First Lady's Alexander McQueen dress has the claws out among U.S. fashion designers

When Michelle Obama dazzled a formal dinner at the White House with a flame red gown gown by British designer Alexander McQueen, you could be forgiven for applauding her bold taste in fashion.
But the gesture appears to have fallen on stony ground in the U.S. after designers reacted with anger that she had not chosen a homegrown gown.
The decision, which some argued was taken because of the symbolism of the colour red in China, highlights the scrutiny devoted to the outfits the First Lady wears for state occasions. One of the leading fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta, told Women's Wear Daily: 'My understanding is that the visit was to promote American-Chinese trade.
'American products in China and Chinese products in America. Why do you wear European clothes?' Diane Von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, told the same publication: 'Our First Lady Michelle Obama has been wonderful at promoting our designers, so we were surprised and a little disappointed not to be represented for this major state dinner.' The Obamas were hosting Chinese president Hu Jintao at an elaborate state dinner in Washington last week.
The Alexander McQueen dress, a flame-coloured silk organza with an asymmetrical neckline and black detail, was described as 'very glamorous'.
Kate Betts, author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style, said: 'Red is an obvious colour because in the Chinese colour it means good luck, but you expect an American or an American-based designer for an occasion like this. 'But she's always surprising, and that's why we're all riveted by her.'
The First Lady is no stranger to state occasion elegance. After President Obama's inauguration in the White House, she donated her gown to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's First Ladies Collection in Washington.
The dress, a white off-the-shoulder chiffon gown, was designed by U.S.-based Taiwanese designer Jason Wu. She also wore a black and white Isabel Toledo dress for which she received praise while in London and another dress by the same designer as her husband went to be sworn in in Washington D.C. Mrs Obama could arguably be included in a list of politics most glamorous, along with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.