The full-length wrap gown that Laura Bush (search) plans to wear to the inaugural ball (search) will be classic and elegant but "with a touch of shimmer and shine," according to designer Oscar de la Renta (search). "It's right for the occasion," he said Monday.

The first lady had her fitting for the grayish-blue dress Saturday when she visited de la Renta's Manhattan showroom.

"I've been making clothes for Mrs. Bush over the last four years. Early in December she came to see me and asked if I would prepare some sketches for her for the inauguration," de la Renta explained.

The gown she chose, which features a layer of tulle adorned with bugle beads and crystals, was the designer's favorite, too. "Obviously I wanted something very glamorous. For any first lady, this is a very special kind of evening," he told The Associated Press Monday.

De la Renta's sophisticated styles seem to be a good match for Washington wardrobes: The Dominican-born designer also has dressed Hillary Rodham Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Bush's full-length dress should be ready by the end of the week; the inauguration and ball are Jan. 20.

De la Renta plans to go to Washington to the swearing-in ceremony. "I'll try to look my very best for the very important occasion," he said.