THE INAUGURATION OF GEORGE BUSH : ‘Bush Blue’ Replaces ‘Reagan Red’ in First Lady’s Ball Gown

From a Times Staff Writer

Just as “Reagan Red” became the trademark of Nancy Reagan, “Bush Blue” made an immediate impact Friday as First Lady Barbara Bush chose her favorite color for both her historic inaugural ball gown and the wool coat she wore while holding the Bible during the swearing-in ceremony.

The dress was created by New York designer Arnold Scaasi and the coat by Bill Blass. Scaasi said that he was thrilled by the prospect of having the ball gown--a sapphire velvet and satin creation--displayed for years to come in the Smithsonian’s popular “First Ladies’ Dresses” collection.

“Isn’t that exciting?” Scaasi said. “I never thought I’d be going down in the annals of history, but I guess I am.”


The gown featured a low, square neckline and velvet bodice with closely fitted sleeves. The satin skirt was draped asymmetrically on the right, ending in a bow high on the left side.

Proclaiming herself to be the role model of “fat, wrinkled, white-haired” women, Mrs. Bush has been making fun of high fashion during the inaugural festivities, telling people to take a good look at her now because she will not always be this well-groomed.

“She has a great sense of humor,” Scaasi said.