The country is divided (the election shed light on that), but now that we’ve addressed the fact, we can move onto more agreeable topics, like the launch of White House Black Market’s Inaugural Dress Collection in honor of the Inaugural Ball (head’s up, it’s Jan. 20, 2017). Drawing inspiration from First Lady fashion arrives an eveningwear collection that successfully unites historically classic designs with today’s modern aesthetic.
“This collection represents and embraces the beauty, confidence, and the strength of all women,” says Lisa Converse, the SVP of design at White House Black Market. “We tried to do a broad range of styles that were contemporary, but with a touch of classic inaugural style. We went in with those ideas and created palette of red, white, and blue—and black, of course.”
To start, the team looked back at what previous First Ladies have worn, both at the Inaugural Ball and otherwise. Their findings? “Appropriate,” Converse says. “It tends to be not too overtly sexy, yet there’s still an element of allure. Generally, they’re long, sophisticated, either red or blue—depending on the party—and a reflection of their personal style.” And this Inaugural Dress collection definitely plays up all those elements. There are elegant ground-grazing gowns, feminine fit-and-flared dresses, along with a flourish of more modern finishes that hadn’t existed previously, like cold-shoulder cut-outs, all-over sequins, dramatic one-shoulder styles, and sleek columns.
“We definitely think we can appeal to Melania,” Converse says when asked about the future First Lady. “We mainly went in trying to make sure we’re true to who we are. We’re White House Black Market, so of course we had to design an Inaugural Dress collection. It suits us.”
The 12-piece collection ($180–$300) is available at whitehouseblackmarket.com and White House Black Market stores in the D.C. area starting Nov. 14. In the meantime, scroll through to see the entire line-up—and start drafting your holiday dress shopping list.