Photo courtesy of White House Black Market
Who can forget when, in June 2008, Mrs. O wore her now famous Donna Ricco leaf print dress to co-host The View. Revealing it was bought at the store that sells "all black and white stuff", the moment both endeared style savvy, budget-minded women across this country, and served as a huge win for the retailer White House | Black Market.
It's only fitting then that White House | Black Market would also bring chic, affordable fashion to the inaugural season. The retailer has completely transformed its Union Station boutique in Washington, D.C. into an inaugural dress headquarters, offering an expanded range of formal dresses and accessories. On display is a collection of four, one-of-a-kind couture gowns, aptly named The White House Inaugural Collection. Each size 8 dress is inspired by Mrs. O's style and named after a former First Lady.
The gowns are being auctioned off in partnership with the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, with proceeds benefiting Feeding America, The Art of Elysium, Hope North and H.E.L.P. Malawi charities. We caught up with Lisa Converse, SVP of Design at White House | Black Market, to discuss the evolution of the White House Inaugural Collection. Converse said the design team wanted the gowns to embody "classics with a twist" and "intellectual sex appeal", both attributes they see in Mrs. O's signature style.
Eight designs were narrowed to four, each chosen for its reference to a past era. Converse named The Abigail as her favorite dress for its chiffon layers and contemporary asthetic, but thought the elegant, one-shoulder Ladybird might best suit Mrs. O's style. The Clothes Off Our Back auction ends later tonight (and if it's anything like a typical Ebay auction, we're sure there's an 11th hour bidding war on the brew). With the prize of couture for a cause at stake, it will be a bidding frenzy well-deserved.