Michael Faircloth, Grant Mower Design with Michelle Obama in Mind

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The 12-year old fashion whiz kid and the Dallas couturier are creating a gown they hope to present to the First Lady, inspired by the “Queen of Orchids”.



A phone call from Moanna Mower prompted DFW Style Daily to schedule a near-immediate trip to the studio of Dallas couturier Michael Faircloth this past Friday.


The mother of Grant Mower, 12-year-old aspiring haute couturier from Flower Mound, shared with us the exciting news that her son had just entered into a collaborative arrangement with Faircloth to execute a design intended for First Lady Michelle Obama.


Inspired by the Cattleya or “Queen of Orchids”, the dress was sketched by Grant Mower several years ago, and he dreamed that it would one day be worn by our stylish First Lady.  The drawing was then filed away, as a series of events brought Mower to the attention of the local and national fashion community. A big win at Terry Costa’s Catwalk Designer Competition last October was followed by several local runway presentations, articles in D Magazine and the New York Times, and an appearance on the Nate Berkus Show.


Fast forward to this summer, and an internship of sorts with Michael Faircloth enabled work on the Obama dress to begin.


With some 27 years of experience creating custom clothing for clients both local and national, Faircloth has earned a reputation for excellence. His elite client roster includes First Lady Laura Bush, for whom he’s designed numerous looks, among them an inaugural gown.


The veteran designer and his team agreed to execute Mower’s concept while instructing the young apprentice every step of the way. On the day of our visit, initial muslin draping was taking place. Faircloth was also pulling colorful bolts of fabric for consideration, each shade of satin-faced silk chiffon brighter than the last.



“For someone of his age that has this talent and determination, it’s very important to see the creation become reality,” he explained with Mower standing nearby, transfixed by a lesson on darts, seams, and measurements from Jenifer Gratton, Senior Pattern Maker.


As for the dress itself, all sketches are under wraps, but what we can share is that it will be formal, featuring shades of purple, gold, and vibrant yellow in radiant sunburst pleats. Hand-painted accents may also come into play.



Upon its completion in late August, the dress will hopefully be on the First Lady’s radar. In addition to a letter to the White House detailing the project, Mower (with a little help from Mom) hopes to get in touch with Obama on her upcoming trip to Park City, Utah. We’ll be pulling for him, and of course, we can’t wait to see the finished product.


(all photos: credit DFW Style Daily)

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