My general study of LBJ and the specific study of Luci Baines Johnson’s White House wedding in 1966 is an on-going thing. Wait till you see the treasure that eBay churned up today. There’s nothing new under the sun!
Luci’s getting married
LBJ reaches out to old pal and campaign contributor Stanley Marcus, president of Neiman-Marcus
Marcus taps his pal Priscilla of Boston to design gowns for Luci and the bridal party because who wouldn’t? Priscilla remains the unsurpassed rock-star of bridal design even after she was strangled to death by David’s Bridal.
Situation! Priscilla of Boston was producing 2,000 dresses a month in a non-union shop.
Money quote: When Louis Stulberg and David Dubinsky, president and president-emeritus, respectively, of the ALF-CIO International Ladies Garment Workers Union learned that non-union Priscilla of Boston was to design and make the dresses, they got in touch with their friend Mr. Johnson. And we all know what happens when the union puts the touch on you.
Priscilla took a look, recognized big trouble and tried to get out of the whole thing.
In the end everyone was happy, with the possible exception of the non-union seamstresses who had the work taken right out from under them. The Priscilla designs were made by 150 union seamstresses, a union label was sewn into the gowns, there was some plummy unionized factory overtime and the bosses got to hold a press conference to announce the union triumph over independent self-actualizers.
This is the kind of history that I love. The kind that involves watered silk and a five miles of hot pink tulle.