Fashion fit for a First Lady debut: From Michelle Obama"s Jason Wu to Jackie Kennedy"s couture, Smithsonian"s tribute to…

Fashion fit for a First Lady debut: From Michelle Obama”s Jason Wu to Jackie Kennedy”s couture, Smithsonian”s tribute to Presidents” wives inaugural gowns

Michelle Obama Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama wore a white one-shoulder gown by young designer Jason Wu for a ball in 2009 to celebrate her husband”s inauguration. It is now part of a new display of first ladies” debut dresses at the Smithsonian

Jacqueline Kennedy Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy inaugural gown might well be one of the most memorable. She was careful to use American couturiers and her dress for the 1961 ball was made by Ethel Frankau of Bergdorf Custom Salon

Lady Bird Johnson Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson wore a yellow satin gown and sable-trimmed coat by John Moore to the 1965 inaugural balls. The simple, timeless design was chosen with the Smithsonian display in mind

Barbara Bush Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush

Hillary Rodham Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton”s violet beaded lace gown with iridescent blue velvet silk mousseline overskirt, worn for the 1993 inaugural balls, was designed by Sarah Phillips and made by Barbara Matera, a theatrical costume maker

Laura Bush Laura Bush

Laura Bush wore a red gown of crystal-embroidered Chantilly lace over silk georgette to the 2001 inaugural balls. The dress was designed by fellow Texan Michael Faircloth

Betty Ford Betty Ford

As there was no formal inaugural event in 1975, Betty Ford made her debut instead at a State Dinner at the White House for the Shah of Iran in 1975. Pictured in the gown (right) at a State Dinner with his wife Farah

Nancy Reagan Nancy Reagan

When designer James Galanos described his inspiration for Nancy Reagan”s white beaded lace gown for her husband”s inauguration in 1981, he said that he wanted to make her look glamorous

Pat Nixon Pat Nixon

At his inaugural ball in 1969, President Nixon knew wife Pat”s yellow silk crystal-studded ensemble by Karen Stark for Harvey Berin would go down in history

Mamie Eisenhower Mamie Eisenhower

One of the most lavish gowns was Mamie Eisenhower”s for the 1953 inaugural balls. She wore a Nettie Rosenstein design which boasted over 2,000 rhinestones stitched into the pale pink peau de soie

Rosalynn Carter Rosalynn Carter

For Rosalynn Carter, her debut appearance as First Lady in 1977 offered an chance to recycle a favourite gown