When it comes to First Lady Michelle Obama’s fashion, her style is like no other: classy and refined with a regal retro flair and designer spunk.

On Halloween, the healthy living advocate chose a festive holiday dress for the annual White House Trick-Or-Treat event, the ASOS Midi Body-Conscious Dress in Metallic Stripe dress which she paired with a black pea coat and knee-high boots.

At first glance, the dress drew little attention, except for its orange and black Halloween-friendly hues. But soon after Mrs. O’s appearance, critics noticed its striking similarity to the Savannah Striped Dress from Diane von Furstenburg’s Fall 2011 Collection.

Besides the significant difference in price range, the dresses only vary in the design of the neckline and the richness in color. To that end, it’s undeniable that the ASOS dress is a direct replica or knockoff of DVF’s dress and for some reason, that’s causing ire among the First Lady’s critics.

To be sure, knockoffs are so prevalent in the fashion industry they’re widely considered par for the course. And when you simply purchase a dress you love at a popular retailer, like ASOS, that is “inspired” by more high-end brands, you have no way of knowing that the item is a replica. Still, with Diane von Furstenberg as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, people are calling foul play on the First Lady’s part.

I don’t think Michelle Obama deserves such criticism, but what do you think? Should she have opted out of wearing a replica dress (after researching to even see it’s a knockoff?). Have you ever worn a more affordable replica of a designer piece you love? What’s your opinion on knockoffs?

If you like either dress, shop here.

-Kamille Cooper


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