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Michelle Obama Graces Vogue Cover

9:29 AM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: Annie Leibovitz, Vogue)
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(USA TODAY) -- First lady Michelle Obama's second Vogue cover will get the close attention of the worldwide fashion tribe, but the Washington insiders tribe will snap it up, too, for the joint interview with President Obama inside.

The April cover shows FLOTUS glowing in an electric blue-and-black Reed Krakoff dress, next to the headline, "Michelle Obama: How the First Lady and the President Are Inspiring America." Inside, she appears in a stunning Michael Kors black two-piece gown cinched with a wide leather belt. The photographs are by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Right away, you know this piece won't be a hit job.

The interview at the White House last month, by writer Jonathan Van Meter, focuses less on fashion and more on family, which the Obamas insist is still their top priority, even if their stay-at-home habits are annoying to the Washington chattering classes.

"What is truly unusual about the Obamas is that, in their own quietly determined way, they have insisted on living their lives on their terms: not as the First Family but as a family, first," declares Van Meter.

Most of their conversations are about their girls, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, she says. "What are they doing? And who's got what practice? And what birthday party is coming up? And did we get a gift for this person? You know, I mean, it is endless," Michelle Obama says.

Of course, now that the girls are growing up, they joke the kids won't want to spend as much time with them.

"Maybe you'll see us out in the clubs," he grins. "Saturday night!" says the first lady. "The kids are out with their friends. Let's go party!"

" 'The Obamas are out in the club again?' " adds the president, laughing.

The couple talk about parenting, politics and polarization, their teamwork marriage, what they like about and learn from each other, and how they manage to survive in the White House despite their "zip-line arrival" with virtually no preparation for the high-scrutiny lifestyle.

They also talk some fashion - it's Vogue, after all. He explains the big change in his life is that now he has more than two suits and it's all down to her and the girls. They "upgraded" him, he says. He's the kind of guy who brags about having the same pair of khaki pants since he was 20; she's the kind of wife who tells him, "You don't want to brag about that."

As a woman who exemplifies what Van Meter calls a "modern definition of effortless American chic," she tells women to wear whatever makes them feel good about themselves. "I also believe that if you're comfortable in your clothes it's easy to connect with people and make them feel comfortable as well," she says. "In every interaction that I have with people, I always want to show them my most authentic self."

The April issue will be on newsstands March 26.

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