Friday, May 26, 2006

Katrina-ravaged Libraries to Benefit From Washington Wives' Fashion Auction

I'd be remiss in my duties as an officer of the Fashion Police if I didn't give everyone a heads-up about the special designer-clothing auction going on over at eBay right now. The event is hosted by the Senate Spouses, and proceeds from the sale of these ladies' suits, gowns, dresses, and children's attire will buy books for school libraries devasted by Hurricane Katrina through the Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative. The fundraiser is being organized by the First Lady and the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Join the spouses of our United States Senatorsand help provide funds to buy books for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Working with the Laura Bush Foundation, the Senate spouses are auctioning 100 dresses they have donated. The auctions theme comes from the book, “The Hundred Dresses,” by Eleanor Estes which tells the story of a girl who owned just one dress but dreamed of having 100.


The Senate Spouses organization, known until the 1990s as the Senate Wives, dates back to World War I when the ladies of the Senate formed a Red Cross unit to support the allied cause. After the war, the group turned its attention to other causes. Eleanor Roosevelt initiated the First Lady’s involvement with the group in 1942 when she dropped by for lunch at one gathering, bringing her own sandwich.

Be forewarned: if you're more the leather mini-skirt or plunging-neckline Versace gown type, these offerings might not be for you. The clothes are conservative. Extremely conservative. (If you've ever spent time in Washington, you know what I'm talking about.) But if your line of work calls for outfits with simple lines, modest lengths, and/or quiet colors, there are some reasonably good deals on Valentino, Escada, and other designer goodies. Feel like splurging? The bright Chanel jacket above, one of Laura Bush's own, is hovering around $200 as I write; purchased at the boutique, it would cost ten times that much.

As for me, though, I prefer my vintage a bit older--as in 1940's suits and 1950's dresses--and my contemporary clothes a little closer-fitting.

I wonder if there will be an auction of Senate Mistresses' finery?

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