It has been exactly ten days since the wotsit in a wig was inaugurated into office as the 45th President of the United States. I joined 48.1 million other people around the world to watch the ceremony on the television, mouth open wide with horror and crying communally. Yet, I could not help but take note of Trump’s wife, the stunning Slovenian ex-model, Melania’s outfit choice. If ever there was an outfit working hard to portray an image, this is surely the most prominent.
There has been enormous controversy surrounding Melania and her wardrobe in recent months. Ordinarily fashion designers have fought to the death to dress each First Lady, as it gives them a worldwide platform to show off their designs. However, with Trump and his presidency being so protested, many designers have put distance between themselves and the new First Family, so not to seem like they are supportive of Trump’s prejudice policies, and therefore not alienating their customers.
Fashion houses, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, refused to dress the First Lady-to-be for her upcoming role. Although this may not seem significant at face value, this resistance set the precedent for Trump’s presidency whereby designers did not want to align themselves with the aforementioned wotsit in a wig’s government.
For Trumps swearing-in ceremony Melania wore a Ralph Lauren baby blue cashmere coat with matching gloves, consequently causing #BoycottRalphLauren to trend on Twitter. The outfit oozed Jackie Kennedy, the button down and high neck style mimicking the blue coat Mrs Kennedy herself wore at her husband’s inauguration. Some viewers expressed their confusion as to why Melania would choose to wear blue, when her husband’s Republican Party colour is red. Some sources believe that Melania chose blue and Michelle Obama chose red to symbolise the solidarity between the two parties and to try to symbolise the peaceful passing over of power between them in amidst a presidential campaign that has been so shrouded in scandal and hostility.
However, that same evening at the Liberty Ball the glamorous, and even sexy, Melania, was back in full force. Wearing a gown she helped to design with Hervé Pierre – former creative director at Carolina Herrera who has dressed all the most recent First Ladies including Mrs Obama, Mrs Bush and 2017 presidential candidate/ previous First Lady Hilary Clinton. She certainly did what she does best – looked good, that is. The off the shoulder white gown, with a dramatic ruffle and thigh-high slit, is probably something Michelle Obama wouldn’t have been seen dead in. But for Melania, it worked.
Finally on the eve of the day that Melania officially become the First Lady, she and her family attended a wreath- laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony. For this event Melania wore a Black Military Jacket by Norisol Ferrari, accessorised with signature celebrity, oversized black sunglasses.
But what does all this MEAN? I hear you crying in despair. Well, here’s what I think. Mrs. Trump has achieved a clean fashion sweep across the board and this is very telling of how she plans to fulfil her role as First Lady. For someone who has never really been involved in politics before now, I think her taking inspiration from Jackie Kennedy shows that Melania is willing to learn and adapt to her new role. Her military coat shows that she will adopt the position with respect, and that she intends to fulfil her role to the best of her own ability. Equally, her Liberty Ball dress hints that she is going to put her own spin on the role. Her outfits worked hard to bring some class and sophistication into the proceedings, in which both those characteristics have been devoid.
It is common knowledge that during her eight years as First Lady, Michelle Obama mainly wore clothes produced by small American fashion houses, and on official visits she chose fashion pieces made in that country. When visiting number 10 Downing Street she famously wore a dress designed by Scottish born, London resident Christopher Kane. This was Mrs. O’s way of showing her support to the American fashion industry, and because of this, she gained herself a lot of fans. Maybe Melaina is going to adopt this technique? Who knows! We will have to keep our eye on the FLOTUS to see if style will be the key to her success!