The Modern First Ladies…Hillary, Laura and Michelle

Hillary Clinton

The role of the First Lady, traditionally, was to support and “take care” of the president.Even for the first wave of who can be considered modern First Ladies when it came to fashion, the role of the First Lady was to be a caring and supportive wife.

” I think it’s an important, legitimate role for a First Lady to look after a President’s health and well being. And if that interferes with other plans, so be it. No first lady need to make apologies for looking out for her husband’s personal welfare…The First Lady is, first of all, a wife.”- Nancy Reagan

“I think the major role of the First Lady is to take care of the President so that he can best serve the people. And not to fail her family, her husband, and children.”- Jackie O

Even before her introduction many speculated about the kind of First Lady she would be.Well that traditional role was certainly  obliterated when the nation was introduced of Hillary Clinton. The Yale-graduate proved to be a new kind of First Lady one that took a more active role in political discussions during he husbands presidency.

First Lady Hillary Clinton and Pres. Clinton

Hillary had a much tougher time finding her own sense of fashion as First Lady. According to Valerie Steele of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in an Early Show segment of the inaugural balls on CBS, Clinton was criticized very much for her wardrobe  during her husbands presidential terms. She chose a little-known designer for her first gown, Sarah Phillips. Mrs. Clinton wore a violet beaded gown with blue-velvet silk overskirt, as well as an overcoat in violet and gold velvet.

Hillary Clinton wore this violet beaded lace sheath gown with iridescent blue velvet silk mousseline overskirt to the 1993 inaugural balls. The dress was designed by Sarah Phillips and made by Barbara Matera Ltd., a New York theatrical costume maker.

Laura Bush was a modern First Lady that was a throw back to old-time style. Sometimes described a matronly her style is  conservative and  lady like.

First Lady Laura Bush and Pres. Bush

According to the Smithsonian Laura Bush wore a dress designed by fellow Texan Michael Faircloth. Some reports speculated that Faircloth encouraged the normally conservative Mrs. Bush to choose the brilliant color.

Laura Bush wore this ruby-red gown of crystalembroidered Chantilly lace over silk georgette to the 2001 inaugural balls.

The final First Lady is the most modern and arguably the most fashionable since Jackie O, Michelle Obama became First Lady in 2008 and from the time we were introduced to her during her husbands campaign to her formal introduction at the inaugural ball and to this day we have been fascinated with her ability to be blend fashion with political savvy. Michelle seamlessly combines a bit of Jackie O and Hillary.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Pres. Obama

According to the Smithsonian the First Lady wore a one-shouldered white silk chiffon gown embellished with organza flowers with Swarovski crystal centers designed by Jason Wu.

Michelle Obama inaugural gown by Jason Wu was breathtaking

I hope u enjoyed this discussion about a part of our history that both intriguing as it is important. Fashion in politics especially with First Ladies is something that has always been a part of the national discussion and one that will remain a hot topic for fashionistas, historians and everyday citizens.


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