No matter where your political views fall, one thing's undeniable: Michelle Obama has certainly had a fashionable run during the past eight years.
"Women of great style always have a true understanding of who they are,” says J. Mendel creative director Gilles Mendel, who outfitted Mrs. Obama most notably for the 2013 BET Honors awards show. “She knows what works for her and what doesn’t. And she is confident and smart, which has always shined through in her clothing choices.”
Yet from official state dinners to photo ops with royalty, a First Lady can’t get by on fashion instinct alone. Over the past two terms, Mrs. Obama has had the best designers in the world creating custom looks for her at every turn. Everyone from Mendel to Jason Wu to Brandon Maxwell (also Lady Gaga’s stylist, natch) has contributed to the fashion legacy that she has left. And it’s not one that will be easily forgotten once the Obamas officially move out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
VIDEO: Michelle Obama Brings Elegance and Grace to the Final State Dinner
As we prepare to bid adieu to the ultimate FLOTUS fashion plate, we asked the designers of some of her most memorable looks to share what it was really like to dress her. Keep scrolling to hear from eight of them.