The delightful Republican (not an oxymoron in this case) star of WOW’s Gay Republicans doc, Maurice Bonamigo, head of the Palm Beach Log Cabin, has been invited to the events of the president’s inauguration in DC. This is his third dispatch:
Here’s my final report on the conversations, business, and fashion in DC during the inaugural celebrations.
As one would expect, the mood of all the attendees for the inauguration was absolutely upbeat, joyous, and full of life since our main man, President George W. Bush, has won the election for the next President of the United States. Also, everyone was celebrating because the Republicans have gained control of both houses in Congress. The main conversations throughout the functions were, who is going to what balls, what everyone was going to be wearing, what candlelight dinners, what breakfasts with which congressmen or senators, what brunches, what cocktail parties, what streets were closed. and where on earth would anyone find their limousines amongst the forest of limousines scattered throughout all these events.
At these huge political functions there is always business being conducted, i.e., how are we going to get our friends jobs in this new administration, who will be joining which congressmen or Senator at Augusta for a foursome, making new contacts, calling in favors, promising new favors, and making sure all those favors work out for the interests of everyone involved. In the documentary Gay Republicans , you may have heard one of my dearest friends, Bunny Stevens, say, “Only in Palm Beach.” Well, now you can add, “Only in DC.” Yes, it is politics as usual and, all kidding aside, that’s just how things are done in Washington, DC – quid pro quo.
Then of course, there is also gossip. Who is pulling strings for whom, who has the inside lead to whom, who is doing whom, and who should be doing whom, plus plenty of other personal gossip among all of our closest friends in DC. The only real gossip I feel comfortable revealing over the Internet is how Teresa Heinz Kerry was constantly intoxicated during her husband’s campaign for the president of the United States. As everyone in DC noted, she was never by her husband’s side at any of the functions, particularly at the swearing-in ceremonies. Could it be that there may be a problem here? Well, all I can say is, “Bless her little cotton heart.”
Fashion, fashion, fashion. Well, as I noted earlier, I had never seen more cowboy hats, cowboy boots ( some, I think, are probably from endangered species), furs, jewelry, rhinestones, Saint John Knits, designer wardrobes, and of course those fabulous evening gowns. The men were always dressed in traditional suits and ties. For formal functions, the traditional tuxedo is always the perfect option. None of this “creative black-tie” garbage was present at any of the formal functions, but then again, as in Palm Beach, you never see anything but classic attire on a man. For footwear, it was cowboy boots or traditional Italian loafers. I prefer to be in Armani, Hugo Boss, and Ferragamo, white starched shirts, Brioni, Ferragamo, or Gucci ties, Italian silk pocket squares, cufflinks, diamond studs, and several Rolex watches for different occasions.
Most of the the women at the festivities were all beautifully well-groomed from head to toe. Their hair was always perfectly shaped, makeup was precisely applied, the nails were classically detailed. For the breakfasts and luncheons, women generally wore St. John, Chanel, and Dior suits. Most of the women wore skirts as opposed to pants at these functions. The jewelry was your typical Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, and gold, gold, and more gold. The cocktail-hour dress was a little more formal. At times, women would change into longer skirts with a jacket or a new blouse accented with the few more diamonds. After cocktail hour, it was time to change again for the formalities of the evening.
It is often pointed out that this is the land of the haves and the have mores. And for the Republican balls it was diamonds, more diamonds, and HUGE DIAMONDS. The ball gowns were some of the best evening gowns seen in a long time. Laura Bush wore Oscar de la Renta; some of the other designers worn were Dior, Bill Blass, Gucci, and my good friend Arnold Scassi. In my first report here I said for this year’s inaugural my mother chose designer Bob Mackie to do her evening gowns. Her black-and-gray with crystal beads and a low-scooped neckline to show cleavage was one of a most elegant evening gowns at the Florida Stars and Sequins Ball. For the Texas WY Ball, another Mackie was a high-collar slate-blue, heavily beaded gown resembling something that the late Marylyn Monroe might have worn. Her jewelry was of diamonds and sapphires and she was draped in a white mink-and-fox stole.
Our dear friend Linda Stafford wore a black strapless Hana Mori evening gown with heavy lace and beads from the waist up and black silk taffeta from the waist down. Her jewelry was classic – diamonds and gold – and she was draped in a full-length black mink coat with shawl collar. She looked absolutely radiant. Both ladies could only be described as pure glamour.
It is a shame that we have lost so much of the glamour that once was. It is a pleasure to be around such beauty and finesse, and it is time to bring back more of these elegant occasions. And what better administration to bring glamour back. Cheers.
– Maurice Bonamigo