Calif. brings in new term in high fashion

The spirit of the West Coast was well-represented in Washington Saturday as the California State Society (CSS) hosted its fourth Presidential Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Ritz Carlton. The sold-out show was filled with more than 600 guests, including 17 California congressmen and women, six California city mayors, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

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Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.), vice chair of the CSS, admitted to having an eye for fashion, even if he joked about wearing a hand-me-down suit to the event. The congressman, in fact, already has his outfit for the inauguration planned out -- one of the many suits that his mother got him for each time he started a new term in office.

“I’ll try my best to make myself ‘fashionably presentable’ for the inauguration,” said Costa. “But as a California native, it’s important to maintain that quintessential California look.”

The CSS co-produced the fashion show with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), a notable design school with famous alumni like Lauren Conrad and Kevan Hall, who mentored FIDM student designers to create the Red Carpet Inaugural gown collection.

The crowd sipped champagne while watching the theatrical opening to the fashion show -- a homage to the famous Broadway musical "Phantom of the Opera" -- and a live performance by Broadway star Larry Wayne Morbitt.

FIDM featured students’ designs from several different collections including the modern-day Barbie collection, the ‘Little Black Dress challenge,’ dresses made out of floor carpeting, and Los Angeles Kings' jerseys turned into high fashion. The real show stopper, however, was the Red Carpet Inaugural gown collection. Models donning bright, jewel-toned silk and taffeta gowns, paired with glistening, oversized necklaces designed by Joe Vilaian, strutted down the runway to applause and cheers.

Apparently, if there is one thing politicians, lawyers, and wonks alike can agree on, it’s that it won’t matter what whom you voted for, only what you’re wearing this weekend.