Pret-a-Reporter

Donald Trump Claims There's a D.C. Dress Shortage Caused by the Inauguration

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Dress shops in Washington, D.C., say, "not so much."

Despite his Jan. 20 inauguration's lack of Hollywood star power, Donald Trump isn't worried about the turnout.

During a phone call with The New York Times in reaction to Meryl Streep's scathing speech in which she criticized the president-elect's behavior — particularly an incident when he appeared to mock a disabled reporter for the Times back in 2015 — Trump said, "We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars." The 70-year-old added, "All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration."

Considering the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Streep's rhetoric within the Beverly Hilton ballroom on Sunday evening, as well as Tinseltown's vocal support for Hillary Clinton throughout the election cycle (Streep was one of several celebrities who spoke on Clinton's behalf at the Democratic National Convention), it's doubtful that "plenty of movie and entertainment stars" will be showing face. (Sixteen-year-old Jackie Evancho, as well as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Radio City Rockettes, are among the entertainers currently scheduled to perform.) However, the turnout of the general public — and the availability of "inauguration-ready" gowns — is a different story.

The Washington Post did a little investigating of its own on Monday, polling the city's "dress shops" (Neiman Marcus, consignment shop Ella-Rue and boutique Curio Concept), only to find that their is no such shortage of evening gowns — rather, the opposite appears to be true. "I'm stuffed with beautiful gowns," said Martha Slagle, vice president and general manager of the Neiman Marcus in Friendship Heights. Slagle added that the store stocks up on designer gowns every four years in anticipation of the event, adding that there are currently "more than a thousand evening gowns to choose from."

Krista Johnson, owner of Ella-Rue, which carries formalwear by Oscar de la Renta, Alexis and Moschino, echoed the sentiment. "Unless a thousand people came in today, we’d still have choices," she said.

“Sales have been good ... better than previous seasons, but nothing to do with the upcoming events,” Nancy Pearlstein, owner of the fashion boutique Relish in Georgetown (which stocks designer labels Dries Van Noten, Marni, Marc Jacobs, Simone Rocha and Thom Browne, among others), told The Hollywood Reporter.

From the looks of it, even with extra events taking place in and around D.C. this season — including the anti-inauguration Peace Ball, at which Solange will be performing — there's never been a better time to get your hands on an evening dress.

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