Melania Trump’s wardrobe is at best, experimental – and at worse, tone deaf; but she appears to be finally learning a lesson in the art of appropriate dress.
The US first lady is on the final day of the three-day state visit to the UK alongside her husband President Donald Trump and her style has been expectedly divisive among fashion critics. However, she paid tribute to her hosts by wearing a custom piece by the British royal family’s favourite hat designer – Irish milliner Philip Treacy.
The Trumps joined British prime minister Theresa May, French president Emmanuel Macron and Queen Elizabeth, among others, at the National Commemorative Event for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Southsea Common, Portsmouth on Wednesday.
Treacy, originally from Co Galway, has been working with the royals for nearly two decades, designing headwear for historic moments like Meghan Markle’s first Christmas with her in-laws in 2017 and Kate Middleton has preferred his work for every major wedding and royal tour since she married into the family in 2011.
During her brief time in London, Melania has been criticised for missing an opportunity to showcase a selection of American or British designers, instead reverting to the usual high fashion labels in her arsenal like Dolce & Gabbana and Hervé Pierre.
As a result, her wardrobe has been scrutinised even moreso than usual, but the surprise addition of Treacy shows self-awareness not yet seen before. It also proves that she is aware of the wealth of fashion talent in Ireland as she prepares for a brief sojourn here at the Trump-owned Hotel Doonbeg & Golf Links, alongside her husband.
The wide brim creme that perfectly complemented her wrap coat by The Row and signature Christian Louboutin heels.
White has been the overwhelming theme of her wardrobe since landing in the UK on Monday; first, in a white and navy combination which is believed to have been inspired by Princess Diana and later in a sleeveless Dior couture gown for a state dinner at Buckingham Palace.
Similarly, Ivanka Trump, special advisor to the president, wore all-white, including an unusual white fascinator by Treacy at Westminster Abbey on Monday. He has become something of a safe bet for visiting royals and dignitaries keen to adhere to a British dress code, including The Netherlands’ Queen Máxima who wore his work during a visit to London last October.
Fashion houses, particularly those based in the US, remain at odds over endorsements by the Trumps over some of the actions taken by the Trump administration.
Christian Siriano and Marc Jacobs are among the high profile designers who said they would not work with her.
In 2017, however, Irish designer Paul Costelloe praised the former model’s personal style, likening her to Jackie O. “I think as a First Lady, Melania is probably the most glamorous since Jackie Kennedy. She will set trends as First Lady. She likes strong colours that work well,” he told the Irish Indepndent.
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