Designers of first lady's clothes also decorate White House

The Library on the ground floor of the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Washington as Christmas decorations for 2015 are unveiled. Four designers whose clothes first lady Michelle Obama has worn also designed and decorated three rooms on the ground floor of the White House for Christmas. The duo of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon decorated the library.

WASHINGTON — Four designers whose clothes Michelle Obama has worn also designed and decorated three rooms on the ground floor of the White House for Christmas.

Carolina Herrera was responsible for the China Room, Duro Olowu handled the Vermeil Room and the library was turned over to the duo of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the White House disclosed Wednesday, as the first lady unveiled this year's decor to military families.

Herrera decorated the China Room using ribbon in the shade of blue that was used to trim the Obama china service, which was introduced this year. It's called Kailua blue and is meant to evoke the waters around Hawaii, where President Barack Obama was born and celebrates Christmas annually. The China Room is where presidential place settings used throughout history are displayed.

Herrera also designed the gown Mrs. Obama wore to last year's White House state dinner for France. It featured a black, hand-sewn beaded top over a corset and floor-length skirt and train in a color that was described as "liberty blue."

Olowu used a pair of 8-foot Christmas trees draped with vintage fabrics and ribbons, and encrusted hanging balls to spruce up the Vermeil Room, which is sometimes used as a ladies' sitting room. Faux miniature shell Christmas trees also dot the room.


Lim and Leon decorated the library, the repository for more than 2,700 books, as a holiday forest of novels and manuscripts trimmed with pages of text and inspirational quotes. Stacks of books, including both gift-wrapped and unwrapped, are bound by ribbon embossed with sayings like "We Live for Books" and sit on tables around the room.

Books also were used as toppers for the six Christmas trees in the library.

Mrs. Obama said the four designers and Rafanelli Events, an event planning and design company that also helped, had turned the White House into a winter wonderland.

"I'm overjoyed to share their talent with tens of thousands of guests from across our country and around the world who will visit the White House this holiday season, and I know visitors will be as delighted by their work as I am," she said in a statement.

What To Read Next
Get Local