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TO SEPT. 30
Washington is all abuzz, aglow, and agog over the Corcoran’s latest lowest-common-denominator, specially priced, timed-ticket wowfest—letters, photographs, and campaign memorabilia from the Kennedy White House in an exhibition called “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years—Selections From the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.” Yessir, local art mavens, chic ladies who power-lunch, and post-cherry-blossom tourists alike will be flocking to 17th Street for a look at those faded pieces of paper and maybe some scratched buttons—oh, who are we kidding? We want to see her clothes: dresses, suits, accessories. Gowns, people! More than 70 items from Her Baby-voiced Highness’ White House wardrobe are on display now, and you can get your grubby fingers tinglingly close to the tomato-red boucle afternoon suit, the apricot silk zibeline day dress, the Grecian draped celadon dinner gown, the—ooh, mama—the shoes. Look—nobody, least of all the Corcoran itself, thinks this trifling, girly exhibition is worthy of a great museum; for all anyone’s noticed, those “letters” consist of sheet after sheet reading “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” But like the Kennedys themselves, curators know how to count money, and even jaded New Yorkers went droolingly nuts over Jackie’s threads last spring. The fascination continued even though the icon of American chic was forced by a disapproving public to grudgingly take her favorite European designs to sweatshops full of workhorse American copycats and then proudly announce that she supported U.S. fashion. Still, this may be us frumps’ only chance to answer the most pressing question about the early-’60s boom in affordable couture: What size did Jackie wear? Take your tape measure and drop by from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday; and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (except Thursday, April 18, when the exhibition will close at 5 p.m., and Friday, April 19, when the exhibition will be closed) to Monday, Sept. 30, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10-$14 (and $40 for V.I.P. passes which allow one to view the exhibit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays). For tickets call (202) 639-1846. (Arion Berger)