Feb. 12, 2014 at 7:57 AM ET
Michelle Obama departed from her usual sleek and sleeveless look Tuesday night, greeting guests at a White House state dinner in a dramatic Carolina Herrera ball gown custom-made for the first lady.
The dress featured a sheer black top with hand-embroidered and beaded appliques and sleeves that dipped just below the first lady's elbows. A black velvet belt connected the bodice to a full “Liberty blue” silk skirt and a long billowing train.
Herrera is a Venezuelan-American designer who on Monday showed off her Fall 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week.
The first lady has chosen Herrera designs before, wearing more traditional dresses by her for a New York luncheon last September and during a trip to Germany last June.
Tuesday's event was a state dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande. President Obama wore a traditional black tuxedo for the event.
The night included a performance by Mary J. Blige and a guest list that mixed political dignitaries with Hollywood celebrities, including Bradley Cooper, Stephen Colbert, Cicely Tyson and Mindy Kaling.
Asked by a reporter what her favorite part of the dinner was, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the television show “Veep” pointed to Vice President Joe Biden.
"Look who I'm sitting next to," she said.
Biden then quickly interrupted the conversation.
"Hey, stop screwing around. She’s she's my date!” he said before bursting out in a laugh. "Just kidding."