Bodysuit of Lies

reagan-nancy-show.jpg Laugh, and the World Loses Grasp of the Facts

Although the opening was briefly marred by the Reagan Museum’s lost collections story, and by people actually recalling the era, Nancy Reagan’s dress show has returned her in triumph to the fashion pages.

Her glamour sometimes spurred more ire than awe. Reagan was widely criticized for her extravagance during the economic downturn, and she took her biggest drubbing for commissioning $200,000 worth of china for the White House in 1981. A year later, however, she shocked journalists and her husband alike when she paraded onstage during a Gridiron Dinner wearing a schizophrenic get-up that included a feather boa and yellow galoshes. The first lady belted out “Second Hand Clothes” to the tune of “Second Hand Rose.”

“The reporters saw that she could laugh at herself and it became a turning point for her and the press,” co-curator Jenkins says.”

Everyone loves America’s Widow!

In order to pull this off the actual history of her fashion habit has to be ignored.

In brief: she took clothing, only occasionally paid for it, lied about it, and kept sloppy records throughout Reagan’s two terms. Some details here.

The exhibit’s second hand clothes tribute to her masterful evasion of facts: reagan-2nd-hand-rose.jpg

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