BELTWAY BOUND: Which designer gown Michelle Obama will wear to go inaugural ball hopping later this month is anyone’s guess at this point. But the retailer White House|Black Market is trying to get a jump on the festivities by launching an inaugural-inspired dress collection Friday in seven of its Beltway area stores, including the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. With retail prices ranging from $250 to $300, the nine styles are being touted with “From Our White House to Yours.”

The chain is also a sponsor of the Washingtonian Starry Night Inaugural Ball, which will be held Jan. 20 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The party is a first for the Washington magazine, but revelers already have a lot of ground to cover with 17 state society balls, 18 unofficial balls and the yet-to-be-announced official balls, which totaled 10 in 2009. As for the newest addition to the party circuit, the Washingtonian one will be sure to have White House|Black Market’s brand president Donna Noce in attendance and two signature cocktails — The White House and The Black Market.

This story first appeared in the January 3, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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