Tennessee designers outfit Tipper Gore for Inauguration Day

January 20, 1993|By Vida Roberts | Vida Roberts,Staff Writer

Tipper Gore, following Hillary Clinton's lead, has chosen to showcase designers from her own home-state during this week's inaugural events.

On Inauguration Day, Mrs. Gore will be dressed by Memphis, Tenn.'s, Pat Kerr, who is known for incorporating heirloom laces and antique textiles into her designs.

For the ceremony, Mrs. Gore will wear a semi-fitted, black wool crepe suit with a satin shell and jabot of antique ivory Duchesse lace.

At the inaugural ball, her dress will be a slender black column of black lace. Topping it for the grand entrance will be a black cashmere cape lined with chiffon with a yoke of antique lace set to sparkle with diamantes. Mrs. Kerr also designed the gowns for Mrs. Gore's three daughters.

Mrs. Gore has remained loyal to old favorites. Designer Dana Buchman, who hails from Memphis but designs under her own label in New York, supplied a number of outfits. "We're very excited," says Ms. Buchman. "She has been buying my label off the rack for some time, but now her choices are newsworthy. [One of] the things we sent her was a red worsted wool jacket with jet buttons, which she will wear over black. Also, a chunky lace evening jacket with a black lace vest under it to be worn over chiffon pants. The pants are double-layered, so they have a look of sheer without being revealing."

Pants seem to fly in the face of the Southern tradition that discourages "ladies" from wearing them on public occasions. "Not so," says Ms. Buchman. "Regional dressing is a thing of the past. Chic women have evolved a national, American sort of style. Mrs. Gore has it, and so does Mrs. Clinton. They choose clothes to suit their lives."

The other Tennessean who has supplied clothes for the Gore wardrobe is Buffy Planinsek Goodwin, who makes one-of-a-kind pieces.

The national spotlight does make clothes trials easier. Mrs. Gore has long bought clothes by Albert Nipon off the store racks. Now, the company's new designer, Steven Stolman, brings clothes to her. He showed her his spring collection, and she chose several outfits, including the red suit she wore during Sunday's daytime events.

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