If anyone can predict whether Michelle Obama has the fashion chops to be the next Jackie O, it's Valentino.
"It's quite soon to decide that already she's found this style or that style. She needs maybe a little more time," the legendary Italian designer said of our new first lady at last night's screening of Valentino: The Last Emperor at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, before optimistically pronouncing: "She's beautiful, and I am sure that very, very soon, she will be like Jackie Kennedy."
The designer's advice to the J.Crew-loving Michelle O.?
"You know, she's a very good-looking lady. She has this sort of beauty that is very, very strong. She must be dressed with things that are elegant, beautiful and young, but not too much…She needs a little more time to perfect her style. But she knows what to do."
Valentino, 76, and Jackie became almost synonymous in the fashion world after she ordered six of his black and white couture dresses to wear during her year of mourning after the death of JFK. She later chose one of his white dresses for her wedding to Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
"I think highly of the wife of the president of America," he said of Mrs. Obama. "She's a very clever woman and very intelligent."
Sounds like a qualified Jackie O candidate to us.
—Additional reporting by Dahvi Shira