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When Canadians invade the White House, it turns out the result looks very, very good.
Last night in Washington, U.S.-Canada diplomacy took a high-fashion turn at the White House’s state dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In addition to giving the politicians a chance to forge ties and talk policy, the occasion provided a major platform for Canadian designers, whose work is often underrepresented on the international stage.
Serendipitously, one of Michelle Obama’s favorite designers, Jason Wu, was raised in Vancouver, so she chose a long, strapless gown with a floral print that he custom-made for the occasion. Canada’s First Lady Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, meanwhile, opted for a gown by Lucian Matis, a celebrated Toronto-based designer who immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1999. The vibrant purple dress was a colorful counterpart to the sea of black tuxedos, with pink and orange beading, cap sleeves, and a subtle train.
The world leaders dined on poutine and Nanaimo bars (which brings so much joy to my Canadian heart), and some of their favorite Canadian celebrities were invited, including Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively, who wore a pale blue Ralph & Russo wrap dress—not a Canadian designer, but the same label that created Beyoncé’s Presidential Inauguration gown in 2013, so we’ll give her a pass.
Keep on scrolling to see what some of Canada’s finest wore to the White House last night:
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and Michelle Obama
Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox
Sandra Oh and Lev Ruhkin
Jennifer Bareilles and Sara Bareilles