Byline: Wendy Hessen

NEW YORK — Beyond all the excitement surrounding the dress, Laura Bush is also taking part in what has become something of a tradition with First Ladies since the days of Pat Nixon — carrying a Judith Leiber evening bag to the inaugural ball.
Although details were still being finalized at press time, Bush is expected to tote a custom-made red satin bag with a matching floral lace overlay to go with her scarlet Michael Faircloth dress. The one-of-a-kind bag — being made by hand in Leiber’s factory here — is a small, classic clutch style featuring ruched fabric. Additional beading and sequins that mimic those on the dress will likely be added, according to a spokeswoman for Faircloth. The clasp, inspired by vintage jewelry, will be made of yellow gold vermeil accented with clear crystal.
Bush’s other accessories for the evening will be a ruby and diamond necklace from Dallas-based Sue Gragg Precious Jewels and Stuart Weitzman’s red satin pumps.
The red Leiber bag will be given to Bush as a gift, though it’s probable that she will follow the tradition set by Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton, who all donated their bags to the Smithsonian after the festivities. Two additional Leiber bags — a soft gold satin and a clear crystal minaudiere — also have been sent along. These pieces could pinch-hit should Bush change her mind and elect to wear either of the two other dresses Faircloth is making for her.
The new First Lady will also be well accessorized for the inauguration ceremony. To accompany her peacock blue wool boucle suit and coat, Bush plans to wear Kokin’s espresso-colored, velour hat with an upswept brim and Adrienne Vittadini’s matching leather pumps with her own brown leather gloves, and yellow gold and diamond earrings, a Lilly Dodson spokeswoman said.

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