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Nancy Reagan brought unabashed zeal for luxury to WashingtonJust like her signature color – a bold red, of course – there was nothing shy or retiring about Nancy Reagan's approach to style and fashion. That sheath is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, not far from the one-shouldered inaugural gown of another fashion-conscious first lady – Michelle Obama, notes Lisa Kathleen Graddy, curator at the National Museum of American History.She also favored Bill Blass. But it wasn't just her own individual style that the first lady was interested in, Graddy notes. Not surprisingly, one of the exhibit sections in "The First Ladies at the Smithsonian" that features Reagan is entitled "Fashionable First Ladies". "She thought people wanted the best for the White House".The first lady also ran into trouble with her acceptance of free clothing from designers, thus violating – unwittingly, says Anthony – the new Ethics in Government Act of 1978 .
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