Dec 30, 2008

A First Lady a Day : Pat

You know, I have respect for Pat Nixon. The Nixon years are ones I lived through and frankly, don’t feel any nostalgia for. Waaaay too much trauma. But she was a hard worker. Went to Vietnam and flew into a combat zone. Held it together in tough circumstances, played the hand she was dealt. She knew what it was to have to work for living and to pay her own way. A classy lady. Bio: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/pn37.html

But hey, we're here for The Dresses:

from http://www.150.si.edu/150trav/remember/r221a.htm : Inaugural Gown worn by Patricia Ryan Nixon (1912-93), 1969; designed by Karen Stark for Harvey Berin, New York City: mimosa silk satin, gold and silver embroidery

1969: This Harvey Berin dress got terrible reviews at the time. Boy does this elicit a different response now. What was trendy and fashion forward in 1968 looks pretty damn silly now, and this looks a lot more classic than those trends. It’s proper almost to the point of prim, but Pat Nixon had a ladylike demeanor and would have looked silly in a Hollywood glamour gown. The color is lovely and the beading very rich. It manages to be luxe but not overdone or ‘regal’ in the wrong way. I like it.

from the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System:

"President Nixon with his wife Patricia and daughters Julie and Trisha speaking at his Inaugural Ball in the Museum of History and Technology, now the National Museum of American History, January 20, 1973."

1973: I cannot for the life of me find this gown in a color photo. It looks more relaxed than the First Inaugural, and that is good. She looks fine. Julie Nixon Eisenhower looks fabulous. I even like the hair. Tricia - the feather boa/wrap/thing was a mistake.
And a Bonus Dress!
from Life Archives: Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower (2R) and his wife attending inaugural ball with Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon (L) and his wife. Location:Washington, DC, US Date taken: 1953 Photographer: Mark Kauffman

Pat Nixon at the 1952 Inaugural. How Pretty. A tad Prommy toward the skirt, but very pretty bodice. Love the scrunchy gloves.

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