Fashion and style are finally back on the forefront post-quarantine, and when it comes to female fashion there is no one who does sophisticated, body-conscious women's wear quite like celebrity fashion designer David Meister.
In an exclusive interview with OK!, Meister opens up about First Lady fashion and what it's like to work with Dr. Jill Biden. The red carpet expert — who has dressed countless celebrities from Sophia Bush to Queen Latifah — styled Dr. Biden on several different occasions when she was Second Lady while her husband, Joe Biden, served as Vice President of the United States from 2009-2017.
When asked about how he began dressing Dr. Biden, the former E!'s Fashion Police guest star explains, "They approached us towards the end of the first term. I'm known for matte jersey, and she was traveling a lot so she started wearing a lot of my day dresses and my little sheaths and shifts."
The 59-year-old American fashion designer explained that his specialty in stretch fabrications is perfect for someone in Dr. Biden's position. "Those [fabrics] make perfect sense because if you’re on-the-go, jersey never wrinkles and has stretch. The great thing is, almost all of my dresses get stretch of some kind, even in the printed stretch cotton sheaths that she would wear in the spring and summer. And I think that is important if you are moving around or traveling a lot because fabrics that wrinkle usually don't photograph so well, and I don't think you want to have to worry about 'Am I wrinkling?' when you're the First Lady of the United States," Meister says, laughing.
As the pair began working together more frequently, the Doctor of Education expanded her wear in Meister's designs. "We dressed her a lot each season! She started wearing the evening wear also," Meister continues, "and I thought she looked great in the clothes. She wore the clothes very, very well — they suited her."
As Second Lady, the blonde beauty's go-to styles for day wear made by Meister included three-quarter-length sleeves and all varieties of matte jersey dresses — from V-necks to crewnecks and solids to prints. As for cocktail attire, Dr. Biden wore a lot of gowns made of stretch taffeta, as well as jersey. "[Her style] was very simple, fitted, classic shapes. It was more about the fabric or texture."
In 2009, the Ohio native launched David Meister Signature Label sold exclusively through Bergdorf Goodman, in which Dr. Biden wore several short, full-skirted ball gown-esque dresses with beading. As for what the 70-year-old philanthropist didn’t like to wear, Meister recalls, "She liked bright colors, but she didn't really ever wear any of the crazy, bold, kind of more fun prints. I don't think those would've been right anyway for photography."
As Dr. Biden transitioned from her role as Second Lady to FLOTUS — when husband Joe Biden was elected as the 46th President of the United States in 2020 — her style transitioned as well. "It has become a little more conservative and a little more serious. She's wearing a lot of blazers over dresses; I personally don't like that. I don’t think it's really doing anything — it's fine, but it's not a look that I'm fond of," Meister admits.
Compared to previous first ladies, Dr. Biden puts other causes ahead of her desire to be the most fashionable woman in the room, often re-wearing the same dress on several occasions. "Obviously she's very smart and very bright, and fashion isn't her cause or the first thing she wants to present," Meister explains. "It's much more accessible, real and relatable," Meister states while comparing her style to that of Melania Trump and Michelle Obama.
With less of a focus on fashion — with her press team even making a statement that they would not comment on her clothes — you may be wondering what it was really like to dress and style Dr. Biden. According to Meister, she can be summed up in one word: lovely. "She is very nice," gushes Meister. "She's lovely, her husband is lovely and her team is lovely. They actually invited my partner and I to lunch at the White House, and that was very cool."
While Dr. Biden may not be known for a bold sense of fashion, her minimalistic style and positive limelight has still graced her with being Vogue's cover star for their upcoming August issue — proving her point that the FLOTUS can shine bright and make an impact in anything that she wears.
You can follow celebrity fashion designer David Meister on Instagram, @david_meister, and Twitter, @David_Meister. And be sure to check out his most recent project DAVID David Meister, a new monthly sportswear collection for women sold exclusively through HSN.