Jan 7, 2009

A First Lady a Day: Laura Bush

Lizzie, our cohort in vintage fashion blogdom, gave us a shout out on her wonderful ( and top rated) blog, The Vintage Traveler the other day. She mentioned that we had not yet covered Laura Bush's inaugural gowns. Well, let’s have at it shall we?

First up is the 2001 red lace Michael Faircloth gown. This is the most flattering photo I could find. The straight on shots, not so good. This didn’t go over very well. It’s not awful - it’s not even bad. The color is good. A very popular color amongst political women, that red. But frankly, it’s a bit matronly. I understand the desire to cover up - it’s January, it’s a formal state event, she‘s modest woman. But all this is really a basically boring sheath dress in red lace with a bit of hem flounce. B.

That said, all the fashion designers and writers go on about how the First Lady has a duty to support the American Fashion Industry. But as soon as one picks a designer that isn’t a Major Name, they have a cow. Look, American fashion exists in more places than NY and California. I give kudos to both Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton for choosing designers from out of the mainstream for their first gowns.

New York Times

Now 2005. This got rave reviews. It’s big name designer, so that always helps in the press. More than it should sometimes. I must say, I have seen a lot of photos of this gown while hunting for a good view. And frankly, it didn’t photograph as well as it should have. The line is good for her, and it is very elegant. The beading is superb. I understand it’s ice blue. And it looks lovely in this photo. But it looks like a dingy grey/white in an awful lot of photos. And that’s is not good. A-.


Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

I think Laura Bush has tended towards dowdy and matronly with her entire wardrobe during her years as First Lady. I'll be looking forward to something new with Michelle Obama.

fuzzylizzie said...

I think it was good that Laura learned something from her mistakes in 2001, as the 2005 dress was just more suitable. And I still think she was simply lovely at the Oath of Office ceremony and parade in 2005.

Thanks for the kind words!