White House Correspondents’ Dinner Red Carpet Photos: See the Best Dressed

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It hasn’t been the “nerd prom” for a while. Once a popular target of jokes about bad fashion (and not just from the evening’s featured comedian host), the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner has morphed in recent years into a less campy, more staid prelude to the Met Gala, which takes place days later. It’s only fitting, really, given the subtext of journalists being jailed around the world.

Still, the bar for serious style has been raised by the mix of media, political and Hollywood figures that populate the guest list. Consider this year’s roster, which included Rufus Sewell and Keri Russell of “The Diplomat”; the SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher; Da’Vine Joy Randolph, fresh from being celebrated at the Time 100 Gala; Scarlett Johansson, there to support her husband and the evening’s host, Colin Jost of “Saturday Night Live.” in coordinating Giorgio Armani outfits. Can the Armani effect do for the capital what it once did for tinsel town? We will see.

Not that it’s just the celebs au fait with stylists and designer brands who are working the entrances. This year’s headliner, President Biden, has such a propensity for aviators that his accessories have practically become part of his political platform — so much so that he even turned them into material for his stand-up routine at last year’s dinner. (Hello, Dark Brandon.)

Little wonder bets were being taken on whether Senator John Fetterman, a guest of NewsNation along with his wife, Gisele, would show up in a black tie hoodie or an actual tux (last year he opted for the tux — albeit with sneakers). Answer: he did one better, in trompe l’oeil white tie hoodie and black basketball shorts. Also whether Lara Trump, sitting with Politico, would represent in MAGA glory.

After all, what is a red carpet but a photo op in better clothing? And how many politicians have met a photo op they didn’t want to seize for a messaging moment? All anyone has to do is read their looks, if not their lips.

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