Saturday 18 November 2017

Paul Costelloe: 'Melania Trump is probably the most glamorous First Lady since Jackie Kennedy'

Melania Trump, above, has had her style compared with Laura Whitmore at
the EE British Academy Film Awards REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Melania Trump, above, has had her style compared with Laura Whitmore at the EE British Academy Film Awards REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
TV presenter Amanda Byram favours elegant, mono-coloured designs like Melania

Jennifer O'Brien

Ralph Lauren came up trumps for her inaugural appearance as First Lady last month, and it seems US President Donald Trump's wife Melania is already having an impact in the world of fashion.

Elegant, structured and mono-coloured designs have been favoured by celebrities including our own Laura Whitmore and Amanda Byram for recent events, and one man who agrees that Melania's role as First Lady is inevitably influencing fashion is Irish designer Paul Costelloe.

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a fans as she tours the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Delray Beach, Florida
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a fans as she tours the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Delray Beach, Florida

"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 Independent.

So far, according to Mr Costelloe, she hasn't put a foot wrong.

Paul Costelloe on the catwalk after his show at the Palm Court in London’s Waldorf
Hotel Picture: © Debbie Bragg / Paul Costelloe
Paul Costelloe on the catwalk after his show at the Palm Court in London’s Waldorf Hotel Picture: © Debbie Bragg / Paul Costelloe

"For the inauguration, I liked the colour of the Ralph Lauren number and I thought she looked comfortable in it," he said.

Earlier this week, Melania chose an exclusive design from fashion powerhouse Karl Lagerfeld (creative director at both Chanel and Fendi) for her first White House press conference, with some commentators stateside concluding that the white cashmere pencil skirt and jacket was a nod to purity, innocence and neutrality.

TV presenter Amanda Byram favours elegant, mono-coloured designs like Melania
TV presenter Amanda Byram favours elegant, mono-coloured designs like Melania

That such close attention is even being paid to "colour psychology" and Melania Trump's wardrobe indicates that, like her or loathe her, like many first ladies before her, she's emerging as something of a fashion powerhouse.

For Mr Costelloe, Melania's confidence and ability to showcase a good outfit means many eyes in the fashion world are on her.

Laura Whitmore in a look that Melania Trump favours (Ian West/PA Wire)
Laura Whitmore in a look that Melania Trump favours (Ian West/PA Wire)

"I think she definitely has her own individual style," he said. "Melania isn't the slimmest person in the world, but she wears everything very well. She was a model so she has good posture. She's certainly Donald's trophy wife, and she behaves accordingly."

Numerous American designers, however, are not keen on dressing her. Tom Ford, for example, certainly didn't mince his words when tackled on the subject, stating: "I was asked to dress her quite a few years ago and I declined. She's not necessarily my image."

U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) walk to pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) walk to pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Carolina Herrera, however, predicted attitudes towards dressing the First Lady would change, saying: "In two or three months, they'll reach out. You'll see everyone dressing Melania."

Tommy Hilfiger is also all for dressing Mrs Trump, stressing that as far as he's concerned, her clothes have little to do with politics.

President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport as they prepare to spend part of the weekend together at Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport as they prepare to spend part of the weekend together at Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"I think Melania is a very beautiful woman and I think any designer should be proud to dress her," he said.

Irish Independent

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