The Washington Presidential Inaugural Fashion Show takes place once every four years to celebrate the Presidential Inauguration. It features DC's most celebrated fashion designers and is produced by DC Fashion Week. This official event takes place on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
The tradition of Presidential Inaugural Balls started one week after the first inauguration of George Washington, May 7, 1789. The tradition continued from 1809 - 1909 for the inaugurations of James Madison, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant & Abraham Lincoln.
Inaugural Balls have been held at a variety of historical locations including the United States Capitol, the United States Patent Office, the Treasury Building, The National Museum Building (now the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building) and the Pension Building.
Official Inaugural balls began to grow in popularity between the 1949, and reached their peak popularity during the second inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1997 (where 14 were held). However the number reduced to eight for George W. Bush's first inauguration in 2001, and nine for his second in 2005. There were 10 official and 121 unofficial inaugural balls held during the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama.
The First Ladies gown has always been a highlight of any official Inaugural Ball. There is an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution called 'The First Ladies Collection' that showcases these incredible gowns, and provides information about the contributions made by the women who wore them.
Some prominent gown designers include Sally Milgrim (Eleanor Roosevelt), James Galanos (Nancy Reagan), and Frankie Welch (Betty Ford), Ethel Frankau & Oleg Cassini (Jacqueline Kennedy) Arnold Scassi (Barbara Bush), Sarah Phillips (Hillary Clinton), & Jason Wu (Michelle Obama).
DC Fashion Week, the nation’s capital’s largest professional trade show is accepting registration for new designers, models, and vendors for its upcoming fashion week. The next fashion week in Washington is February 18 – 24, 2013 and will mark the 18th fashion week. DC Fashion Week has grown considerable since its inception in 2004.
It attracts top fashion labels around the globe. It is now the 4th largest US fashion week behind New York, Los Angeles and Miami, edging out Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Memphis, Seattle and Las Vegas.
Events returning to fashion week include the Eco Fashion Show, The Fashion Industry Networking Party, The Ukraine Fashion Designers Showcase, Emerging Designers Showcase and the International Couture Collections Show.
Last season, DC Fashion Week partnered with DC Art4All. Art4All was created to encourage greater participation across a wide spectrum of the city’s diverse offerings in arts and performance. Cultural Tourism DC produces the Art4AllDC program.