MICHELLE OBAMA put Rodarte back in to the fashion headlines yesterday, naming them winners of the Fashion category at a lunch the First Lady hosted to celebrate America’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards – held at the White House. The designers were told of their win three weeks ago,but failed to make it to yesterday’s ceremony -due to a “family obligation”.

Paying tribute to the design industry as a whole, Obama, who wore Isabel Toledo for the occasion, recalled the words of one of her husband’s favourite musicians:

“The great jazz musician Miles Davis – one of my husband’s favourites – once said, ‘Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there,'” said Obama. “I think that is pretty much a good description of what each of you does every day: You’re playing what’s not there.”

“[Designers have] spent their lives pushing boundaries,” she said to WWD. “We know a little about boundary pushing- or just outright ignoring them altogether.”