The last state dinner hosted by the United States was held on September 20th, 2019 with the guest of honor being Australian prime minister Scott Morrison. This last week, the tradition was brought back following the chaos of the pandemic years. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron arrived from Paris with his wife, Brigitte on November 29th, for a host of meetings to affirm the friendship between the two countries as well as discuss other diplomatic and international issues. The week was capped off with a state dinner, an extravagant tradition that dates back to the 1870s. Organized by the First Lady and her staff, this dinner was steeped in symbolism with an A-list guest list to match.
Instead of being held in the State Dinning Room, the planning team decided to go with a natural outdoor setting. A tented pavilion was erected on the South Lawn and guests were shuttled from the White House to the venue upon arrival. President Biden and President Macron, with their wives walked together down the Grand Staircase and stopped for some photos before heading off to the dinner.
These first few photos were stunning, especially with the Christmas decorations so subtly appearing in the background. The First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, wore a navy, off-the-shoulder column gown by famed American fashion house, Oscar de la Renta. The designs of de la Renta have long been intertwined with the White House. First with Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and then followed by multiple First Ladies; including Nancy Regan, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush. The First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, wore a high-necked, ivory gown by Louis Vuitton. And despite my exhaustive research with many different word combinations, I couldn't find anything on either of the President's looks. For some reason, in events like this, only the women's looks are highly scrutinized but we won't even get into my thoughts on that subject. If I had to take a guess, I'd guess Ralph Lauren as my top choice.
No matter the designer, these looks were so classic and fun! I love how Dr. Biden's dress fits. It flatters her wonderfully which I would expect in a custom dress like this. The off-the-shoulder look was something I never expected because it's so different from other styles we've seen on her but it works. You can tell she really enjoys what she's wearing and that's all that matters. Plus, the navy and glittery floral details....I love!
Now, let's talk about the First Lady of France. That color, first of all! Stunning. Gorgeous. A++. It's so simple and clean and makes for a perfect pop of color against the darker tones. The jeweled belt as well as the neck detailing contrast nicely with the rest of the dress and it was definitely a good design choice given that ivory fabric can be very bright by itself. She and Dr. Biden chose dresses with a similar structure; making for very uniform, eye-catching photos as a result. The only thing I might tweak is the collar. When I look at the dress, the collar clashes with the rest for some reason. Also, she doesn't look very comfortable so something less restrictive might've been a better choice.
I know this is about the fashion but I would be doing a great disservice to all of you if I didn't talk about the table settings. I mean, look at them! The gold-thatched plates are actually rented because the dinner was held outside the White House. Can't risk breaking state china! The flowers were blue delphiniums, white lilies, and American beauty roses. They symbolized the shared colors of both flags. Here is a wider shot:
I like to call this "Medieval Game of Thrones Christmas". Considering the state of our politics and the opinions of the guests, I don't think my title is very far off. Luckily, everyone kept themselves in check but that didn't stop the press pool from asking their pot-stirring questions. A Reuters reporter asked how Kevin McCarthy felt about dinning with Hunter Biden to which the Republican representative responded he was just happy to be at dinner with his mom. But I really don't think Kevin had anything to worry about. I'd put money down on the fact that Dr. Biden bans her children from having electronics at her table.
I hope you're all having a great holiday season! These "Fashion Follow-Ups" are a lot of fun to put together and I have so many more coming up. December is a busy month for social events!
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The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!