On Tuesday evening, when Ann Romney took the stage at the Republican National Convention for her primetime speech in Tampa, she channeled previous Republican political wives in a modestly cut, v-neck dress in “Nancy Reagan red.”
The $1,990 Oscar de la Renta creation indicated Romney was following the wisdom of Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, choosing a favored designer of first ladies past. A spokeswoman for de la Renta said that Romney’s cardinal silk faille dress is from the designer’s pre-fall 2012 collection and is available in stores.
The New York-based American fashion designer has helped shaped the style of every First Lady since Nancy Reagan except Michelle Obama, who has notably not included de la Renta in her vast closet of top American and international designers.
In 2008, when Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention, she wore a turquoise sheath dress by Chicago-based designer Maria Pinto. Pinto’s dresses, which started at $750 and up, have been discontinued after the designer closed her shop and filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
Yesterday afternoon, aboard the Romney plane, Ann Romney told reporters that she was undecided on what she would wear for the primetime speech, but noted that she would not be making her choice alone. Her husband and campaign advisers weighed in.
“The funniest thing of all is that Stuart Stevens, who wears his shirts inside out, is advising me on what dress I should wear tonight, so I know I’ve come really full circle now,” Romney said of her husband’s senior political adviser, who helped craft Mitt Romney’s jeans-and-rolled-sleeves appearance on the 2012 campaign trail.
“Frankly, I didn’t realize that Stuart had to weigh in on this — or my husband. It was going to be like my wedding night; I wasn’t going to let him know what I was going to wear. But now they have opinions,” Romney said.