Michelle Obama's Second Inaugural Gown on Display at Smithsonian (photos)
First lady Michelle Obama's second inaugural gown went on display Jan. 14 at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The gown will be shown for one year in the center of the museum's popular exhibit, "The First Ladies," and coincides with the exhibit's 100th anniversary. It will be the first Second Inaugural ball gown to be so honored. The Jason Wu-designed, ruby-colored chiffon gown will be paired with the first lady's Jimmy Choo-designed shoes. It was the second custom-made Jason Wu gown Mrs. Obama had chosen since she arrived in Washington. The gown features a cross-halter strap neckline adorned with small diamonds.
Lisa Kathleen Graddy, the curator of the exhibit, said, "It is not our tradition to collect the second inaugural gown. In general, it goes to the presidential library but so many people were interested in this dress -- and it is the 100th anniversary of the first lady's collection -- we thought it might be nice to start a new tradition and borrow the dress so that it could be on special display for a year here." After that, the white dress from the first inauguration will go back on display. Graddy said that the shoes had a much shorter heel the second time around. "I wonder if [after] dancing the night away at that first ball she decided a shorter heel might be a good idea for the second time." The museum uses custom mannequins. "We do not alter dresses," Graddy said. "We make the manikins fit the dress."
View our photos from the first day of the display of the gown by clicking on the photo icons below.