. I did my job!"

The outfit was "absolutely" meant to be warm, Toledo says. "It was layered. It's a wool lace layered with a silk net and it's got silk inside, about three layers of silk. It's also quilted inside. So, she was ready."



What did YOU think of Michelle's choice of outfits? Look at pictures by clicking on the link below and vote in the box on the right and down somewhat.
Photos: Michelle's Inaugural Outfits
Why the yellow-ish color?

"I called it lemongrass, interestingly enough, because it felt fresh, it felt new, and optimistic. The color really was an optimistic choice, and I wanted to please her in that way."

Lots of work went into making the outfit, Toledo said: "The designing, of course, took a while. And really, about a week-and-a-half to get all the ladies in the studio to accomplish it. Because it had to all be woven together, all the different layers. It was hard work for about a-week-and-a-half nonstop, right before the holidays."

Even though she didn't know Mrs. Obama was going to wear her outfit, Toledo says she felt "an amazing responsibility, really, because I wanted to capture the same emotion I was feeling. I wanted to get that emotion across to people just on the way she looked. I wanted to feel -- I felt hopeful, and I wanted the garment to feel hopeful, and I wanted people to feel that from the garment, and, in fact, to help her get her point across of hope and change and the dream of the future."

Toledo added that Mrs. Obama added her jewelry, green shoes and green gloves on her own. The gloves were J. Crew and the satin pumps, Jimmy Choo.

Washington Post Fashion Editor Robin Givhan told Rodriguez Toledo's outfit was "wonderful" on Mrs. Obama, adding, "As Isabel said, the color was particularly striking. This is a first lady who can wear all sorts of interesting and wonderful colors, so it's nice to see her veer away from the usual red or blue for the swearing-in. And, you know, I thought it was just really terrific that she reached out and chose a designer who's sort of not 'the usual suspect." '