First Lady Michelle Obama's Fashion at Final State Dinner

Author Kate Betts discusses the significance of the first lady's style choices at last night's star-studded event.
4:05 | 10/19/16

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Transcript for First Lady Michelle Obama's Fashion at Final State Dinner
That is first lady Michelle Obama at last night's state dinner. Stunning in a Versace gown. Her style over the last eight years taking center stage and shifting the way American women think about fashion. Really women all around the world. ABC's Paula Faris with a closer look. Reporter: The 14th and final state dinner for the prime minister of Italy and Michelle Obama's last as first lady and made it one to remember. Stunning in a shimmering rose gold chainmail Versace gown and president Obama saying all they're looking at is you. A fashion critic heralded it for its pure Hollywood glamour. The Versace dress stands out because it's a very sexy, slinky dress. It's by an Italian designer and keeping with her tradition of in some way acknowledging the country that they're hosting. Reporter: Since the Obamas very first state dinner in 2009 for the prime minister of India, the first lady has showcased show-stopping gown, many by American designers. Welcoming Canada's prime minister earlier this year in a strapless Jason Wu and this 2010 dazzling dress designed by Peter so sorenini going further afield for fashion inspiration, this showstopper from Alexander Mcqueen for a dinner for the president of China and this memorable mark case have when hosting the British prime minister in 2012. And the first lady's fashion legacy goes far beyond formal occasions. She's embraced bold colors and knee length frocks, mixing, matching pricey pieces with off the rack items with brands like J. Crew. She's been extraordinarily savvy about her use of fashion both to connect with people whether it's another working mother, whether it's a dignitary. Reporter: The first lady's sense of style flawless. For "Good morning America," Paula Faris, ABC news, New York. And joining us now is fashion journalist Kate BETTs. The author of "Everyday icon Michelle Obama and the power of style." Good to have you with us. Thank you. What did last night's look represent. Glamour. Glamour, glamour, glamour, glamour and also authority and confidence which I just love about her. I mean I think, you know, it's also a big fashion statement, you can't get more fashionable than Versace chainmail in rose gold. But it's really a statement of glamour and authority. As we're surrounded by all of her gowns here from state dinners, what goes into selecting the gowns and dress? You know, I think traditionally and also she has also done this a lot is to select a designer from the country that they're hosting and obviously last night she selected Versace for the Italians but I think what's interesting also is she always makes some kind of statement beyond that and if you notice Versace is a female designer, Donatella so I thought that was very interesting that she chose her. And I think she also always chooses something bold. I mean she's dressing to stand out. She is not dressing to fit into any Washington idea of how she should look. How has she differed in that regard with other first ladies. I think she has really used style and fashion to express herself and her authority and her confidence. But I also think what's so interesting about her is she's chosen so many different designers, young designers, Jason Wu, Isabel Toledo, most previous first ladies chose one designer and just used that designer consistently whereas Michelle, I think, really supported the fashion industry. Yeah and she has supported a lot of issues. Let's move and other campaigns. Yes. But there is something about the first lady and fashion that comes to the forefront, as well. Yes. All right, Kate, thanks very much. We appreciate it. Good to see you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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