What do George W. Bush and Oscar de la Renta have in common? A new fashion exhibition at the Dallas-based George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum—and an elegant former first lady.

Laura Bush and guest.

Laura Bush and guest.

Lucky fashion types turned out to a VIP preview of “Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style,” for the first glimpse at the retrospective, which includes more than 60 of the fashion legend’s most noteworthy creations spanning the past 50 years of his career.

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It was a light show of camera flashes as former First Lady Laura Bush, in a guipure lace Oscar blouse and black pencil skirt, offered opening remarks, thanking major sponsors, Mercedes Bass, Gene and Jerry Jones, Texas Monthly, Clear Channel Outdoor, and yes, Neiman Marcus (after all, it wouldn’t be a fashion event without the NM logo).

Oscars on display ranged from those worn by former first ladies, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan to memorable, red-carpet confections photographed on Taylor Swift, Amy Adams, and Anne Hathaway. Anna Wintour’s gold wisp of a gown gets a spotlight all its own; and Jenna Bush Hager’s wedding dress is a sentimental favorite.

Red carpet dresses.

Red carpet dresses.

Oscar de la Renta sketch and fabric swatch.

Oscar de la Renta sketch and fabric swatch.

De la Renta, who just celebrated his 82nd birthday, once said, “I have always felt my role as a designer is to do the very best I can for a woman to make her look her best. Fashion is only fashion once a woman puts it on.” Judging by the masterful oeuvre, he’s played his role to perfection. The exhibition runs through Oct. 5. Ticket information at www.bushcenter.org.

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Category:  Seeing Things

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