Inauguration Day Style: Save the Drama for Obama

January 16, 2009 • Magazine

Hollywood is all about labels, and as much as most of us probably wouldn't like to admit it–so are we. If you were to ask me on any given day what I was wearing, I'd be able to tell you the brand, where it was purchased, and most likely even how much it cost. I couldn't tell you who won most of the Golden Globes, but I could tell you who was wearing who. Label lusting is part of our culture. Apparently though, in Washington D.C. this isn't the case.


Our capitol isn't known for being particularly fashion forward, although with our best dressed First Lady since Jackie Kennedy soon to take office, this could be changing. Designers have been scheming about how to get her into one of their gowns for inauguration day long before election results came in and we can't wait to see who she'll choose. The rest of D.C., however, is rather unconcerned with what to wear come January 20th.

According to the NY Times, the people representing us in the nation's capitol aren't rushing out to buy anything fresh off the runway, let alone a custom made gown. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg commented, "I don’t know anybody who says, ‘Oh my god, you should see the Oscar de la Renta I bought." Totenberg adds that she plans on wearing a dress she already owns, and can't remember the name of the designer. (Is she for real?)

Despite designers attempts at stirring fashion frenzy around the big day, D.C. boutique owner Harriet Kassman says nothing has changed. "Once they have it [a gown] on, they say to me, ‘Can you order it for me in black?’ ”In other words, we can expect people to be dressed boring and safe on the big day. Adds a customer shopping at Kassman's store, “It’s a reverse snobbism,” she said; none of us want to admit we pay attention to that kind of thing.”

Here's hoping Michelle still plans on glaming it up!

– Alice Hayes

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