Michelle Obama wears Carolina Herrera ball gown at state dinner

First lady Michelle Obama, left, and President Barack Obama welcome French President François Hollande Evan Vucci / AP
First lady Michelle Obama, left, and President Barack Obama welcome French President François Hollande at the North Portico of the White House.

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.

Michelle Obama Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
The first lady's Carolina Herrera gown featured a billowing train.

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.

Singer Mary J. Blige performs. Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
Singer Mary J. Blige performs.

Guests were treated to all-American four-course spread on the menu, including American caviar, rib eye and chocolate malted ganache.

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.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her father, William Louis-Dreyfus, arrive. Pool / Getty Images
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her father, William Louis-Dreyfus, arrive.

"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."

  • Slideshow Photos

    Image: First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts Talent Show At White House

    Michelle Obama's effortless style

    The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew.

  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Michelle Obama’s effortless style -

    The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew. Take a look at her great style:

    Michelle Obama, wearing a a Michael Kors optic white dress, speaks during a talent show at the East Room of the White House May 20, 2014 in Washington, DC.

    Alex Wong / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Silver lining -

    Michelle Obama, wearing a festive shirtdress, hosts the annual Mother's Day tea to honor military mothers at the White House May 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.

    Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Giving the bold shoulder -

    Michelle Obama wears a white Marchesa gown with a drop shoulder strap at the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala on May 3, 2014.

    Olivier Douliery / Pool / EPA
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Berry beautiful -

    Michelle Obama smiles as she answers questions during the White House's annual "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day," on April 24, 2014, wearing a Sophie Theallet cardigan and leather and chiffon skirt.

    Evan Vucci / AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Fashion forward -

    First lady Michelle Obama wears a colorful wrap dress and sits with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and Maj. Gen. James McConville at a jobs fair for military members and spouses at Fort Campbell, Ky. on April 23, 2014.

    Mark Humphrey / AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Keeping it casual -

    Wearing a plaid blouse and black pants, the first lady walks her dogs Sunny and Bo on the South Lawn of the White House at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington on April 21, 2014.

    Pool / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    White House, white dress -

    Dressed in all white, Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama depart from the White House in Washington on April 20, 2014 as they head to Easter services at St. John's Episcopal Church.

    Yuri Gripas / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Rappin' -

    Michelle Obama and hip-hop artist Bow Wow hold a forum with high school students at Howard University in Washington on April 17, 2014. Obama rocked a maroon pantsuit and black flats.

    Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Classy for a cause -

    The first lady wears a simple black and blue striped skirt paired with a white top and matching shrug to speak at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, during a civil rights summit on April 10, 2014.

    Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    In mourning -

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leave after paying their respects during a memorial service at Fort Hood in Texas on April 9, 2014.

    Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Gettin' dirty -

    First Lady Michelle Obama gets down and dirty in a tunic, pants and trenchcoat while planting oats with students at the White House Kitchen Garden at the White House in Washington on April 2, 2014.

    Susan Walsh / AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Radiant in red -

    First lady Michelle Obama, wearing a red Alexander McQueen gown, posed with her mother Marian Robinson during a visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Diaoyutai State guest house on March 21, 2014 in Beijing, China.

    Andy Wong / Pool via Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Ping-pong fun -

    Michelle Obama plays table tennis at the Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend colleges overseas, in Beijing, China on March 21, 2014.

    Andy Wong / AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Welcome to China -

    Michelle Obama waves as she and her daughter Sasha leave their plane at Capital International Airport in Beijing on March 20, 2014.

    Alexander F. Yuan / Pool via AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Green day -

    Vice president Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, and Irish Prime Mininster Enda Kenny's wife Fionnuala O'Kelly smile during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House on March 14, 2014.

    Ron Sachs / Pool / EPA
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    We're green with envy -

    Kermit the Frog is welcomed by Michelle Obama, who is wearing a printed Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, at a screening of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" on March 12, 2014 in Washington, DC.

    Win Mcnamee / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Seeking shades -

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One before departing from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida on March 9, 2014.

    Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Pretty prints -

    Michelle Obama delivers remarks during s workshop titled "I'm Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul" with (L-R) Grammy Museum Executive Director Robert Santelli, and music artists Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae and Patti LaBelle in the State Dining Room at the White House March 6, 2014 in Washington, DC.

    Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Jump to it -

    Michelle Obama sports a chic black jumpsuit during an interview with Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 20, 2014.

    NBC; Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Pretty as a painting -

    Michelle Obama, in a bold print skirt, is escorted by Rose Cameron, CEO and founder of WAT-AAH!, a line of bottled water targeted to kids and teens, as they view the "Taking Back the Streets" art exhibit at the New Museum in New York on Feb. 20.

    Richard Drew / AP
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Snow bunny -

    Michelle Obama skis at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo. on Feb. 15. This is the third year in a row that Michelle Obama has vacationed in Aspen over the long President's Day weekend.

    Chris Council / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Ultimate elegance -

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in a dramatic Carolina Herrera ball gown, arrive at a state dinner at the White House on Feb. 11. The dress featured a sheer black top with hand-embroidered and beaded appliques and sleeves that dipped just below the first lady's elbows.

    Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Lady in red -

    First lady Michelle Obama wears a ravinshing red Thom Browne coat and, along with French President Francois Hollande and President Barack Obama, waves at the balcony of the White House on Feb. 11.

    Alex Wong / Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Deep green -

    Michelle Obama, in a hunter green Azzedine Alaïa dress, waves next to U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech in Washington on Jan. 28, 2014.

    Joshua Roberts / Reuters
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Vision in blue -

    First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she listens to President Barack Obama speak at an event on expanding college opportunity in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 16, 2014.

    Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images
  • Michelle Obama's effortless style

    of

    Bold bling -

    Michelle Obama wore a festive lucite necklace while speaking about education in underserved communities in the State Dining Room following a screening of the movie "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" at the White House on Jan. 15, 2014.

    Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
TOP