Style Fashion

Thursday 20 June 2019

Melania senses winds of change and drops Irish designer's creation to deal with weather

The look

Miles of style: Melania in Southampton en route to Shannon. Picture: AFP
Miles of style: Melania in Southampton en route to Shannon. Picture: AFP
Miles of style: Melania attends a welcome function after arriving in Ireland yesterday. Picture Getty
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Melania Trump didn't play the Irish card and bid 'adieu' to her Philip Treacy hat for her arrival at Shannon Airport.

Earlier in the day at the D-Day 75th anniversary ceremony in Portsmouth, the First Lady wore a Philip Treacy saucer hat tilted to the side, with a matching cream coat from the American label The Row, featuring statement collar, wide lapels and strategically buckled off centre, following the asymmetric line.

Remember the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, who had their own kids' TV show, 'Two of a Kind'? Well the child actresses grew up and blossomed into credible fashion designers. Their label, The Row, is respected for quality fabrics and precise tailoring but most of it, for its irreverent classic signature.

And that in a nutshell captures Melania Trump's approach to fashion - she likes classic silhouettes, but the former model wears them on her own terms, which means block colours, cinched waists, always with heels - usually red-soled Manolos - and with gleaming bare legs, something the Queen might not approve of (just ask Meghan Markle!).

Melania is unusual among American first ladies because she doesn't think twice about wearing European designers, from Chanel, Roksanda Ilincic and Gucci to Givenchy.

The latter is a favourite of Ms Markle whose wedding dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller at the luxury French design house. Kate Middleton is also a big fan of a good cream coat for VIP occasions and in choosing a Philip Treacy hat yesterday, Melania wore an acknowledged royal favourite and the creation of a longstanding personal friend of duchess of Cambridge Camilla.

Maybe Melania chose to abandon plans for her Irish hat because of local weather reports after suffering a 'crazy hair' situation at windy Stansted this week.

In the past, first ladies at the White House always made a point of only wearing American designers. However, Jackie Kennedy, still hailed as an important fashion icon, cleverly interpreted European styles and then had them made for her in America.

For Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017, Melania wore baby blue by Ralph Lauren, the reigning king of American fashion, and a style institution right down to his stars-and-stripes logo. She wore a Michael Kors suit when the Macrons visited the White House last year.

Unlike Michelle Obama who was famous for infusing her wardrobe and those of her daughters with wallet-friendly J Crew pieces, Melania is one for her luxe brands but the taxpayer does not pay. She wears quite a lot of Roksanda Ilincic, a London-based label available at Brown Thomas in Dublin.

At her core, Melania Trump is a faithful exponent of the bodycon silhouette. The body-skimming Dolce & Gabbana white dress with black collar and belt and matching boater hat she wore in London on Monday definitely left no one in doubt about her curves.

As for the president, he likes his well-cut Brioni suits and he usually wears ties from his own tie brand. Gifts of Irish ties delivered into his Doonbeg Hotel and Spa might just end up in their boxes.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in this section