WASHINGTON – The young, foreign-born designer of Michelle Obama's hotly-anticipated inauguration gown still can't believe his creation caught the first lady's fancy.
"I'm still pinching myself to see that's all real," Jason Wu said in an interview with NBC's Today Show Tuesday just hours after the tightly-kept fashion secret was lifted when the Obamas slow-danced at two inaugural balls late Monday following a day full of fanfare.
The flowing ruby red chiffon and velvet dress complete with a handmade, diamond-embellished ring at the neck came about with close cooperation from Obama's team to achieve just the right fit and the right look, Wu said.
But the 30-year-old, who decked out the stylish mother of two in a one-shouldered white dress for the 2009 balls, said he was clueless until the very end that he was, once again, Obama's pick for the big night.
"We were... glued to the screen," the Taiwanese-born designer said. "Of course, we have no confirmation until the second she comes out" onto the stage for the first dance with her husband and newly minted second term president, Barack.
In another honor, the gown won't languish in Obama's closet but will go to the National Archives, the White House said.
"As somebody who moved to America to become a designer, I think (it's) something quite incredible," said Wu, who has met the first lady and described her as "every bit as lovely as she seems on TV."
Going forward, don't expect Wu to sit back and rest on his laurels.
"It was a tremendous experience and continues to be and now I just want to work harder," he said.
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