President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted their first state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron and first lady Brigitte Macron, and Melania’s dress was an appropriate nod to her French guests.
Melania, who’s far from naive when it comes to the power of fashion, has used her looks in the past to send distinct messages.
“There is an economy of the drawing, and that’s who she is. Her next four years as first lady are going to be, like this gown, straight to the point, perhaps with a single measured detail,” stylist Hervé Pierre told Harper’s Bazaar about her Inauguration gown.
On Tuesday, as cameras flashed, Melania, hand-in-hand with her husband, stood on the red and gold carpet in a stunning couture gown.
However, as famous designer Coco Chanel once said, “fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening,” and the first lady’s dress spoke to themes beyond being a beautiful woman.
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Her dress was Chanel haute couture and designed by Karl Lagerfeld, who is now the head of the quintessentially French brand.
It debuted on the runway in January but as a jumpsuit instead of a gown. The couture nature of the collection means that each item is custom-made, so the gown was designed specifically for the client.
Interestingly enough, while debuting the collection, designer Karl Lagerfeld told Vogue about his friendship with the Macrons.
“I met him when he wasn’t even in politics. They are very good people. Not pretentious,” he explained and added that he’s optimistic about France’s future with Macron as the country’s leader.
Melania’s dress was also covered in Chantilly lace, which dates back to 17th-century France — shortly after America gained its independence with the aid of French financing and Marquis de Lafayette.
“The beautiful friendship between the United States and France, forged in revolution, has changed the course of history,” the president said earlier in the day.
He added that it was “fitting” that the first official state visit was with the leaders of “America’s oldest ally.”
Pierre, who attended the dinner, told the Los Angeles Times the room was as beautifully curated as the first lady’s looked.
“There is something really amazing that not one picture can give you — the smell of lilac in that room,” he explained. “With Instagram and everything, we only speak about the eyes, but we don’t necessarily have any social media for the nose.”
Ultimately, the first lady signaled that she may be married to a billionaire and live in the most exclusive home in America, but she isn’t entirely different from the women she represents. Her dress also featured pockets, which every woman knows is a treasured asset.
While Melania’s dress for dinner was French all the way, her outfit earlier in the day signaled the unity between the two countries. Her shoes were French designer Christian Louboutin, and her ensemble was from American designer Michael Kors’ collection.