Her given name was Claudia, but the public knew her by her nickname. She became First Lady when her husband Lyndon Baines Johnson, then vice president, assumed office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. In 1964, Johnson was elected president in his own right via in a landslide election and Mrs. J joined her husband at an inauguration ball that combined Texas exuberance and Beltway-style glamour.
Mrs. J loved wildflowers, particularly Texas bluebonnets-she would become known for her restoration of wildflower fields-but when it came to choosing a color for her inauguration gown, she went with a bold jonquil yellow. Designed by John Moore, a protégé of Norman Norell and the man behind Marilyn Monroe's wedding dress when she married playwright Arthur Miller, the gown was made of double weave silk. It sported a square neckline with inverted pleats and cap sleeves. Over it, Mrs. J wore a matching coat with three-quarter length sleeves trimmed in sable. White opera gloves and a strand of pearls tucked into the neckline completed the look.
The look is incredibly pared down and non-frilly (except, of course, for the sable), relying on the color and the silk, with its luxurious sheen and weight, to make its statement. While we know that Mrs. O loves a wonderful print dress, we have also seen her wear dresses that also rely solely on a bold color, cut, and fabric to carry the day-or the evening. We'll soon see which Mrs. O chooses for January 20.