It’s been a week since the inauguration of President Trump and I chatted with the team about First Lady style, from Jackie O to Melania Trump. Watch it below!
The style of the First Lady is way more tied into ‘N A Perfect World than you think.
As the president is to represent the American people, so is our first lady.
The office of the First Lady is this unpaid position; while they didn’t necessarily run for it themselves, they’re apart of the package. And from the causes that they’ll be championing — Mrs. Obama with Reach Higher, education, especially among young women, childhood obesity and Let’s Move, Melania Trump and bullying — to how they present themselves, they’re expected to use their position to represent, empower and uplift the American people.
No first lady since Jackie O — and even then, her look was NOT of the people, many things being custom — has given the fashion community such a voice and platform as former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Case in point when I went to the White House for the Celebration of Design. She brought attention to smaller designers, made in the US, like Jason Wu. She can go from that Versace chainmail gown at the Final State Dinner with the Italian Prime Minister and his wife — and WOW, che bellisima — to a J. Crew sweater set. It’s Tom Ford in London, because he lives there; it’s Doo.ri Chung Korean-American designer — I’ve always loved her draping — for the state dinner with the President and First Lady of South Korea. Her choices are deliberate and thoughtful. Of the moment. She can hang with vet wives, or Anna Wintour. She’s beautiful, she’s statuesque, but she’s down to earth and sporty. Kind of similar to what we love about Kate Middleton.
It’s not only what looks good, but also about doing good through the choices that she makes. Mrs. Obama’s style choices were a wonderful commentary on globalism at it’s best. Now how ‘N A Perfect World is that?!
“They’re too expensive. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. They’re not artificially expensive. It’s how much it costs to make these things. But I think to relate to everybody, you shouldn’t necessarily [wear such expensive clothes].”
Tom Ford said that about dressing Melania Trump.
Speaking of the presidential package, I think we can’t just look at Melania but Ivanka as well seems to be taking some of those roles of a first lady, often by her fathers side, and vocal, with her own platforms like childcare and working women. So she’s also in a position as well to send a message through fashion; especially as owner of her brand, Ivanka Trump, who’s demographic for her ready to wear line seems to be that everyday working woman.
During the cringe-inducing RNC speech she wore designer Roksanda Illincic a Serbian designer based in London. She bought it from Net-A-Porter but perhaps it was a nod to Melania’s own Slavic roots. The sleeves, color – she wears a lot of white — she looked very chic and fashion forward.
There was the infamous Gucci Pussybow Blouse that Melania wore right after Pussygate. Was she being subversive?
For Thursday’s wreath laying at Arlington memorial Melania wore Venezuelan and Colombian immigrant US citizen Norisol Ferrari. Wearing a Norisol Ferrari military-inspired knee-length coat and coordinating sheath dress, the incoming first lady’s ensemble was meant to pay homage to American military service members. The occasion was particularly meaningful for the New York City designer whose biological father is a wounded veteran who sustained lifelong disabilities in the line of service.
So that was a thoughtful and fitting choice. What people are up in arms about though is the Gucci sunglasses. So chic, but during the service, she didn’t remove them. That definitely creates a distance, and I must say, Melania’s style, while beautiful is aloof, sometimes even sultry and Bond girl esque; it’s not the down home, of the people message of her husbands campaign. Ivanka, statuesque and beautiful definitely fulfills that role. Even with her ready-to-wear line being mid-range.
The head to toe powder blue Ralph Lauren set that Melania wore to the inauguration was a little too retro for me. It definitely was a style reference to Jackie O. Perhaps she’s on board with her husband’s messaging of Make America Great Again with a return to Camelot, a regression in civil rights…. Melania Trump’s relationship to the fashion community and her ability to use it as a platform has yet to be seen, but I’ll be watching.
Get your own First Lady Style inspired by our Camelot, Michelle Obama.