Inaugural Imitation

As a senior in high school, I’m given the fabulous opportunity to take electives; such as Portfolio Development. One of my first assignments was to research First Ladies’ inaugural ball gowns over the years, and to create my own. After pursuing the several stylish First Ladies, I decided that my favorite was Nancy Reagan’s gown from 1981.

© Vogue

© Vogue

The creme, beaded, one-shoulder silhouette caught my eye, and I fell in love. Roughly thirty years later, this gown is still beautiful, and even somewhat trendy. Nancy Reagan (or her stylist) did a superb job in choosing her attire for this monumental event.

© US Magazine

© US Magazine

Utilizing my creative side, I decided to reinvent Reagan’s gown…with a twist. Instead of heading over to my local fabric store, I simply opened up my kitchen cabinets to find my supplies. After sewing the base of the dress out of white trash bags, I contemplated how I could mimic the beautiful circular bead work on her gown. Suddenly, it came to me! Two hundred coffee filters later, I could barely express my amazement. I had no idea I was capable of creating a dress out of kitchen products that altogether cost less than $10. Maybe next time the First Ladies should turn to unconventional materials!

The final product:

©  Mary Kate Donahue, 2014

© Mary Kate Donahue, 2014


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