Hi there darlings!
Last weekend Screenie traveled to D.C. to visit a dear friend, and as always the trip had to have some fashionable adventure, so we traversed to the National Museum of American History and found the First Ladies’ gowns. From Inaugural Gowns to State Dinner Dresses, these dresses show the trends of the first ladies time in office and often reflect the political climate of the time.
I love seeing all that fashion and history together. There’s something so magical about feeling the excitement and hope imbued in those clothes as the first ladies prepared to embark on a new term. So here are a few of Screenie’s favorite gowns!
Michelle Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Gown
This dress was my absolute favorite. The picture doesn’t do it justice- the dress is actually quite white and the beading gorgeously intricate, but it’s kept dark in that wing of the museum for preservation purposes.
See? How gorgeous is that mini train? The Loree Rodkin diamond bangles, ring, and earrings, and the Satin Jimmy Choos perfectly complete the look.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s 1961 State Dinner Dress
This yellow silk Oleg Cassini designed gown was worn for the Kennedy Administration’s first State Dinner for Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba. Also pictured are her Kenneth Jay Lane pearls.
The dress just behind Jackie’s is an evening gown worn by Julia Grant. I haven’t been able to find out her exact height but her 19th century stature is dwarfed by Jackie’s 5’7″ stance. Interesting fact, President Grant was often described as a giant, and he topped out at the massive height of 5’8″. Heights were obviously a bit different then!
Edith Wilson’s Evening Dress
Edith wore this dress to a private dinner at The White House in 1915. I love the Empire waist and beading of this dress, though I’ll admit it feels very Kate Winslet in Titanic and that may have slightly influenced my fascination with it
Mary Todd Lincoln’s Purple Velvet Ensemble
Apparently I’m much more well versed in movie history than actual history because the Gone with the Wind Feeling of this dress (which is believed to have been made by Elizabeth Keckly) got me all giddy! Though in all actuality there is something so terribly enthralling about a garment so old. It was worn during the winter social season of 1861-62. I find clothes to be transformative, not only in how they can change a person’s outlook through wearing them, but through what they can convey to others. I felt like I was a part of history for a brief moment as I looked at that dress!
Well dears, these were some of the gowns that really stuck with me to send you into your week. Do you darlings have a favorite ensemble worn by a First Lady?
Oh and speaking of, that perfect Tracy Reese poppy dress that Michelle Obama wore to the 50th anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington is for sale now at Modcloth! But hurry! I don’t think it will last too long!
Have a splendid Labor Day loves!
Screen Siren xx