First lady's second inaugural dress headed to Smithsonian

Jan. 13, 2014 at 5:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The gown made by U.S. fashion designer Jason Wu and worn by first lady Michelle Obama to her husband's second inauguration will be displayed at the Smithsonian.

Obama's ruby-red gown has been loaned to the Smithsonian American History Museum's popular First Ladies exhibit for one year, curators said. Traditionally, first ladies donate the dress they wear to their husbands' first inauguration. A second inaugural gown -- if there is one -- is generally kept on display at the presidential library.

In offering up the gown for a year, the first lady's office and the museum said they hoped to start a new tradition whereby the gown is loaned to the Smithsonian before going on permanent display at the presidential library.

The red chiffon dress will temporarily replace the white gown that had been on display at the First Ladies exhibit, which Obama wore to her husband Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2008.

The First Ladies exhibit opened in 2011 and features 26 dresses and more than 160 other objects belonging to first ladies from Martha Washington up through Obama.

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