Dec 21, 2008

A First Lady a Day: Grace

Ahhh. Grace.
By all accounts, Grace Coolidge was a lovely woman and aptly named. I have never read a single negative thing about her. She was charming. Popular and warm. Loved animals. Worked with the deaf. Was the engaging, social, friendly one in the Coolidge marriage. As frugal and, well, reserved as Calvin was, he loved her to be stylish and well-dressed. She was 5'-5" , had black hair, was athletic. Kept a raccoon as a pet. Played baseball with her sons and loved the Boston Red Sox. She was very private and lived a quiet life after the White House years. outliving Calvin, who died in 1933, by 25 years.

I did find a day time ensemble from the 1924 inauguration, a red evening dress from the 1920s, and her official portrait, certainly one of the best First Lady portraits.
Let’s look!

from "4th March 1925: President Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933) and his wife, First Lady Grace Coolidge (1879 - 1957), leave the White House, Washington D.C. The president holds the bible upon which he will take his inauguration oath. Mrs. Coolidge carries a bouquet of roses. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images"

4th March 1925: American President Calvin Coolidge (1872 - 1933) leaving the White House with his wife Grace and Senator Charles Curtis, chairman of the Inaugural Committee, for the presidential inauguration ceremony at the Capitol. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Love the Hat. It's taller than a lot of 20s cloches, but I recall a period in 1924 where this shape was shown with Paris fashions. Love the winter coat. Love that it‘s a lighter color. She shows up very effectively amongst all the black formal frock coats. Looks like the dress matches the lapels and I see some embroidery or trim work. Pretty clearly a full ensemble. Coat looks like velvet. She is 45, and this looks very appropriate, stylish, not dowdy or matronly the way 1920s styles for middle aged women could so easily look. That’s a big plus. The bouquet is out of scale, but that’s the 20s, too. Love to see this in color. Definite A.

from : "First Lady Grace Coolidge's evening dress. One of the White House's most stylish and popular hostesses, first lady Grace Coolidge wore this chiffon velvet evening dress during her husband's administration. The dress, typical of the 1920s' "flapper" fashion, has a detachable train (not shown) and matching velvet shoes with rhinestone trim. "

This dress - a fantastic color, I bet silk chiffon velvet, and an elegant line, especially with the asymmetric drape. The jeweled belt a good touch. Would love to see the train and shoes. Red was her favorite color. It’s stylish and fun, (which was Grace), without looking like a teenage flapper. A+.

1924 Portrait by Howard Chandler Christy
Just a bonus, no grade. Not the same red dress, but lovely. Clearly a flattering portrait in that it makes her look 6 feet tall.

1 comment:

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Oh, very nice. I love the fact that she wore red, such a confident color.