Laura Bush’s selection of Michael Faircloth was fairly anticlimactic for the fashion industry in 2000. The 41-year-old dressmaker had been working with Bush since 1994, and fashion observers had tempered expectations in the years since Nancy Reagan’s embrace of American fashion houses.
Hillary Rodham Clinton selected a gold-embroidered tulle dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt straight from the runway of Seventh Avenue star Oscar de la Renta in 1997. Clinton had the neckline raised and sleeves lowered for a more restrained appearance, but the look was largely lauded as an improvement for the fashion-wary first lady and an embrace of the fashion industry. Bill Clinton stuck to a standard double-breasted tuxedo rather than white tie and tails.
For her first round of balls in 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton chose a rich shade of purple with elegant beadwork by designer Sarah Phillips. Her color choice was praised, although the look was criticized as dowdy.