Best dress at the Kennedy Center Honors? Michelle Obama walked away with that title in a dazzling gold evening gown. The White House declined to name the designer, but it’s a Michael Kors gold lame chiffon gown from his Resort 2013 collection.
The president and first lady were seated next to the night’s honorees, which allowed for plenty of congratulatory handshakes and asides. Also in the presidential box: Authors Doris Kearns Goodwin (her “Team of Rivals” was adapted into the acclaimed “Lincoln”) and Richard Goodwin, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and husband Lloyd Bean, and Connie Milstein (owner of the Jefferson Hotel) and husband J.C. de La Haye St. Hilaire. (*See also: Scenes from the after-party; LedZep charms the room, Letterman leaves early)
The first couple traditionally does not attend the after-performance dinner, but everyone else streamed into the Grand Foyer for the midnight supper where Milstein told us she was invited to sit in the president’s box by White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard. “It could not have been nicer,” she said. Obama folks at Milstein’s table included campaign honchos Julianna Smoot and David Axelrod. Axelrod’s 40-year-old mustache was making its farewell tour — he’s shaving it off Friday morning because “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough raised $1 million for epilepsy research. (The president even contributed to the campaign.)
“There’s nothing in the fine print that says I can never grow it back,” Axelrod told us. “My wife has the final say. But it’s a little freaky for me.”