NOT OSCAR THIS TIME: First Lady Laura Bush is highlighting another favorite designer: Peggy Jennings. Bush, at a Thursday preview of White House Christmas decorations, wore a warm red silk matelasse suit in a geometric pattern with a short fitted jacket. Jennings also designed the pink suit the First Lady wore when President Bush declared victory the day after the Nov. 2 election. Jennings’ husband and business partner, Herb Kosterlitz, said Bush has been buying the designer’s suits and formal gowns since the President was governor of Texas in the Nineties. “She found us doing trunk shows in Dallas,” said Kosterlitz. Jennings’ designs are produced in a St. Petersburg, Fla., factory employing 50 and owned by the designer. “We say we design for the social needs of the American woman,” Kosterlitz said, noting a Jennings gown costs as much “as Oscar or Chanel.”

As for the First Lady and her fashion plans for her husband’s upcoming second inaugural on Jan. 20, the White House is mum. “She’s looking into all that right now,” said Bush’s press secretary, Gordon Johndroe. For Christmas, the extended Bush family will congregate at Camp David. Over the holidays and through the inaugural, Johndroe said Bush twins Barbara and Jenna will stay at the White House before launching their post-college lives. The twins are continuing to turn down interview requests. “They are interested in returning to as private a life as possible,” he said.

PACK MENTALITY: Those who say that women are the kinder, gentler sex clearly have never been to a designer shoe sample sale. Ladies, and we use the term loosely, were so desperate to get into the Jimmy Choo sale Wednesday that they queued up for more than two hours. One woman tried to cut the line by bribing the doorman with $50 — no go. Another who couldn’t get in started crying. When asked by a passerby what all the fuss was for, a police officer on hand growled, “High heels.”

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