DC’s elite on Obama’s inauguration: ‘We love having the first family here’

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama paint a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School.
Photograph by Chris Dilts for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013.

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama paint a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School. Photograph by Chris Dilts for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013.

Wharton’s main beauty motto? “My first tip to all women that want to take the stress out of getting the perfect event look is ‘You never have to get ready if you stay ready,'” he said. Wharton advises a continual regimen of eating well, pampering one’s skin, healthy hair maintenance, and developing inner confidence.

As for the outfits, Lee will be wearing Prada, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent this weekend — all “retreads” like Mrs. Obama’s previously worn Election Night frock. Wharton steered his style acolytes towards mid-market retailers. Both choices match the 2013 inaugural’s scaled-back tone. There are only two official balls this year compared to last year’s ten.

“More and more women are choosing uber-affordable designers that they find at stores like Macy’s, Zara and even H&M! I’ve always been a fan of knowing your ‘look priorities’ and that means putting your resources into your body, hair, skin and make-up first, and then your gown,” the style maven who has appeared on Bravo shows stated. “I’ve been on TV for 10 years and I don’t think anyone has ever mentioned remembering any of the flashy, designer clothes that I’ve worn. People remember my hair, my skin and my personality.”

The executive producer and host of Paul Wharton Style on D.C.’s CW might have steered society women towards disciplined beauty routines, but he still intends to fully enjoy the revelry.

After helping the black elite prepare to fete, “I plan on being on the parade route and hopefully catching the president and the first lady as they share their first dance,” the master aesthetician mused. Wharton attended The Root’s ball and is looking forward to Lee’s BET blow out.

The district’s black power players see this weekend’s haute happenings as a kick-off for another great era of a White House that reflects the area’s black high achievers. Lee herself is looking forward to seeing the first family “out and about,” at venues such as the Kennedy Center.

“From the black community’s perspective in D.C., we love having the first family here,” Lee concluded. “It’s been great having them as role models for four years. I think everyone is relieved the election is over, is so happy that he won, and is really looking forward to having them as part of this city for four more years.”

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Bravo are both owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of theGrio.com.