Jenna Bush’s dresses by the numbers

I was deeply engrossed in Style Scoop when my little eye happened upon this intersection of the nuptial and the presidential:

Gosh, dontcha just hate having too many options?

Whether you give two toots about Jenna Bush’s May 10th wedding to Henry Hager (I don’t, oddly enough), it’s beyond cool to see all of the potential dress designs. As Style Scoop tells it, the first lady (hey, should I be capitalizing that?) asked twelve notable designers to submit sketches of the gown that may just clothe her daughter on said daughter’s special day.

The twelve designs sprang forth from the minds of the following designers (from one to twelve): Vera Wang, J. Mendel, Arnold Scaasi, Carlos Miele, Amsale, Carmen Marc Valvo, Angel Sanchez, Badgley Mischka, Nicole Miller, Lela Rose, Marc Bouwer, and Oscar de la Renta.

My personal favorite is number nine, but I have always fancied those Nicole Miller ruffles. Number one looks like it ought to be in the annual toilet paper gown contest. Three gets a big ol’ yawn from me, but all things considered it does look sort of right for a White House wedding. Eight is too daring for the same, and I have nothing to say about seven other than that the cartoon model looks entirely undead.

Which, pray tell, do you favor?

23 Responses to “Jenna Bush’s dresses by the numbers”

  1. I love 4 and 11 – although I’m not sure either will look great on her frame.

  2. Melissa B. says:

    I love the sketch for 10 (especially the non-strapless neckline!) but I’m not sure how it would look as an actual dress. Is the fabric going to be pleated all the way down? That could either be beautiful or really puffy-looking.

  3. C* says:

    I like 4 too, and I think it will look really pretty on her tiny frame. Oddly enough I also like #2, but I’m not entirely sure why. I agree that #3 is a bit of a snooze, although it is a classic style that would look great on Jenna.

  4. Audrey says:

    Other than the bunch at the shoulder, I love #1. I can see the layering coming out quite nicely, but maybe that’s because something similar was created on Project Runway this season. I’m rooting for #4 – it’s feminine, fantasy and perfect for her body type I think. Some of those designs are for bodies less curvy than Jenna sports. And you’re right, #3 is B-O-R-I-N-G. It looks like the designer wasn’t really interested if you ask me.

  5. Portside says:

    The reason that #3 probably looks classically apropos of a “White House Wedding” is that according to the New York Magazine Scaasi received his second lifetime-achievement award in 1997 (via Barbara Bush – the elder) from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Not to mention the article caption proclaiming :

    “Arnold Scaasi has been a fashion dynamo for over 50 years, dressing the ladies who lunch — and live in the White House — in his showstopping gowns.”

    I have to go with #4. I think it’s a fun, sexy and functional compromise between #3’s conservatism and the other options.

  6. Abby says:

    I think 4 is beautiful, too…but perhaps too sophisticated for Jenna at the ranch? She’s not getting married in the White House, right? I think they’re doing it at Crawford (which I can only assume is riddled with overgrowth, since W. spends months at a time clearing brush).

  7. Leah says:

    I’m a huge fan of 12 – although I always love me some Oscar D.L.R. 🙂

  8. Twistie says:

    I’m a rebel. My faves are actually 4 and 10…but 4 would depend greatly on the fabric and trims chosen. I happen to like that very classic style, when it’s done well. 1 looks like TP Bride of the Mummy to me as drawn, though I’m sure it would look very different made up. As someone else pointed out, it looks a lot like the haute couture gown Christian and Chris made for Project Runway, which was bizarre yet spectacular.

    Of course, a lot of this question will be decided not only by Jenna’s personal taste and the media attention of a First Daughter getting married (my mother never forgave Trisha Nixon for choosing her formal china pattern!), but also by the event itself. If it’s going to be at the White House, that requires something very different from what would be correct for the Crawford Ranch, which would be very different again from what would work well at a church with a hotel reception.

    It’s amusing to see the options. I don’t think that’s ever happened with a White House wedding before, though there’s always been great speculation and public interest when a president’s relative (or, in Grover Cleveland’s case, the President himself) gets married during his term of office. In fact, there was a tiny bit of a scandal when Frances Cleveland chose to carry neither a bouquet, a prayer book, nor a fan while marrying Grover in the White House. The lady decided she didn’t need a prop.

  9. Alethia says:

    I love 4, 8, and 12. The wedding is being held at the ranch from what I hear. She has some great and not so great choices. It will be interesting to see what she decides on. She might shock the world and not pick any of them. Who knows.

  10. Jennie says:

    I’m rather loving #11. I think it’s because I’m enjoying the complete Jane Austin on Masterpiece theater right now.

  11. Alaina says:

    NtB, this is an awesome post! That being said – my favorites are 4, 5, and 12. I imagine Miss Bush will end up with something along the lines of 3, though. It’s simple and fun, rather like a ranch wedding!

  12. Twistie says:

    Er…I actually meant to say my faves were 3 and 10. (facepalms) As some of you have noticed, I have little love for the strapless.

  13. sterlingspider says:

    I love the long lean art deco stylishness of #6, though I’m not sure a real person could actually wear it.

  14. Never teh Bride says:

    I was kind of wondering about that, Twistie 😉

  15. Francesca says:

    For the Jenna, Francesca is favoring 4 and 5. If she stands up a teeny bit straighter and gets an excellent bra, those dresses will look dashing on her.

    But indeed, 3 may be the best for a DC wedding, even if takes place in Texas.

    It depends whom she wants to impress.

    5 is the one Francesca would pick for her own wedding, if she had less lumpy-squishy arms. And a groom.

  16. Carol says:

    4, 6, 11 and 12. I’d love to see #11 made up in a color other than white/cream. It would be gorgeous in a bronzy shade. Hmmm…maybe it’s a red carpet dress rather than a bridal gown?

  17. B says:

    Is it me or does no. 7 look like a maternity dress?

  18. Yvette says:

    I love 12! Oscar de la Renta creates the most beautiful gowns and not just for bridal. Has anyone seen Katherine Heigl’s wedding gown? The train detail looks as if she were walking on cloud of cool whip…it was yummy! I think #12 will have similar fabu detailing. That being said, I don’t know if this dress would fit the first daughter’s body type well. Given her frame and curves, she may do better with a fitted trumpet style with ruching.

  19. La BellaDonna says:

    Although my heart belongs to Oscar (make a winter coat for me! I love you!), and of the lot, I do like #11 best of the lot, but, by and large,


    I can, and have, made much prettier gowns, and will continue to do so.

    I wonder what Ms. Bush would actually like, and if the gowns were designed within those parameters, or if the designers just put out a random, reasonably “fashionable” gown?

    I have to say, I’ve also seen prettier gowns in a random shuffle through the average bridal magazine. I would have thought the “designers” could have come up with something … I don’t know, orignal? Individual? Attractive? (Although she certainly has the figure to wear dear Mr. de la Renta’s gown. And #11!)

    Actually, the bride-to-be appears to have few figure challenges, except the hunched-over slouch of the camera-shy. Standing up straight, she could wear most styles. It would have been nice to have seen more offered.

  20. Audrey says:

    P.S. it looks like she has chosen #12, Oscar de la Renta for her wedding next month!

  21. Thanks for the update, Audrey!

  22. J says:

    Don’t anyone like #5. I think it is my most favourite!