For the last state dinner at the White House, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, at a black-tie dinner by guest chef Mario Batali. The dinner was also attended by many recognizable stars like Gwen Stefani (who also performed), Blake Shelton, James Taylor, Frank Ocean, and Chance the Rapper.
The Voice’s Gwen Stefani brought Blake Shelton, also from The Voice, as her escort. The two began dating after their respective marriages fell apart while they were working on the hit NBC show, according to the Inquisitr. Stefani and Shelton have been together for a year, and Gwen Stefani has just announced that she will return to The Voice next season after she is done with her current tour.
The Washington Post said the final state dinner of the Obama administration was bittersweet for all who attended as it reminded everyone that Obama’s term is coming to an end. The glamorous affair hosted 382 VIPs, including many people close to First Lady Michelle Obama. White House interior designer Michael Smith and “chief of stuff” Kristen Jarvis were in attendance, as was Mrs. Obama’s glam squad, including her stylist and hair and make-up artists.
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Mario Batali certainly had his work cut out for him, but he considers it an honor. Batali had a team of servicemen and women helping him out.
“I’ve got about 12 Navy SEALs helping me out, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine.”
Actor John Turturro and his wife Katherine Borowitz were in attendance. Turturro was wearing a Tom Ford tuxedo, and Borowitz was wearing a dress by designer Giorgio Armani, who was also a dinner guest. Turturro commented on the current Presidential election.
“I hope Hillary wins … by a large margin.”
Michelle Obama made a grand entrance wearing a floor-length, rose gold chainmail gown designed by Atelier Versace on the North Portico. TV host Rachael Ray and husband John Cusimano also attended the dinner, and Ray, who admitted to a case of the nerves, had a bit of a stumble on the way in.
“I just tripped coming up the stairs.”
Ali Wentworth and her husband, political pundit George Stephanopoulos, were chatting up the other guests at the historic event. Wentworth’s mother, Mabel “Muffie” Brandon, served as Nancy Reagan’s social secretary from 1981 to 1983, so she is no stranger to the White House.
“This is my first state dinner as an adult. This is a big milestone for me.”
Wentworth, who is a good deal taller than her husband, joked that she couldn’t get an answer from him as to who made his tuxedo.
“Baby Gap, probably.”
Gwen Stefani, along with her three sons was able to pop by the White House ahead of dinner to meet the President and First Lady, along with the Italian Prime Minister and his wife, says Entertainment Tonight. Stefani’s three boys, Kingston, 10, Zuma, 8, and Apollo, 2, were dressed in blue blazers for the momentous occasion and posed for a group photo. Gwen Stefani’s father, Dennis Stefani, is of Italian heritage, and she was honored to attend and perform for the final state dinner of the Obama administration.
Chef Mario Batali explained that he chose “traditional Italian dishes that have become ingrained in American cuisine” for the elegant meal.
Would you have liked to attend the Italian state dinner thrown by the Obamas for the Italian Prime Minister?
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/Getty Images]