White House State Dinner: The Morning After

VIDEO: Juju asked fans to choose a dress that she would wear to the White House.

It was a sumptuous affair.

I wore the purple dress that won the most votes (it was secretly my personal favorite too): the Pamella Roland.

CLICK HERE to see all of Juju’s dress choices

I had pulled my glittery slippers and a trusted old shawl out of my closet to complete the outfit.

I went to a salon called Bang in D.C. at the last minute. My hairdresser – named Cat — had coolest tats and did a great job on my hair. Great, see:


My husband and I got in line at the East Gate as dark clouds swirled overhead.  But there were so many fascinating people in line we didn’t pay attention.  We eventually talked with the charming and handsome actor John Cho (of “Star Trek” (2009) and “Harold and Kumar” fame) and his equally handsome dad who served as his date. The writer and Princeton professor Chang Rae Lee and his cool wife. 

Then we heard thunder and Mother Nature could no longer be ignored,  as the skies opened up into a torrential downpour.  It was a mad black-tie dash to the security tent.

After the metal detector, we had another outdoor dash ahead.  What’s a girl to do?

I took off my rhinestone-encrusted Rene Caovilla  heels, hiked up layers and layers of purple chiffon up to my knees and dashed barefoot with my husband Neal Shapiro 150 soggy yards in monsoon conditions to emerge at the foyer of the White House.

I had my shawl and Neal’s umbrella, but we looked like survivors of a shipwreck.  The back of my husband’s Armani tux was drenched through to his shirt.  His shoes were ruined.  But we were both giggling.

I sighed in front of the ladies room mirror and tried to re-assemble myself.

Soon, we were “announced” and walked into the press area.  The web savvy reporters asked, “Is that the dress that won the vote?”

“Yes!”  I told them. “The wisdom of the crowd won out…”  

But I showed them the watermarks despite all my efforts and lamented about my hair. “So much for the hair salon,” I said wistfully. It was the quip the made the front page of the Washington Post Style section.

First Lady Michelle Obama wore a show-stopping Doo-Ri Chun: an up and coming Korean-American designer.  It was also a one-shouldered purple dress and we  gave each other a thumbs up for wearing purple.  (Kind of a lady-like high five).

 PHOTOS: What Was Everyone Wearing at the White House State Dinner?

The Ahn Trio delighted the audience after dinner with modern classic piano pieces.  And Janelle Monae brought the evening to a close with her incomparable vocals.  I’m logging onto iTunes right after this…

Of course, it stopped raining all through dinner and then began to pour again at the end. No missing glass slipper for me, but I was barefoot once again by the time we made it to the waiting chariot to head back to the hotel.

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